On Sunday, Pope John Paul II will beatify Sister Rosalie Rendu, Daughter of Charity of St Vincent de Paul. Six Daughters of Charity from Great Britain will attend the ceremony, along with numerous Daughters of Charity from the five continents and other members of the Vincentian Family. The venerable Sister Rosalie was at the centre of a movement of charity that characterised Paris and France in the first half of the 19th century where public assistance did not exist. With one hand she received from the rich, with the other she gave to the poor. Sister Rosalie introduced the rich to the "world of the poor" and gave them the joy of doing good works. Among those who took her guidance and counsel was Blessed Frederic Ozanam - the founder of the Society of St Vincent de Paul. Sister Rosalie entered the Seminary (novitiate) at the Motherhouse of the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul in Paris in 1802. On completing her Seminary, Sister Rosalie was sent to the Mouffetard neighbourhood of Paris, one of the most miserable and socially deprived areas of the city. Here she served the poor for 53 years as a nurse, justice of the peace, catechist for the street children, and friend of the people. At the barricades she risked her life coming between the revolutionaries who intended to kill a military person saying: "Here there is no killing for we are all brothers and sisters of our Father in heaven!" Indeed Sister Rosalie was the "good mother of all" without distinction of race, religion, social status or political persuasion. The Daughters of Charity are an international congregation. Some 24,000 sisters from the five continents live and serve the poor in 93 countries. Here in Britain there are 247 Daughters of Charity living and working in 40 different locations including, London, Glasgow, Cardiff, Sheffield, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Manchester, Peterborough, Darlington and Dover. Their Mother House is in Paris and their Provincial House is in Mill Hill, North London. For further details visit: www.filles-de-la-charite.org and www.daughtersofcharity.org.uk
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