The Congregation of the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary was founded in Thueyts, France on November 21, 1796 at the height of the French Revolution, by Blessed Marie Rivier
Marie Rivier, fondly known as “Marinette,” was born on December 19, 1768 in Montpezat, France. At the end of April 1770, Marinette, then sixteen months old, had a bad fall which left her handicapped. Her mother, Marie Anne Combe who was a woman of great faith, carried Marinette to the Statue of the Pieta each day. Soon the little girl, who watched her mother pray, was certain: “The Blessed Virgin will cure me.” Left alone at the feet of Mary holding her dead Son in her arms, Marie meditated. This mystery of passionate love filled her heart. Finally on September 8, 1774, Marinette began to walk! These four years of “schooling” with Mary marked Marie Rivier’s life forever – she obtained everything through Mary’s intercession.
By the age of eighteen, Marie was devoting herself to evangelization and the care of the poor. She even opened a school despite the reluctance of the pastor, who was soon re-assured. Marie’s zeal to make Jesus Christ known and loved extended beyond the classroom to the adults. When the French Revolution broke out and any religious action was suspicious, Marie Rivier secretly held Sunday assemblies. She was cautious but remained an apostolate with a heart of fire. In 1794, the village of Thueyts beckoned her and she willingly responded. Soon, four young women joined her and allowed themselves to be set afire by the Gospel. At that time when all the convents were being closed, Marie Rivier opened her own. On November 21, 1796, feast of the Presentation of Mary in the Temple, Marie and her four companions consecrated themselves to God. The new community grew quickly despite the poverty it experienced.
Blessed Marie Rivier’s prophetic words, “My daughters will cross the seas”, were realized as the Congregation spread all over the world, crossing oceans to Canada, America, Africa and Asia.
On November 21, 2021, in the four corners of the world, we are going to celebrate 225 years of foundation of the Presentation of Mary with the theme: Sisters of the Presentation of Mary… A name – A heritage – A prophecy… 225 years of presence …Together to proclaim JESUS CHRIST by our whole lives!
Since February 2020, the Presentation of Mary Sisters followed Marie Rivier step by step through the virtues that characterized her.
FEBRUARY 2020 …..The face of holiness
Be holy, since I the Lord your God, am holy! Lv 19 :2
May this year be a year of holiness for all, may you not lose a single one of your actions. Therefore, always act in the spirit of faith and for the love of Jesus Christ. (Marie Rivier- Letter 404-8).
I desire that you all renew yourselves and walk with great strides in the ways of holiness.
(Marie Rivier- Letter 1034-5)
MARCH 2020 ……Marie Rivier, Woman of Faith!
Fight the good fight, that of faith, take hold of eternal life! 1 Tm 6: 12
Live in faith, my child, it is the life of the righteous, and if you want to become interior, animate all your actions with a holy motive. (Marie Rivier- Letter 648)
April 2020 …. Marie Rivier, Woman of JOY!
REJOICE in the Lord always; I shall say it again: REJOICE! Philippians 4 : 4
Live in the JOY of the Lord, in his peace and in his love! (Marie Rivier – Letter 595)
May 2020…… Marie Rivier: Her love for Our Lady
“Behold your Mother! From that hour the disciple took her into his home.”
– Jn 19:27 –
I received everything through the prayer of the rosary! I have always loved talking to the Blessed Virgin, quite simply, like a child to its mother. (Marie Rivier)
June 2020 …… Marie Rivier : A Woman of Compassion
It is indeed God who gives you these feelings of compassion, of tenderness for his beloved members, and he will take your good desires into account, since we are powerless to help them.
