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151st anniversary of the martyrdom of our four Brothers from France

On May 26, we celebrated the 151st anniversary of the martyrdom of our four Brothers from France: Ladislas, Polycarp, Marcellin and Frézal, shot during the Paris Commune in 1871. This year's celebrations had a unique character, as it was the first celebration following the official recognition by Pope Francis of their martyrdom, which took place on November 25, 2021. Preparations are currently underway for the solemn beatification of the Martyrs of Picpus, which is planned for next spring. The exact date will be announced at a later date, once it has been approved by the Secretariat of State of the Holy See and the new Archbishop of Paris.

The main jubilee celebrations, organized by the brothers of the French Province, took place in Paris and had the form of a full-day coach pilgrimage to places associated with the life, service and martyrdom of our Venerable Servants of God. Over 70 people from Paris and Montgeron, including brothers and sisters of the Congregation, participated in the joint pilgrimage. The organizer of the pilgrimage was Fr. Gabriel Phalip, and the program included the following points:

- Prayer to begin the pilgrimage in the Chapel of Picpus with reflection by fr. Bernard Couronne SSCC entitled: "Picpus, Terre d’Evangile".

- Departure to Issy-les-Moulineaux, where the novitiate of the Congregation had been located, in which Fr. Ladislas Radigue served; he was, inter alia, one of the formators of St. Damien de Veuster. After a short video-presentation of the place, Fr. Gabriel Phalip SSCC gave a conference on the theme "Tous appelés au Martyre?"

- Onwards to the Parish of Notre Dame des Otages, the place of the martyrdom of our Brothers. The stay in this special place lasted almost 4 hours. At that time, the participants of the pilgrimage listened to a conference given by Br. Antoine Mennecier SSCC entitled "Picpus et les Picpuciens otages de la Commune de Paris".  After the conference they visited the place of execution of the Martyrs, the story of which was told by the Parish Priest, Fr. Stephane Mayor. There was also time to pray together with the Religious of St. Vincent  de Paul in the moat, into which the bodies of the people shot were thrown.

- The focal point of the celebrations was the solemn Eucharist celebrated in the Picpus Chapel, presided over by Mgr. Jean-Yves Riocreux, Bishop Emeritus of Pontoise et de Basse-Terre (Guadeloupe). He is  from the same region as the future blessed Marcellin Rouchouze. The Holy Mass was preceded by a visit to the tomb of our Founders at the Picpus Cemetery, which contains the mortal remains of the Venerable Servants of God: Ladislas, Polycarpe, Marcellin and Frézal. After a short prayer and greeting the participants of the eucharistic assembly, with the singing of the Litany to the All Saints, started the procession to the Picpus Chapel, where the Eucharist continued. The last element of the liturgical celebration was a prayer in front of the statue of Notre Dame de Paix which had been placed  on the altar and which was later used to give an individual blessing to the participants of the Holy Mass.

After the end of the spiritual feast, all those gathered went to the garden in Picpus, where, after a full  day of pilgrimage, they were able to physically strengthen themselves at the tables set in abundance.

Link to the photo gallery: https://bit.ly/3wWlGmg