Vowed life—one heart, one soul with Jesus
Encountering Christ in prayer and serving him in the poor with love—this is the life of a Little Sister of the Poor!
By our profession of the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience we offer God our heart and affections, our personal talents and gifts, our possessions and our will—all that we are and have—for his glory and the salvation of souls. In this way we live out St. Paul’s challenge to the early Christians to offer their whole being as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God.
Our fourth vow of hospitality perfects the gift of ourselves to God and brings our religious consecration into the concrete realities of everyday life. It gives a spiritual value to the many humble tasks of hospitality performed throughout the day, and enables us to communicate to our elderly Residents God’s compassion and merciful love.
Saint Jeanne Jugan learned from Saint John Eudes that “religious consecration means to make profession of having but one life, one heart, one soul and one will with Jesus.” She summed it all up so simply—“All for you, my Jesus!” This is our life’s goal as we strive to be conformed to the mind and heart of Christ, so that we may do what is God’s will, what is good, pleasing and perfect (cf. Rom 12:1–2).
Our consecrated life is lived in the heart of the Church as a public, corporate witness to God’s Provident love, and to the humility and merciful love of the heart of Christ.
We wear our religious habit as a reminder to ourselves that we belong totally to God, as a sign and witness to others of our consecration and of God’s presence in the world, and as a concrete means of living our vow of poverty. Our habit is black with a gray veil. During the warmest months and when at home caring for the sick or doing other hands-on tasks, we may wear a white habit. Our crucifix, worn under our habit, bears the words of Jesus in Saint Matthew’s Gospel: “I am gentle and humble of heart.”
“It is a great grace God has given you in calling you to serve the poor … What happiness for us, to be a Little Sister of the Poor!” – Saint Jeanne Jugan