Eucharistic Crusade


During her life Marie encouraged people in towns and cities to love and worship the Blessed Sacrament, but her great hope and desire was to have the whole world love and worship Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament!

Marie was born in Tours, France on the Feast of All Saints, November 1, 1834.  Her parents were good and pious Catholics and her mother trained her to have a tender and special love for Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.  When Marie received her First Communion, she wanted to console the Heart of Jesus by making Reparation for the sins of men and women around the world.  And this idea of Reparation became more and more a part of her life as she grew older.

As a pupil at the convent school run by the Sisters of the Sacred Heart, Marie had the special duty of making a wreath of flowers for the Repository of the Blessed Sacrament, for Holy Thursday.  She loved doing this and in order to bring herself nearer to God, she would always place behind the flowers a little note saying, "O Jesus, grant that Thy Eucharistic Life may be my life.  May the sufferings that You suffer in the Host, also be my sufferings.  And may I die after having loved Thee with all my heart!"

After she finished her schooling, Marie entered a community of nuns which took care of orphans, but before long she was told that she had no vocation.  She then applied at the Convent of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart and they too refused to accept her.

One day when she was visiting her brother-in-law, she met St. Peter Eymard, the priest who founded the Blessed Sacrament Fathers.  Seeing that she was of good character, Fr. Eymard asked her brother-in-law, "What is this young girl doing here?  You must give her to me, for I wish to found a Society of Adorers of the Blessed Sacrament.  Let her come with me, it is her duty!"

Mlle. Tamisier then entered the Society of Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.  When she listened to Fr. Eymard preaching and saw him say Mass, her love for Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament increased greatly.  He told her, "You belong to the blessed Sacrament in life and in death.  One is rich with such a treasure!"  After two years, Marie went home to look after her dying mother.  In time she realized that she had no vocation, so she did not return to the Society.

Fr. Eymard died in 1868, and since Marie could no longer go to him for spiritual direction, to went to Ars, France, to live for a while near the tomb of the holy Cure of Ars (St. John Vianney).  There she prayed to find out God's Holy Will for her.  Then one day, a friend encouraged her to go to Lyons to talk to Fr. Chevrier, the "Apostle of Tramps".  This holy priest took in homeless boys, who had never received their First Communion.  He guided many of them toward the priesthood and sacrificed his life for the poor.

When Mlle. Tamisier went to see Fr. Chevrier, she got quite a surprise.  He was dressed in shabby old clothes and was very gruff toward her, "You wish to serve God, but you know nothing of the Christian life!  It is necessary to be a saint and do the works of the saints to enter Heaven.  It is necessary to follow the words of Jesus in the Gospel, 'Go sell what thou hast and give it to the poor and then come follow me.'  He continued, "Having nothing, you must become a beggar!  Stop the first woman you meet and ask her to exchange her clothes for yours, cover yourself with rags, and then begin to serve the Lord.  When you feel you have the strength to live like this, come to me and I will gladly direct your soul!"

Poor Marie thought that this was too big of a sacrifice to make, so she went back home.  She liked her nice clothes, her comfortable home and her easier way of life.  She lost her peace of soul and struggled with herself for six months; then she returned to Fr. Chevrier, but his words were like ice, "Have you made up your mind?  Make it up now!  Your vocation is to tramp the streets, as a beggar of the Blessed Sacrament!"

Mlle Tamisier knew that Fr. Chevrier was telling her the truth; only she was too much of a weakling to obey him.  One day, after much praying and suffering, God's grace finally changed her heart, and she went back to see Fr. Chevrier, saying, "Father, I am ready for the sacrifice!"  This was what the good priest wanted to hear; he wanted Marie to sacrifice her will!  He did not make her dress in rags.  He knew all along that she was a soul of great quality.

Fr. Chevrier directed Marie's soul and helped her to build a solid foundation of sanctity.  Later he told her, "You will work, but you will not see the fruits of your work, and you will meet with many difficulties in your work of making the Blessed Sacrament known and loved."

On June, 29, 1873, a crowd of people knelt in the chapel of the Visitation Nuns, where St. Marguerite Mary had seen the visions of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  On that day, sixty French Officials and thousands of people, knelt before the Blessed Sacrament and consecrated themselves and the Government of France, to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  Suddenly Marie realized that it would be good to have people make pilgrimages to churches that were famous for Eucharistic Miracles.

