Eugénie Smet, a fiery temperament to the aid of souls in purgatory

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Celebrated on February 7, Blessed Eugénie Smet (1825-1871) founded the Society of Sisters Help of Souls in Purgatory in the middle of the 19th century. She marked her contemporaries with her great stubbornness.

This ch’ti had a fiery temperament. Celebrated on February 7, Eugénie Smet, originally from Lille, is the founder of the Society of Sisters Helping Souls in Purgatory. Endowed with great vitality, after an intense apostolic life in the north of France, Eugénie had the intuition that she must found an order and questioned the Curé of Ars on this subject through a friend. His answer is clear:

“Tell her that she will establish an order for the souls in purgatory whenever she wants.”

She moved to Paris at age 31 and, despite the difficulties encountered, her community eventually saw the light of day. The objective of this institute, of Ignatian spirituality, is twofold: “to help with all good whatever it may be” and to go “from the depths of Purgatory to the last limits of the earth” to help all men until their final encounter with God. It is about being close to everyone and this translates concretely into actions in education, social work and even health.

A “special character”

Eugénie believes in a faithful god and does not give up, as shown by her incessant perseverance. Its religious name illustrates this well. She chose to be called “Marie de la Providence”. During her beatification in 1957, Pius XII said of her that her charity was mixed with a universal apostolate and had this formula: “This is undoubtedly […] the particular stamp that God wanted to give her”. God had lit a fire in her and Eugénie had firmly decided to live for the best.

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