The following is an excerpt from a biography of Blessed Jeanne Jugan, foundress of the Little Sisters of the Poor. Her canonization is scheduled for October 11th together with Fr. Damien of Molokai.
Less than three years after this foundation, Jeanne and her companions moved down the street into their first house. Their new home was spacious, built around a courtyard large enough to make a proper dormitory. That same day six more women joined the group; many more would soon follow.
To support this growth, Jeanne devoted herself to begging. One young visitor to the new house wrote, “I saw Jeanne Jugan. She greeted me and my grandmother with a kind smile as she was preparing to go out collecting. Over her arm she put her basket, already such a well-known sight all over town. The old women called her Sister Jeanne. ‘Sister Jeanne,’ they would say, ‘do our job properly for us. Collect for us.’ Jeanne would lean over them and listen to a few more whispered instructions; she smiled at them. She left them promptly, for she did things quickly, yet she never gave the impression of hurrying or being hurried.”
One day she rang the doorbell of a rich man notorious for his miserliness and persuaded him to donate a sizable gift. The next day she called again; at this he became very angry. She simply smiled and said, “Sir, my poor were hungry yesterday, they are hungry again today, and tomorrow they will be hungry too.” The man became a regular benefactor of Jeanne’s works.
You can read more of this biography here.
Our Lady, Mother of the Poor, pray for us!