Jarrige, Catherine, Bl.

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Also known as Catinon Menette, lay Dominican tertiary; b. Oct. 4, 1754, Doumis near Cantal and Mauriac, Diocese of Saint-Flour, France; d. July 4, 1836, Mauriac, France. The youngest of seven children in a poor family, Catinon Menette ("Catherine the Little Nun") entered domestic service at age nine. About 1774, she moved to Mauriac, became a dominican tertiary, and rearranged her priorities so that she could live the Rule of the menettes in its entirety. By this time she was employed as a lace-maker to rent the garret room she shared with her sister. In her free time Catherine responded to the needs of the less fortunate, often by begging on their behalf. During the french revolution, she established and supplied a covert network of safe houses to protect refugee priests and deliver them to safety. Though she was arrested several times, the authorities were never able to convict her of any offense. Following the Reign of Terror, Catherine continued her charity, assisted in repairing the hospital, supervised the renovation of her parish church, and urged the lapsed to return to the Church. Her cause for beatification was not opened until 1929. She was declared venerable in 1953 and a miracle attributed to her intercession was approved June 25, 1996, which opened the way for her beatification by John Paul II, Nov. 24, 1996.

Feast: July 4.

Bibliography: m. c. de ganay, La Menette des prêtres, Catherine Jarrige (S. Maximin, France 1923). v. marmoiton, La vie héroique de Catherine Jarrige (Toulouse 1956). j. b. serres, Catherine Jarrige, dite Catinon Menette (Paris 1864, 3d ed. 1910). L'Osservatore Romano, Eng. ed. 48 (1996): 13.

[k. i. rabenstein]