From left to right: Father Papalardo, Bro Dino de Carolis, Postulator and Bro Michel Bouvais, Vice-postulator. Photos: Bro. Pierre Berthe, secretary of the Postulation.

This Monday, October 14, the Bros Dino de Carolis, Postulator of the Cause of Father de la Mennais, Michel Bouvais, Vice-postulator and Pierre Berthe, secretary of the postulation were received by Fr. Papalardo, at the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, in Rome.

They handed over the proceedings of the Diocesan Court carried out in the Diocese of Rennes between 2018 and 2019 concerning the healing of Josette Poulain, from Combourg – France, aged 5 years at the time of the events in the 1950s.

Documents submitted to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Rome.

Bro Michel BOUVAIS, Vice-postulator and Bro Dino de CAROLIS – on the right-, St-Peter Square, before the submission of the documents of the diocesan process concerning the healing of the little girl to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Rome.

A special sign, the Sisters of the Daughters of Providence, another Congregation founded by Father de la Mennais, are directly concerned with these facts. The clinic where these unexplained events took place was then under their responsibility.

The new clinic of the Daughters of Providence, in Combourg, in 1954. Collection of the Archives of the Congregation FLP of St Brieuc.

After consulting the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, a Diocesan Process was opened and instructed in the Diocese of Rennes, chaired by Bishop d’Ornellas. Many witnesses were called to the court to testify for the healing of Josette Poulain.

Now, some administrative papers remain to be provided with the two given files, explains Bro Pierre Berthe, Secretary of the Vice-postulator and of the Postulator. Then we can ask for the official opening of the two files brought from Rennes, to the Prefect of the Congregation of Saints.

The Brothers of Casa Generalizia surround the documents then given to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. Photos: Bro Hervé ASSE, Secretary General.

A copy of these files will be given to the Postulator who will have to write the Positio and translate certain elements of the file into Italian, especially for the Doctors who will be consulted.

So there is still a lot of work to be done by the Postulator before its being studied by the Doctors and then by Theologians. Meanwhile, let us continue to pray.»

Two Daughters of Providence in the operating room in the new clinic in Combourg in 1954.

The healing of the little Josette Poulain immediately had a very important echo, especially in the two institutions of Combourg, the Clinic and the School, both run at the time by the Daughters of Providence of Saint-Brieuc.

The unpredictable, rapid and obvious healing, the stupor of the Doctor who had followed the event from the beginning, as well as the people present, the conviction and fervour of prayer through the intercession of the Father de la Mennais, were all elements who persuaded the witnesses to have found themselves before a particular favour.

In fact, the fervent prayer of the Sisters of the School community, especially Sister Madeleine and the Superior. Likewise all the children of the School were involved in the prayer for the intercession of the Father de la Mennais in favour of their little comrade in danger.

General view of the new Daughters of Providence Clinic in Combourg in 1955, with St Joseph’s Hospice on the right.

The Mother General of that time, Sister Marie du Carmel, was also struck by the exceptional character of the event. She saw something there that certainly deserved further study. She immediately contacted the Postulator of Jean-Marie de la Mennais at that time, Bro Hippolyte-Victor Géreux.

A team at the service of the Father’s Cause
Bro Dino de CAROLIS, Postulator, works in concert with Bro Michel BOUVAIS, Vice-postulator who ensured the link with the Tribunal of the Diocese of Rennes concerning the healing dossier.

Bro Pierre BERTHE is responsible for the secretariat and liaison with the various Provinces and Districts of the Congregation.

The Novena to the Founder takes place every month from the 18th to the 26th with many intentions recommended entrusted.

Read on the Website, “Pray the Novena with JM de la Mennais”

The Daughters of Providence were present at the School in Combourg in 1840, and from 1856 onwards, the Sisters took care of the poor and the elderly at home and then in St Joseph Hospice.

The Daughters of Providence Initial School in Combourg.

The former St Joseph’s Hospice in Combourg, before the new Clinic was built.

A new St Joseph’s Clinic was built in 1954. It was also home to a Maternity Ward where 9,000 children were born and surgical services that welcomed more than 25,000 patients.
This building was demolished in 2017, replaced by the local St Joseph’s Hospital.

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