|Little Sisters of the Poor from the Baltimore, Brooklyn, and Chicago provinces with the president of Franciscan University and the Minister Provincial of the Sacred Heart Province receive the 2014 Poverello Medal.|
The Little Sisters of the Poor, who “through their vocation wish to give quiet witness to the dignity of every human life, until the very end,” were recently awarded the Franciscan University of Steubenville's highest non-academic award, the Poverello Medal.
Named after Franciscan University's patron, Saint Francis of Assisi, who was known as “Il Poverello,” (the little poor man), Sr. Loraine Maguire, provincial superior of the Baltimore province, said, "I see in this medal the symbol of all the things that matter: to be poor, little, humble, and merciful to all those we serve; to treat others as Christ himself, and to live in a manner that reflects his very life."
The main address of the evening was given by Sr. Constance Veit, LSP, national communications director for the congregation. She recounted how Saint Francis of Assisi was horrified by lepers at first and that this same journey "from self to other" was taken by their French foundress, Jeanne Jugan.
Veit reminded the crowd that the elderly, who will represent 19 percent of the U.S. population by 2030, "have become the contemporary outcasts" of society. "I urge you to fight against the tendency to marginalize and abandon the elderly, to commit what the pope refers to as 'hidden euthanasia,'" she said.