Saint of the Day – Blessed Eugénie Joubert (1876–1904) aged 28 – Religious of the Sisters of the Holy Family of the Sacred Heart – born on 11 February 1876 in Yssingeaux, Haute-Loire, France and died on 2 July 1904 in Liège, Belgium of tuberculosis. Her life was noted for her staunch devotion to the Mother of God, her boundless care for the children in her charge and her commitment to her spiritual cultivation was well known and admired.
Eugénie Joubert was born in 1876 to Pierre Joubert and Antonia Celle as the fourth of eight children in France.
Joubert and her elder sister were placed in a boarding school that the Ursulines managed at Ministrel – both grew fond of their time there and came to like their experiences. She made her First Communion on 29 May 1887. On 6 October 1895 she joined a religious order at Aubervilliers (near Paris) and began as a postulant and then commenced her period of the novitiate, her mother bid her farewell and said: “Don’t look back but become a saint!”.
On 13 August 1896 she received the habit from the order’s founder, Jesuit Louis-Etienne Rabussier and made her profession to him on 8 December 1897. She followed the Spiritual Exercises twice in her novitiate. She taught catechism to local children.
Bl Eugénie was assigned to be a catechist in Aubervilliers where she worked with poor children to prepare them for their First Communion. She was then sent to Rome and later moved to Belgium in May 1904 but died soon after.
Bl Eugénie began to suffer from tuberculosis in 1902 and died in Belgium in 1904. She had once collapsed from exhaustion after suffering a haemorrhage. Her breathing grew much more laboured in her final hours and she was presented with an image of the Child Jesus to which she uttered her final words: “Jesus … Jesus … Jesus”.
Her remains are interred in the chapel of the Sisters of the Holy Family of the Sacred Heart in Dinant, Belgium.
The cause for sainthood started under Pope Pius XI on 1 June 1938 – she was titled as a Servant of God – and the confirmation of her life of heroic virtue allowed for St Pope John Paul II to name her as Venerable on 9 June 1983, that same pope Beatified her on 20 November 1994.