(Marie Rivier – Letter 888)
JULY 2020….. Marie Rivier : Lover of the Poor
“How beautiful it would be if the poor occupied the same place in our hearts that they have in God’s heart,” (Pope Francis, Homily 17 Nov 2019)
Marie Rivier: Her Love for the Poor
“Your love for the poor pleases me very much, my dear daughter; I hope it will bring you the blessings of the Father of the poor.” (Marie Rivier – Letter 867)
“I learn with great joy that you are happy and that you love your holy vocation and the education of poor children. These are indeed the ones most cherished by the Heart of God. Therefore, instruct them with zeal, inspire them with great love for our holy religion, make them pious and make them feel that true happiness consists only in a truly Christian and virtuous life.” (Marie Rivier – Letter 1066)
AUGUST 2020 …… Marie Rivier: A Humble Woman
A good act of humility will draw down more blessings…. (Marie Rivier)
SEPTEMBER 2020 …… Marie Rivier: Woman of Zeal
“Zeal for your house will consume me.” John 2:17
“I wish you the most fervent, holy and meritorious year; neglect nothing on your part to make it so and redouble your zeal to procure the glory of God.” (Marie Rivier – Letter 31)
“How I wish, my dear daughter, that you would become strong and robust in virtue; that there would never again be in you any inconsistency or cowardice, and that you would have a fervor sustained in all things and burning with zeal to work for the glory of God, wherever He wills, and to overcome all your repugnance, and become a perfect imitator of the Holy Child Jesus who loves you and has given you so many graces.” (Marie Rivier – Letter 69)
“Meditate well on Jesus Christ and the Saints; walk in their footsteps, and fear only sin; all else is nothing and is of no great use to us in gaining heaven. Work ardently for your holiness, to fight your faults, to acquire the virtues of Jesus Christ; to detach yourselves from everything; to become gentle and humble of heart, burning with zeal and charity; take care not to injure this virtue in any way.” (Marie Rivier- Letter 501)
“Be burning with zeal for the love of Jesus Christ.” (Letter 1221 (3))
OCTOBER 2020 …… Marie Rivier: Woman of Prayer and of Interiority
Deepen your interior life, become a daughter of prayer. Letter 771
“Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” Mark 6, 31
NOVEMBER 2020 – NOVEMBER 2021 —- YEAR OF THANKSGIVING
Presentation of Mary….. A name – A heritage – A prophecy
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.
Eph 1: 2-3
Giving thanks to the Father, who has made you fit to share in the inheritance of the holy ones in light. – Col 1,12
As we journey towards this anniversary, we will remember the Lord’s constant presence in our lives. It is Mary, our Mother and Guardian, who teaches us how to live in gratitude and praise. She invites us to glorify the Lord for the marvels he has accomplished for us with such tenderness and beauty.
It is an event that commits us to the future, one that awakens in us the desire for a profound spiritual renewal, and a call to live our mission to the Presentation of Mary with new enthusiasm.
Looking at our history, in every place and in every time, we see the immense work that our sisters have carried out from the beginning, as well as over the years, either in education, evangelization or compassion, and this in spite of all kinds of difficulties.
Let us live in thanksgiving …
WE, Sisters of the Presentation of Mary enter into this movement of praise, thanksgiving, blessing and gratitude to God, Father of tenderness and mercy. Let us ask the Virgin Mary to lead us into the abyss of goodness.
How can we give thanks?
Let us live this year in thanksgiving! Let us move forward together towards the anniversary of our foundation. To mark this event and to live this year with creativity, we could:
Let us bless the Holy Trinity
Let us give thanks for Marie Rivier, our Foundress, for her passion, her ardent love for Jesus Christ.
Let us give thanks for the Virgin Mary who has done everything for Marie Rivier and for our congregation throughout this 225 years.
“Everything in the congregation is hers as her property and possession.”
Let us give thanks for the life of God in each one of us, for the action of the Holy Spirit who does all things in us and through us.
Let us revisit our personal and school journey, a journey where the Lord always precedes and accompanies us.
Let us give thanks for the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary….
Let us give thanks for the history of the Philippine Province.
Let us rediscover the history of our foundation, the courage and zeal for our foundress. Let us name the key moments, the times of grace in the history our Province.
Let us give thanks for our community and what the Lord is calling us to live together.
Let us give thanks for the mission of our congregation, a mission lived at the heart of the church and at the heart of the world.
Let us give thanks for the Spiritual Family of Marie Rivier
Associates, Lay Consecrated Persons, friends, families, lay collaborators, students
Let us give thanks for vocations, for the young and the not so young who will still today respond generously to God’s call in their lives
Let us give thanks for the Church
The church is the living environment where our prayer is born and must grow.
Let us give thanks for our world
May the Holy Spirit create in us a heart of thanksgiving and gratitude, a heart that sings the praises of our Triune God, source of our personal and community life. We also thank God continually because, when you received the Word of God, which we heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe.
The cross represents the most Holy Trinity and in it our unity with Christ and with each other. It is also the expression of our unity in the midst of our differences. It speaks of love, of conversion and of a great hope.
It is Christ who initiatives the call in our lives, he gathers us, prepares us and sends us. In him, we form a single and unique Presentation family
“We cannot stop proclaiming what we have seen and heard. Far from keeping enchained the Word of mercy … we announce it boldly … “ C 101.
The Word reminds us that we have been called to proclaim the Gospel at all times, through our very whole lives.