IN THE HOMELAND OF JOHN PAUL II
In the beginning of August, Jasna Góra became a place of pilgrimages of s. Marie Simon-Pierre Normand, whom the whole world got to know in relation to her healing through the intercession of John Paul II. She was accompanied by her mother Maria Thomas Fabre, the superior the general of the convent of Little Sisters of Catholic Motherhood. Reporters of ‘Niedziela’ had an occasion to ask the unusual guests a few questions.
JOLANTA KOBOJEK: – How did it happen that Sister is at Jasna Góra?
S. MARIE SIMON -PIERRE NORMAND: – I have dreamt for 30 years to make a pilgrimage following the traces of St. John Paul II. This year there has been an occasion with Pallottine Fathers and the mother the general of our congregation.
– How does Jasna Góra impress and why is it such an important place?.
– I really love Our Lady, we all in the convent are called Mary. And I was very moved by the prayer at the feet of the Miraculous Image of Our Lady and in this place connected with St. John Paul II. Poles religiousness moves me a lot. Here I see elderly people, children who move around the altar of Our Lady on knees. It moved me a lot.
– John Paul II is particularly dear and important for sister. What are your memories related to him?
– Even before the miraculous healing John Paul II had been very dear to me and when I found out about Parkinson illness, then I was particularly praying to John Paul II. St. John Paul II always defended the weak, the ill, the poor and in charism of our Order there is also work with such people, contact with them. And I feel a great relation, a personal relation with John Paul II. He is very dear to me, for a long time.
- My life has changed physically and also spiritually. My body became fitter, I can do activities which I could not do before. But I also experienced spiritual healing, and it caused my deeper relation with the rosary prayer, which was also dear to St. John Paul II. I also devote a lot of time for Eucharistic adoration.
– Let’s return to the time of illness. When did Sister start thinking that one can really pray for healing?
– After death of St. John Paul II, these were sisters from my convent who decided that we could pray together for my healing. Thanks to this prayer I received grace of healing and I could continue my convent mission, serving to life, mission towards families. I received this all in order to fulfill my vocation of serving to another man, and it was a great gift for me.
– Has sister ever asked herself why you were healed?
– The answer to this question is in Heaven. And my convent is connected with serving to families, the ill, the weak, with whom also St. John Paul II was related. Our convent is connected with John Paul II also through taking inspiration from his encyclicals: Ewangelium vitae, Redemptor hominis, letters to women, letters to children.
– What does sister do every day?
– Now I am a superior of a convent house in the south of France in the Provance region. We help families, which are in need of being listened to and which have disabled children and we serve just to these people. In our convent house there was mother, of Polish origin, whose baby died. Now she is accompanying us in Poland. We were serving also to her, with support in difficult moments. And it is worth emphasizing that the child’s name was Faustine.
The whole world is asking for a prayer
JOLANTA KOBOJEK: – Why did you think about a prayer through the intercession of John Paul II in the intention of sister Mary?
S. MARIA THOMAS FABRE: – Our convent has always been dear to St. John Paul II. We serve to families, like sister Mary said before. After death of John Paul II I expressed my will of the common prayer through the intercession of John Paul II for healing sister Mary from Parkinson illness. This prayer was needed so that the sister could continue her mission and vocation in the convent. So, the ill sister expressed her consent that all sisters could pray for her healing.
– How did the Mother react when it turned out that the sister was healed?
– I was the first to hear from the healed this: sister Mary Thomas, I have been healed. She said it smiling and with great happiness seen on her face. I was surprised and shocked. A day before, sister Mary came to me and said that she was not strong any longer to work. Then in silence, for some time, we were asking John Paul II. At that moment I felt that he had not said his last word yet.
– Today you are at Jasna Góra. Why just here?
– We wanted to arrive at the homeland of St. John Paul II. We are here to thank the Polish pope for the healing and ask Our Lady for further graces in our life, in our convent mission, in proclaiming the Gospel of Life, serving to families.
– Now your convent is quite popular, how does sister perceive this fact as the superior the general?
– We are a small convent family, but all the time we are continuing our work, our mission of helping the ill, the weak. We particularly care about parents after their children’s births. We want them to understand grace of life as a gift, which they received and understand that earthly parenthood has got a sacral character and comes from God.
– Has anything particular changed in your everyday life after beatification of John Paul II?
– Our convent receives requests from the whole world all the time, to pray for healings through the intercession of St. John Paul II?
Translation by Andrzej Trepka, Fr. Mariusz Frukacz
The film material about the visit of sisters at Jasna Góra, which was prepared by Jolanta Kobojek in the studio of ‘Niedziela’, can be seen on the website: 222.tv.niedziela.pl