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Marie de la Trinité, a talented person

Marie de la Trinité was a very gifted person. No doubt, she received a rich life and education from her family, who was well off, and fervent catholics.

Family pictures show her painting, playing music. During 3 years, she studied art portrait. She also passed the Red Cross Nurse certificat, and her driving licence, which was very rare in those days for ladies!

She played the organ, the flute, she knew gregorian music and had a good knowledge in canonic rights.
She learnt biblical hebrew and greek. The Jewish Association delivered her a certificate. She could speak english, german, italian. She wrote a very useful reading Bible guide, printed in 56 000 copies, translated in spanish and portuguese.

But when Marie de la Trinité joined the religious life, it was marked by a certain ambiguity.
She wished to live a contemplative life. Yet, her spiritual director, Father Jean-Marie Perier, o.p., persuaded her to join an apostolic life instead, in the ‘Dominicaines Missionnaires des Campagnes’ (Order of Saint Dominic’s Preachers: o. p.).

Between Mother Marie de Saint Jean, who founded the congregation, and Sister Marie de la Trinité, there will always be a strong friendship, strengthened by the grace received on the 11th august 1929 during a retreat in Champagne-sur-Loue.

In 1930, the congregation isn’t yet officially recognized, neither by the Dominican Order nor even by the local bishop. The nuns don’t wear a religious habit and there are no constitutions. Marie de la Trinité is associated to this new project before her entry, to write down the constitutions and the suitable rules for the nuns. She studies the canonical laws, the dominican habits, with the help of Father Perier. She also helps Marie de Saint Jean with her latin translations.

As she’s showing a wise personality and a very practical approach of things, she’s more and more solicitated to give her help in different airies. When, in 1931, the congregation leaves Champagne-sur-Loue for Ricey-Bas, she takes charge of the moving arrangements. At the same time, she’s already Marie de Saint Jean’s secretary and chauffeur.

On september 1932, she makes her religious profession, and she becomes the general assistant of the congregation, then in 1933, she becomes the novices’ mistress. These two heavy burdens don’t stop her implication in the other convent’s current tasks, with all their problems to solve. More: in spite of her intense activity, she finds time to write many different articles, for the dominican reviews.

After 10 years, the foundation seems to be on good way, so Marie de la Trinité can at last pray, and practice retreats and meditation. During 3 years, she will write no less than 35 spiritual notebooks (3 250 pages) explaining the luminous and clear revelations she receives when she’s in prayer.

But physical and mental exhaustion cause deep damages on her health. For 10 years, she will receive and suffer various, and sometimes dangerous, treatments.
They will not stop her: she continues her studies (greek, hebrew, catechism), she meets various personalities in the religious and intellectual spheres. She’s still very involved with the life of her congregation: in 1953-1954, she works on the constitutions again, and she writes for the review “Notre vie”.

Her relationship with the famous psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan will be a very important experience, for both of them. Lacan says that her mystical devotion has been a mere inspiration for him, and a greater help than scientific books.

Marie de la Trinité has acquired a knowledge in analytic treatments, and it helps her to understand that when religious life is in full crisis, it needs a psychological answering. She follows a psychotherapist formation, and she’s soon admitted as a competent and wise person. She’s able to make some interventions, including during the International Congress of Psychology in Rome (1958).

Yet, when Mother Marie de Saint Jean calls her back to Flavigny’s convent, Marie de la Trinité changes her plans again, and both of them devote their time to the necessary works concerning the archives of the congregation.

During her later years, Marie de la Trinité will come back to her precious spiritual notebooks. The ink has faded! So, she starts a new colossal task: she types them, without any insurance of what will happen of her manuscripts after her death, in 1980.

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