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† Sr. Victoria GARNIER sscc (France)


   At the funeral of Sr. Victoria Garnier, on the 29th September 2008, Sr. Jeanne Cadiou recounted her life through the image of bridges.
   “Many of those who are here this afternoon, and many other people – in particular the members of her family – are close at this moment through the prayer and affection, knowing the love that Sr. Victoria had for bridges. She had a collection and not too long ago she gave these hundreds of cards and photographs to her brother. A symbol that fitted her like a glove.
   From where did this passion for bridges come?
   Would it be from Frontonas, where she was born on the 12th October 1924?
   Would it be her coming to the capital, to enter the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts on the eve of her 20th birthday and to make profession in February 1946?

   There are also bridges in Larajasse, in Chartres and in Laval, these towns and villages where she was sent to teach for a good thirty years.
   And then, she had to span other bridges to go to the mission in Mende before returning to Paris and Boissy St Léger in the region of Paris.
   In 2002 the last bridge was crossed: Sr. Victoria arrived at the “Grand’Maison” to rest. In fact, regarding the rest, for a long time she wanted to help and support her sisters who could not help themselves, until the moment arrived when she needed to be helped.
   The bridges in the life of Sr. Victoria are a community in themselves, a vast community. We remember some of them:
  • The bridges that separate : leaving one’s family is never easy…
  • Bridges that unite : wherever she went, Sr. Victoria established strong relationships which remained solid throughout the years…. Many of the bridges in her life were the means of making it easier to cross from one bank to the other, thanks to the intensity of her relationships.
  • There were suspension bridges and city bridges, entrances courageously and simply lived in the great silence of acceptance of suffering.
  • There were fragile bridges, improvised and born of the need of a rough crossing to the other bank.
  • There were picturesque bridges, great bridges of stone or ornamental bridges, but also charming little bridges covered with flowers, her signs of friendship that she gave with such generosity.
    And then, in the life of Sr. Victoria, something always flowed beneath the bridges of her life… in the company of the small children and the poor whom she cherished especially… With the generosity of her heart she opened them up to the magnitude of the world.
   Our dear Sister was often on the bridge to contemplate the landscape and she found it good and comforting to see the two banks at the same time. Today, she has crossed the last bridge, that which Christ, her Lord built for ever between God and ourselves… This 26th September, she went to join many friends and all the living, she now shares with them Joy and Light.”
   Good bye, Sr. Victoria and from our hearts we thank you for your life well lived. We entrust you to the prayers of all our brothers and sisters.
Sr Marie-Hélène Granjon et Sr Marie-Sylvie Maurin