Fr. Chevrier approved of her plans, and she chose a little chapel in Avignon as the first place of pilgrimage. Since 1226, the Blessed Sacrament had been exposed there day and night for adoration, in reparation for the sacrileges committed by the Albigensian heretics.  Then in 1433, a beautiful miracle took place.  The rivers nearby had overflowed and the whole area was flooded with water.  Some church members went to rescue the Blessed Sacrament from the chapel but when they opened the doors, they were amazed to see that the waters in the chapel had divided, leaving the main aisle and the altar completely dry!  However to the left and right of the aisle, the pews stood in four feet of water!

From 1873-1874, Marie stayed in Avignon arranging for the pilgrimage.  Finally on Easter Monday, 1874, all the parishes sent pilgrims to the miraculous chapel and Pope Pius IX sent his blessing to all the pilgrims.  A second pilgrimage also took place there later, that same year.

The next pilgrimage took place in 1875, in Douai, at the Church of St. Anne.  Here in 1254, a priest was giving out Communion when he accidentally dropped a Sacred Host on the floor.  The Angels picked up the Host and carried it to the altar; then suddenly the Child Jesus appeared!  News of the miracle spread throughout the town and people came flocking to the church.  The Host was placed in the tabernacle, and later the priest went back to the church and opened the tabernacle door.  Suddenly a cry arose from the crowd of worshippers, "He is there!  See the Beautiful Child, Our Divine Saviour!  At the same time the faithful saw Jesus on the cross, crowned with thorns, and as a judge!  From then on, the people of Douai celebrated the miracle every year.

Later in 1875, another pilgrimage was made to the Church of St. John, in Paris, which had been built on the spot where a terrible sacrilege had taken place.  In 1290, a poor woman had sold her dress to a Jewish pawnbroker in order to make some money.  But later she bargained with the pawnbroker who let her wear that pretty dress for Easter, if she would bring him a Consecrated Host!  She agreed, received Holy Communion, and later, delivered the Host to the home of the Jewish pawnbroker.  Then in front of the woman and his own children, the man stabbed the Host with a knife several times!  Suddenly, great streams of blood gushed from the Host splashing the woman and the children.  The terrified man threw the Host into the fire and it floated in the air.  Then he snatched the Host from the flames and threw it into a pot of boiling water! 

Suddenly the water turned red with blood; then it boiled over and flowed onto the street.  When a woman saw the blood, she entered the house and saw the Host floating in the air.  She grabbed a nearby vase, and the when the Host lowered Itself into the vase, she carried it to the church, where it was given great honour!  Later the pawnbroker was arrested and accused of the sacrilege.

Pilgrimages were made to other local shrines as well, but Mlle. Tamisier and her friends wanted a national pilgrimage in honour of the Blessed Sacrament, so in 1878, a national pilgrimage was made to the Church of Faverney.  Meanwhile, Marie had become very sick, because she had overworked herself.  She went to Fourvière to take care of a sick niece and there she met Bishop Dubois who was visiting.  He told her, "I believe as you do, in the social salvation of the world through the Eucharist.  Prepare a letter for Pope Leo XIII and I will present it to him in Rome."

The Pope received the letter with great joy, "You cannot give me greater pleasure than to speak to me about the Eucharist works.  I will grant everything for Eucharist works."

Mlle. Tamisier was overjoyed when Bishop Dubois told her what the Pope had said and immediately she started making plans for a Eucharistic Congress. At the same time she worked for the success of a pilgrimage to Faverney, and soon became very ill.  Her doctor forbade her to go on the pilgrimage to Faverney, but she went anyway, and was cured!

Marie did her best to set up the Eucharistic Congress for all Nations, but the enemies of the Catholic Church, especially those in France, were against her.  However, all was not lost; she contacted Philibert Vrau and Lille became the place of honour for the Eucharistic Congress.  This Congress filled her heart with great joy; she had reached her goal and now she could retire.

The remaining years of her life were uneventful.  She went to live at Issoudun, where she took care of the Shrine of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart and she used her money to help poor students prepare for the priesthood.  During her years of retirement, her heart thrilled as she heard news of more and more Eucharistic Congresses being set up all over the world. 

Marie lived a good and holy life doing the Holy Will of God and died on June 20, 1910.  May we also follow her wonderful example and let us pray that she will be canonized a saint some day. 

                                                                                                                    The End      

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