Blessed Anne – Marie Rivier


Blessed Anne – Marie Rivier, the foundress of the PM Congregation, was born on December 19, 1768 in Montpezat, a village of Ardeche, France.

When she was 16 months old, she was crippled due to an accident. Belonging to a family with strong Christian traditions, her mother Marie-Anne Combe regularly brought her to the chapel and set her down at the feet of the Pieta. There she promised to spend her life and love of Jesus Christ if the Virgin Mary would cure her.

When she was 16 months old, she was crippled due to an accident. Belonging to a family with strong Christian traditions, her mother Marie-Anne Combe regularly brought her to the chapel and set her down at the feet of the Pieta. There she promised to spend her life and love of Jesus Christ if the Virgin Mary would cure her.

In 1786, at the age of 18, she put up a school for children but the school was closed down as church properties were confiscated during the French Revolution.

However, she met Monsignor Pontainer who became her spiritual adviser and who invited her to establish a school in Thueyts in 1793. Against all odds, her persistence proved successful, and on November 21, 1796, the feast of the Presentation of Mary in the Temple, Marie Rivier and her four (4) companions consecrated themselves to education of the youth.

It was almost an impossible dream come true for Marie Rivier as the Revolution was determined to crush the church of God. It was only her determination to be of service to God that propelled her to move on.

However, in 1804, French President Emile Combes forcibly closed the doors of the Congregation. But the school of Marie Rivier was too strong to die out. In 1852, the congregation threatened with extinction in France, found other homes in Canada and United States. And long before, the activities of the Presentation of Mary Sisters reached new venues and spread to many countries in the world.

The life of Marie Rivier and the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary have indeed become the fulfillment of a little girl´s wish: “Dear Mother, cure me and I will gather little ones around you. I´ll tell them to love you dearly.”

On May 23, 1981, Pope John Paul II signed a decree calling Marie Rivier “Blessed.”