Smet, Eugénie de, Bl.

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Foundress of the helpers of the holy souls; b. Lille, France, March 25, 1825; d. Paris, Feb. 7, 1871. Eugénie was the daughter of Henri and Pauline (Taverne de Mont-d'Hiver) de Smet, a family of the landed gentry. She was educated at the convent of the Sacred Heart in Lille, and then she devoted some years to charitable works. After seeking the counsel of the Curé d'Ars (St. Jean vianney), she resolved her doubts concerning her religious vocation and decided to establish a congregation of religious women dedicated to charitable endeavors and to assistance of the souls in purgatory by prayers, sufferings, and labors. She arrived in Paris on Jan. 19, 1856, and with the aid of Hippolyte Basiau, SJ, founded her community, with a rule modeled on that of the jesu its. In religion Smet was known as Marie de la Providence. She shared fully the squalor of the poor among whom the young community worked. She was assisted and encouraged by Pierre olivaint, SJ. Smet was beatified on May 26, 1957.

Feast: Feb. 7.

Bibliography: m. renÉ-bazin, She Who Lived Her Name, Mary of Providence (Westminster, MD 1948). m. c. buehrle, I Am on Fire: Blessed Mary of Providence (Milwaukee 1963). j. l. baudot and l. chaussin, Vies des saints et des bienheureux selon l'ordre du calendrier avec l'historique des fêtes, ed. by the Benedictines of Paris, 12 v. (Paris 193556); v. 13, suppl. and table générale (1959) 13:176182.

[m. c. buehrle]