In Memoriam-Mother Madelaine Potier

March 7, 2024 | Posted in In Memoriam

It was 160 years ago today that God called our foundress, Mother Madelaine, home to heaven. She is our first “Sister in Glory.” If her obituary had been written in the format we currently use, it may have looked a little like this. May Mother Madelaine, Mother Anna, and all of our Sisters in Glory pray for us.

Mother Madelaine Potier, H.H.M., the former Marie-Antoinette Potier, died Monday, March 7, 1864 at Dommartin-sous-Amance, France.

Date of Birth: October 13, 1818│ Age: 45
Place of Birth: Nancy (Meurthe-et-Moselle) France

Marie-Antoinette Potier was born in Nancy, capital of the ancient Duchy of Lorraine, on October 13, 1818 and was baptized two days later in the church of St. Epvre in Nancy. The youngest of the five daughters of a local baker, Claude Potier and his wife Anne Voinier, she was scarcely five months old when her mother died. Anne Voinier Potier was buried in the village of her birth, Dommartin-sous-Amance, which is five miles northeast of Nancy. Here Marie was entrusted to the care of her great aunt, the housekeeper for her brother and Marie’s great uncle, the local parish priest.

In the early 1850s she supported the ministerial initiatives of her great-uncle’s successor, Abbé Jean-Joseph Begel who established a school and workroom for girls in his and nearby local villages. Marie’s generous offer of her home as a location for the school and as a residence for the state-certified teacher, Mlle. Julie Claudel, lead to her founding, with Abbé Begel, a new religious congregation approved August 29, 1858 by the local bishop. The group received the name of the Sisters of the Holy Humility of Mary. Abbé Begel named her the first superior of the community.

Mother Madelaine will be lovingly remembered for her many works of Christian charity. She taught catechism lessons to the parish children and helped with the care of orphans who were welcomed into her home. She had a special care for the orphans especially for the smallest children. She took care of the sacristy of the parish church in Dommartin and regularly provided fresh flowers for the sanctuary. As her health failed and she was no longer strong enough to continue her activities, she spent her time in prayer for the community, the first sister involved in the HM Ministry of Prayer and faith-filled presence.

Following her funeral Mass she will be buried in the churchyard corner that also holds the remains of her beloved great-aunt and uncle who raised her.

She is survived by her sisters in the Holy Humility of Mary Congregation: Soeur Marie-Anne Tabourat, Soeur Marie Joseph Gaillot, Soeur Josephine Mougel, Soeur Marie Angel Balland, Soeur Odile Philbert, Soeur Mary of the Angels Maujean, Soeur Marie Margaret Colson, Soeur Alix Genin, Soeur Beatrix Champougny, Soeur Virginie Benoit, and Soeur Mary of Jesus Boussard; her friend and spiritual director, Abbé Jean-Joseph Begel, and her sister, F. Marchais.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her sister, Marie Madeleine Choumac; her stepsister, Anne Catherine Potier; her great-aunt, Marie-Magdeleine Voinier; and her great-uncle, Abbé Jean-Pierre Voinier.

Mass of Christian Burial will take place in the chapel of St. Martin Church, Dommartin-sous-Amance, Thursday, March 10, 1864. at 9 a.m.

This entry was posted in In Memoriam. Bookmark the permalink.