The entire Missio family rejoiced on 22 May 2022 as we witnessed Pauline Jaricot, one of our founders, become Blessed Pauline Jaricot in a special ceremony in Lyon, her hometown.

Image: Diocese of Lyon

Around 13,000 people attended the celebration in Lyon Expo. The exhibition centre was converted to a giant cathedral for the joyous occasion.

Special songs were composed using Pauline’s own words for the Mass, which was led by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples. Fifty Bishops were in attendance, along with over 2,000 Priests from around the world. It was a true demonstration of the global impact Pauline has had through her legacy.

Among the concelebrants were Fr Anthony Chantry, our National Director in England and Wales. And many Missio National Directors from all over the world gathered for a wonderful celebration of faith and Mission.

Fr Philip Baptiste, Mission Together’s Diocesan Director for Westminster, was our ‘eyes on the ground’, sending vlogs throughout the day to share with our Missio family across England and Wales. You can watch them on our Facebook and Instagram channels.

A wonderful day

Image: Missio Munich

One of our highlights was seeing Mayline Tran, who was miraculously healed through the intercession of Pauline Jaricot back in 2012, take part in the ceremony with her family. Mayline carried a relic of Blessed Pauline – a small cross which was given to Pauline by St John Vianney before his death in 1859.

Mayline’s father, Emmanuel, shared:

‘…We want to make it understood that the power of prayer can achieve extraordinary things. And for those who don’t have faith, we want to testify: some events seem impossible, yet they can happen. It is important to give thanks to Pauline Jaricot and to say that miracles still exist today’.

Living like St Paul; living like Blessed Pauline

Image: Missio Munich

In his homily, Cardinal Tagle thanked the Church in Lyon for the special day, and for being a living Church; alive in faith. He reminded the congregation that Jesus is not just the messenger of the Word, but is himself the living Word. He explained:

‘We have to be able to live like St Paul, to be able to say like St Paul: the Christ lives in me… We have to be able to say that Christ is acting through me… And we see in the life of Pauline Jaricot a love that becomes so big, that it becomes an edict in proclaiming Jesus’.

He added:

‘We marvel at the life of Pauline Jaricot, seeing how she was docile to the Holy Spirit. Pauline Jaricot followed a long tradition of mission…  But being faithful to the Holy Spirit also means being rejected and persecuted… in this we are comforted by another gift of Jesus: the gift of peace. If we love Jesus, we will keep his peace’.

A beatification for the whole world

Image: Missio Switzerland

This special ceremony, at which so many people from around the world came together, reminded us of the far-reaching global legacy left by one determined and faithful lay woman from France. Blessed Pauline Jaricot created a global family in Christ. So it was fitting that the offertory procession was led by beautiful singing and dancing from Madagascan women – a joyful and uplifting addition to the Liturgy.

‘Absolutely magnificent’

Speaking shortly after the Liturgy, an elated Fr Anthony said:

‘It’s just been magnificent, absolutely magnificent; beautifully organised, very prayerful, and very uplifting – moving in fact, really moving. It’s really given us a great spirit – a missionary spirit to go forth and do what Pauline Jaricot wants us to do. That is, to share the joy of the risen Christ with the world’.

Continuing the Legacy

Of course our work doesn’t stop there. We’re heading forward with renewed missionary spirit, and we hope you’ll continue to walk with us!

  • We continue to celebrate Blessed Pauline Jaricot and the volunteers who continue her vital work in Missio Masses across England and Wales. Find your nearest Mass here>>
  • Watch the wonderful documentary, Heart of a Missionary, created by our sister agency, Missio USA, here>>
  • All our prayers, posters and parish resources are still available for free download here>>
With huge thanks to our sister organisations, OPM France, Missio Munich, and Missio Switzerland, and the Diocese of Lyon for sharing these fantastic images.