Yvonne–Aimée de Jésus: February 2013 Archives

Mother Yvonne-Aimée de Jésus

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Dear readers, On this anniversary of the death of Mother Yvonne-Aimée de Jésus, you will want to learn about the Confraternity of Jesus, King of Love by reading the entry that Dom Benedict posted on our monastery website here.

The Anniversary of a Heavenly Friend

Yes, today is the 62nd anniversary of the death of one of my dearest heavenly friends: Mother Yvonne-Aimée de Jésus (Yvonne Beauvais), Augustinian Canoness, Hospitaller of the Mercy of Jesus, of the Monastery of Malestroit in Brittany, France. Born in 1901, Mother Yvonne-Aimée died at 49 years of age on 3 February 1951. On the very day of her death she was preparing to undertake a visitation of the monasteries of her Order in South Africa.

Beloved of Jesus

Mother Yvonne-Aimée's life was indescribably rich . . . in the most bitter sufferings and in the most astonishing charisms. From the time of her girlhood she knew of Our Lord's tender love for her. She believed in it. She trusted it, and she staked her life upon it. She was, in the truest sense of her name in religion, the Beloved of Jesus.

An Intercessor

Mother Yvonne-Aimée's intercession is powerful. From her place in heaven she is attentive to all the prayers addressed to her. She responds graciously, willingly, generously, and promptly to those who ask her for help. In a word, she is in heaven as she was on earth: a dispenser of tenderness, mercy, healing, and joy.

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Her Care for Priests

During her life, Mother Yvonne-Aimée had a particular mission to priests. She was sensitive to priests in moral distress and in temptation. She readily took on the sufferings of priests. She calmed many a troubled conscience, dispensed wise motherly advice, and communicated joy and hope to priests haunted by depression and tempted to despair.

The Impressions of Two Great Abbots

According to Mother Yvonne-Aimée's spiritual son, Father Paul Labutte, Dom Marie-Gabriel Sortais (1902-1963), Abbot General of the Trappist Order (O.C.S.O.) -- see his photo to the left -- considered her a great Superior who built all her work on the rock of faith. Dom Sortais remarked Mother Yvonne-Aimée's gift for pacifying and opening up souls; he kept her photo on his desk. The Abbot of Solesmes, Dom Germain Cozien (1921-1959), observed that Mother Yvonne-Aimée was marked by "the sense of prayer, of liturgical beauty, of praising God, in the school of the Church." And he added: "All the life of Mother Yvonne-Aimée was under the influence of God."

My Own Experience

Over twenty-five years ago, after having tried for a very long time, as most monks do, to practice the ceaseless prayer of the heart, providentially I came upon a biography of Mother Yvonne-Aimée, and learned of her Little Invocation, "O Jesus, King of Love, I put my trust in thy merciful goodness." One day, kneeling before the Blessed Sacrament without trying to think of anything in particular, I realized, to my surprise, that the prayer was repeating itself ceaselessly and effortlessly in my heart. I found myself praying the Little Invocation at every waking moment and even during the night, in a way similar to the practice of the "Jesus Prayer" by monks of the Eastern Church. Over the years, the grace of ceaseless prayer by means of the Little Invocation has not abated. It is always there: a gentle murmur of confidence bubbling up deep inside.

As a newly-ordained priest, I often gave the Little Invocation as penance to those who came to me for Confession. Individuals from all walks of life began attesting to the graces received: graces of inner healing, of victory over persistent and deeply rooted habits of sin, of trust in the mercy of Christ, and of a ceaseless prayer of the heart.

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The Little Invocation

O Jésus, Roi d'Amour,
j'ai confiance en ta miséricordieuse bonté.

O Jesus, King of Love,
I put my trust in thy loving mercy.

Mother Yvonne-Aimée received the inspiration of the Little Invocation in 1922. Immediately the invocation began to spread, first in certain communities of her own Order and among their hospital patients, and then on a wider scale. Before long, persons praying the Little Invocation began witnessing to the graces and favours they received. In 1932 the Bishop of Vannes, France, approved the prayer for his diocese. The following year, Pope Pius XI indulgenced it for the Augustinian Canonesses of the Mercy of Jesus, for their sick and for all those hospitalized in their health care facilities. Pope Pius XII renewed the favour, and on December 6, 1958, Pope John XXIII extended it to the universal Church.

Mother Yvonne-Aimée cherished the Little Invocation to Jesus, King of Love; she wanted to make it known and see it spread because such was Our Lord's own desire. In a letter requesting that Pope Pius XI indulgence the prayer, she wrote:

It is so sweet, so strong, so rich, this little invocation . . . This invocation is appreciated by the sick; it consoles them. They love this prayer because it appeals to the Kingship of Christ Jesus, to His Love, His Mercy, His Goodness; in some way, it compels us to trust. It condenses our familiar invocations to the Sacred Heart and sums them.

In 1927, Mother Yvonne-Aimée had little cards printed in order to spread the prayer. In 1940, during World War II, in order to make the prayer even better known and loved, she had a medal struck. She drew an image of the Child Jesus, King of Love, which has since been distributed around the globe. Her drawing is naive and sweet; let the art critics say what they will, it appeals to the little and the poor, to the weak and the fearful, and has a way of touching their hearts. Mother Yvonne-Aimée had but one aim: to draw souls to trust in the Heart of the Child King, to hope in His merciful goodness, and to abandon to Him all their worries, their fears, their cares, and even their sins.

About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

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