The Little Sisters of the Poor, is an international congregation of Pontifical Right.
Currently, 1,641 Little Sisters, including those in formation, and 1,286 members of the Association of Jeanne Jugan are taking care of 9,340 elderly people, 290 priests, 15 bishops, and 38 religious brothers in 159 nursing homes in over 31 countries around the world. Korea, along with Taiwan, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and the Philippines, belongs to the Far East Province.
There are 4 homes in Korea : Seoul, Suwon, Jeonju, and Damyang.
In 2023, the Little Sisters of the Poor will mark the 50th anniversary of the reception of the Elderly in Korea.
Jeanne Jugan (1792~1879)
God does not see with the same eyes as ours. He knows that all are the clay created by His hands. He also knows that anyone can become a saint. It is His issue whether the clay is fine or coarse, not ours. All He asks of us is to see in our neighbors and even ourselves as God has made us.
No one is born with everything. What is truly mysterious is the appearance of us living led by God's hand, just as the clay in the hands of a potter and is in the beauty of being completed. The saint Jeanne Jugan, the foundress of the Congregation of the Little Sisters of the Poor, lived a life of obedience like a handful of clay in the hands of the Creator. She dedicated her life to the poor and marginalized elderly and was able to say, “I no longer see anything but God,” at the end of her life. Finally, she herself became a work created in accordance with God's will.
As a child, she went through all sorts of tribulations, but she developed a strong faith in herself. When she had grown up and it was time for her to marry, a young man proposed to her twice. But she said, “God wants me for Himself. He wants me for a work that is not yet known or founded,” and thus refusing his proposal. It wasn't clear what the work for her was, but she felt a calling other than to do something for human beings. She did not give up on that uncertain calling. One cold winter day, when she was 47, she found an elderly, blind, and partially paralyzed woman, who had fallen down while begging, and carried her home on her back, let her have her bed, and cared for her as if her own mother. The work made her aware of the calling. From this beginning arose a religious congregation called the Little Sisters of the Poor. Jeanne Jugan, however, was forced out of her leadership role by the unjust decision of a priest who had joined in the founding Congregation. As she withdrew from her own work and went through a long period of silence for 27 years, she was fully participated in the mystery of the salvation of Jesus Christ in littleness and humility. She had lived a life of responding with perfect love to God, who told her to give up completely what she had and to become His own work. For a single grain of wheat to falls to the ground and sprout.