Sunday 22 May is a day of prayer and celebration for our overseas mission organisation ‘Missio‘, and indeed the whole Church. One of its founders, Pauline Marie Jaricot, will be beatified in Lyon. It’s a leap forward on the path to Sainthood that will see Pauline Jaricot declared a ‘Blessed’.
Beatification requires a miracle through the candidate’s intercession to be recognised by the Church. In Pauline’s case this happened in May 2012. A three-and-a-half-year-old girl named Mayline, also from Lyon, choked on food and suffocated. Unable to resuscitate her, doctors explained that she was brain dead and that she would die in the next few weeks.
Upon hearing the news, pupils and parents of Mayline’s school decided to ask for Pauline Jaricot’s intercession by praying a novena for Mayline’s recovery. At the same time, as Mayline lay in a coma hooked up to a feeding tube and respiratory machines, her parents began looking for a child-sized coffin.
Soon afterwards the doctors were surprised to confirm that Mayline’s condition had changed. Remarkably, she was released from the hospital that December – fully healed.
Doctors have been unable to explain the change in her health. Mayline’s parents are convinced of the intervention of Pauline Jaricot. A diocesan enquiry occurred in 2019, where a medical board validated the miracle of healing, and the theological commission certified the intervention of Pauline Jaricot in the full recovery of little Mayline.
Mayline’s miracle has led to Pauline Jaricot’s Beatification. For the final step, Canonisation, a second miracle will need to be recognised.
Fr Tony Chantry, Missio’s National Director for England and Wales, visited us to tell us a bit more about Pauline Jaricot – very much a saint for our times.