02/06/2022 – Matthew Robin
Venerable Marthe Robin, died forty one years ago today.
Marthe “was a happy and lively child who manifested a desire for prayer and did not disdain service, sharing the work of the house and farm. Gradually, her love for God grew and she felt ever more attracted to Him.
“My sisters did not want me to pray so much, but I prayed mostly in bed. I prayed to the Virgin Mary, but it was talking rather than praying. I always had my Rosary beads in my pocket and I prayed as I walked.”
Just after Our Lady’s call for reparation at Fatima, Marthe was struck ill. She was 16. She prayed for healing because she felt called to a life of prayer as a Carmelite.
Our Lady came to her many times, preparing her for a special mission of reparation in the world. By age 25, she had the wounds of the Crucified Christ, was paralysed, blind, and unable to sleep, or to eat or drink except the Holy Eucharist.
“Marthe particularly loved to pray the Rosary. A book by St. Louis Grignion de Montfort (“Mary’s Secret”) helped her to enter into a deep friendship with the Blessed Virgin. Montfort writes: “When the Holy Spirit, her Spouse, finds Mary in a soul, He flies into that soul, and enters it fully, and communicates to it most abundantly…” (Irma Heller)
When Our Lord called Marthe to found the Foyer of Charity, she, physically incapacitated as she was, trusted that she would be given the means. Shortly after Fr Finet, a young priest devoted to Our Lady, also through the De Montfort consecration, came to see her. She recognised this visit as an answer to her trust.
With Fr Finet she founded the Foyers. These are lay communities “families” of men and women who share all things in common including a daily family rosary. Mary is the Mother of the Foyer, Jesus through a priest is Father. “By their life of prayer and work in the world, they give witness to Light, Charity and Love according to the great message of Christ, King, Prophet and Priest.” (Waterford Foyer of Charity)