We were happy to welcome a new icon of St. Jeanne Jugan just before the celebration of her first feast day as a Saint. “Written” by Mr. George Pinecross and his son Sergio, the icon beautifully represents Jeanne Jugan with her eyes seemingly fixed on “the things that are above,” while at the same time making her daily rounds to beg for the poor, a symbol of the union between the active and contemplative life of a Little Sister of the Poor.
In the Byzantine rite of the Catholic Church, icons are blessed and consecrated. Father James Morris, a Byzantine priest and pastor of St. John the Baptist church in Salem, graciously accepted the invitation to bless and consecrate the icon. Mr. & Mrs. Pinecross and their son Sergio were also present, which added to the solemnity of the moment.”
After several introductory explanations, Fr. Morris began the prayer service, “Blessed is our God always now and forever and ever. Amen.” He then proceeded behind the icon and “consecrated” it with Holy Oils. Finally, he invited each of us to come forward and venerate the icon by bowing before it and kissing it. Afterwards the icon was hung in the chapel for all to venerate.
Father Morris had told us that in the Byzantine rite, standing before an icon actually brings one before the saint it represents. How blessed we felt to be standing in the presence of Saint Jeanne Jugan! We were so moved by the prayer service and the realization that we now have this awesome, holy presence of Saint Jeanne Jugan in our midst, calling us to deeper prayer and union with our very own Saint!