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Henriette Aymer de Chevalerie

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Henriette Aymer de Chevalerie

Henriette Aymer de Chevalerie
Born November 8, 1767
St.-Georges-de-Noisne, France
Died November 23, 1834
Paris, France

Henriette Aymer de Chevalerie (November 8, 1767 – November 23, 1834) was a Roman Catholic nun, who along with Peter Coudrin founded the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.[1][2]

Life

She was born to an aristocratic family in Poitiers France. Living in French society in the later years of the “Ancien Regime”, Henriette received an education in the religious values of the French tradition and the somewhat superficial formation considered appropriate for a woman.[3] In her youth her life centered around glamorous events of the aristocracy, but she was arrested in October 1793 along with her mother during the French Revolution for giving shelter to persecuted priests.[4] Barely escaping an execution, she was released in September 1794.

In prison, she began a religious life. After her release, she joined the Association of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which was founded in 1792 by Susanne Geoffroy and some companions. The Association was a group of women who gathered secretly to pray and to help priests who were living in hiding. Henriette belonged to a small group called “The Solitaires” within the Association of the Sacred Heart. This group became more drawn to live a religious life.[5]

There, she met the priest Pierre Coudrin. Together with him, she founded the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. To this end, they bought a house in 1797 on the Rue des Hautes-Treilles in Poitiers, called "Grand'Maison." On Christmas Day 1800 she and Coudrin took solemn vows and that day can be considered the founding date of the Congregation.[5] Mother Aymer de la Chevalerie led the female branch of the Congregation.

She also reported visionary experiences that she has captured on 40 small booklets. In 1805 the congregation moved from Poitiers to Paris on the rue de Picpus, hence the name "Picpus congregation". This became the Mother House. The statue of Our Lady of Peace, venerated in the Congregation, was welcomed there on May 6, 1806.[5]

Although Henriette Aymer kept mostly to herself, she showed gentleness and kindness to the sisters and came to be called "La bonne mère", i.e. the good mother. She made more than twenty foundations in different parts of France, attended to the sisters’ formation and supported the superiors she appointed to local communities.[3]

On October 4, 1829, she suffered a stroke and was paralyzed on the right side, and died in 1834. The beatification process was initiated in 1926. Closure of the Diocesan Stage in the Process of the Beatification occurred in 2008.[3]

See also

References

  1. ^ Eric Steinhauer (2001). "Henriette Aymer de Chevalerie". In Bautz, Traugott. Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL) (in German) 18. Herzberg: Bautz. cols. 115–118.  
  2. ^ Hawaii Catholic Herald
  3. ^ a b c "The Good Mother Henriette Aymer", SSCC Picpus
  4. ^ Honolulu Advertiser Article
  5. ^ a b c "Our History", The Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary and of Perpetual Adoration
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