Official website of the Anne Guigné’s Friends Association

A child starts by receiving. Everything is given to him and everything is possible.

Anne de Guigné, on both her father’s and mother’s side, comes from ancient families, faithful to the traditions of nobility and honour and reared in a spiritual background of a rare quality which was continually being enriched. By her mother she descended in direct line from the king Saint Louis; and on her father’s side she came from an old family who originated in Picardy in the 15th century and moved to the Reunion Island at the beginning of the 18th century. We would not have mentioned this natural ascendance had it not been accompanied by an equally remarkable spiritual ascendance which made this family an ideal place for the blossoming of grace.

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Madame de Guigné once said this about Anne: “Nothing extraordinary marked her birth, life and death were it not for the fact that while I was expecting her, I made great efforts to put into practice something my father-in-law once said to me: ‘If you want to have a perfect child, you must practice the virtues you wish her to practice later on’; and I certainly tried harder for her than I did for the others.”

As an echo to this confidence, Anne wrote in her diary: “All that is true, beautiful and good, all that I learnt on my mother’s knees.” This short sentence alone reveals to us the importance of the influence of the patient and monotonous everyday life on the child and shows us the impact of the early education given by the family the challenge, the risks and the price of which can never be praised enough, as John-Paul II underlined in several of his apostolic exhortations.

However, if heredity, atmosphere and Christian education favour the choice of the path to saintliness, they remain merely the influencing factors, for saintliness is a reciprocal gift in which man offers himself after having received and accepted the strength which was lacking in him to approach the image of God and without which, he would be left with only his own image.

Anne de Guigné, who had received much, was a difficult child whose successful conversion owed, not only a great deal to what she had received from her family, but also, essentially, the grace she had received from God and her will to answer to it.

 

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