On Thursday the governor of India’s state of Karnataka released a postage stamp honoring St. Jeanne Jugan, the founder of the Little Sisters of the Poor.
Gov. H.R. Bhardwaj announced the stamp’s release at a home for the aged run by the sisters at Richmond Town. Present at the ceremony were Archbishop of Bangalore Bernard Moras, chief postmaster general of Karnataka Circle M.P. Rajan, and state legislators N.A. Harris and B. Chidananda.
The stamp marked St. Jeanne Jugan’s canonization and the 130th anniversary of her death. According to SAR News, The stamp has a portrait of the saint with the façade of the old age home in the background.
Gov. Bhardwaj said the stamp honored St. Jeanne, “a saint of hope for the aged poor,” for her sacrifice and her legacy of service.
According to the governor, the Little Sisters of the Poor first came to India in Calcutta, where they opened their first home for the aged 127 years ago. The Little Sisters came to Bangalore in 1900.
The congregation the saint founded has 2,700 sisters caring for more than 13,000 needy elders in 202 homes in 32 countries, he reported.
St. Jeanne was born in northern France during the French Revolution, when religious congregations were suppressed by the national government. She became a nurse and joined the Third Order of the Admirable Mother, with whom she prayed, visited the poor and taught the catechism to children.
In 1839 she and two companions brought their first permanent guest to their house in the city of Saint-Sevran.
St. Jeanne, known as Mother Marie of the Cross, had founded six more houses for the elderly by the end of 1849. Pope Leo XIII approved the Little Sisters of the Poor’s constitutions in 1879. St. Jeanne died that same year on August 30, SAR News reports. She was beatified in 1982 and canonized in 2009.
Find out more about the Little Sisters of the Poor at: http://www.littlesistersofthepoor.org.