Friday, November 27, 2020
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Father Médaille’s 400th Anniversary Celebrated in Art

Over three hundred and fifty years ago in France, a small group of women and a Jesuit missionary, Father Médaille, seeded the beginnings of the Sisters of St. Joseph.

A watercolour created by Ana Christina Lopez CSJ tells the story of Father Jean-Pierre Médaille and the founding of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of his birth on Oct. 6.

Sister Anna's watercolour that places significant people, places and symbols in juxtaposition. She has provided a few explanatory notes but reminds us that art is participatory and we can and should make our own connections.

Father Médaille is pictured looking towards a group of women that at one level represents his new congregation, but can also stand for all the continents and the Sisters of St. Joseph throughout the world: different, complementary, in communion with each other, with all others and with life.

Silhouettes of the six women in various hues suggest the first six women who started the congregation with Father Médaille in Le Puy, represented by the town on a hill where the congregation was founded in 1650. The women rise up as one from strong roots that suggest the source of life, defying gravity and connecting to the ground.

Father Médaille is also contemplating the world, with its land mass and waters, that requires the loving assistance of the women who are reaching up to help and support.

Directly behind Father Médaille stands part of the walled city of Carcassonne, France where he was born in 1610. To the right of the walls we see footprints left by Father Médaille, Sisters and of those who have gone before. Their impact on the world is visible — we are invited to follow their path and leave footsteps of our own...

By Gisela Côté


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