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"Let joy, serenity and peace sine on your face, together with a gracious smile. Let gentleness and charity always be on your lips."
St.Mary Euphrasia

Mother Mary of St. Eupresia Pelletier’s letter


                                                                            My Lord,                                                                                                        Colombo 4th Oct. 1868

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It is with sentiments of deep gratitude that we received your esteemed letter of the 30th March and hasten to reply immediately and to thank Your Lordship for the confidence with which you honour our Congregation by inviting it to your diocese. Italian correspondence is not at all inconvenient for us, and if Your Lordship preferred we could reply also in this language. It is all the easier for us to accept the offer with which Your Lordship honours us, as we always have a large number of English speaking Sisters here and the Superiors we have in mind for this new foundation speaks several languages fluently. The assurance which you give us, My Lord, that vocations to the Religious Life will be found in Ceylon, gives me much pleasure, but rather than sending them to Bangalore, the Superior, once established in Colombo will herself form them for our Institute; for if we are so happy as to succeed in Your Lordship’s diocese it would not be our intention to attach this house to the Province of Bangalore which is already complete in itself but to establish a new Province for the island of Ceylon itself. The Provincial of Bangalore is in very poor health; and over and above her already too great occupations at home, she could not be burdened with long journeys. Besides, she has not at her disposal the subjects necessary to provide for new houses. In the general interest, it will be better that the Sisters assigned to this mission be taken from the Mother House at Angers. The travelling expenses incurred by the Ceylon mission will not be any greater on that account as we are able to get free passages from the Government without any difficulty.

What we find the most consoling of all in this foundation is that through it, we shall be able to work for the salvation of souls who have gone astray – which is the object of our fourth Vow. In addition to the house for penitents we quite willingly accept orphans, classes of poor children and pagans. But we acknowledge, My Lord, that wherever we are entrusted only with boarding schools for higher education, it is with difficulty that we give satisfaction to their Lordships, the Bishops. Talents for music and Until now I have kept silence as I know it was useless to speak but to-day it is necessary that I should do so. Thank God the monastery is finished and nothing is wanting that can be desired: dormitories, separate rooms, private Chapel, kitchen, refectory, large cloisters and gardens. It is very comfortable and many Convents in Europe are not as good as the one I have prepared for your work. I have had some difficulties with regard to the expenses not having necessary funds but God came to my assistance and is had been able to defray them. I have expended more than 37,500 francs nevertheless, it would have been double had the Convent had been in the hands of the Government. Therefore come Reverend Mothers and occupy it soon. I implore you do not delay in coming to begin so useful a work by means of which piety, good morals and good education will be instilled not only into young, virtuous people but also into poor misguided souls. I beg of you again to send five religious two of whom it will be necessary should know English – do not refuse me. I am writing by this post to the Treasurer of the Propagation of the Faith, asking him to send the sisters who are coming the necessary money for the journey for I count upon them having free passages as far as Pointe de Galle.

I offer my respects to the Reverend Mother Superior as well as to all the Religious whom I bless in the Lord.

Your very humble and devoted servant.
Hillarion Sillani,
Bishop of Callimio,
Vicar Apostolic of Colombo

 

Conversation with St. Euphrasia

St. Mary Euphrasia, your dream has come true in our Province. Ever since our Foundation in Sri Lanka 150 years ago we believe you are guiding us to increase and establish 75 houses both Active and Contemplative in Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

Yes, I am full of my great plans and projects, and yet to know, I have not a penny, but all the same I anticipate great things. My love for our institute is for all our works. It seems to me that I am laboring in each one of my sisters. This thought comforts me for my heart desires to be in a hundred places at the same time.

Mother, we find our vision clouded at times. WE do not know which way to turn. Was it ever like that for you?

I am not invulnerable as you think. I cannot help feeling keenly the burden I bear… You need to be very strong in faith, and how are you to become so?

By thinking of nothing but the glory of God and the salvation of souls. This is the end you should have in view in all that you wish to do.

St. Mary Euphrasia, where am I now? Where are we now?

We are all of us only that we are in the eyes of God… I bless you my dear daughters, because I see you have solid holy intentions. You really console me. And so I give you a free hand and when you have made your little moves, write to me.

 

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