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Celebrating Rivier's Namesake

A message from Sister Paula Marie Buley, IHM, President

This past Sunday, the third Sunday of Advent, the scripture readings called on the Christian community to Rejoice—Gaudete, the light of Christmas is near.

Today, I offer the same message, Gaudete—Rejoice. The universal church has received word from Pope Francis that Blessed Anne Marie Rivier will be formally declared a saint.

The Rivier community rejoices with the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary that their foundress and our University namesake is now formally recognized for her holiness of life and apostolic zeal especially among the poor and vulnerable.

Born in 1768 in Montpezat, France, Blessed Anne Marie Rivier was devoutly religious throughout her life, especially during the time of the French Revolution in which religious activities were outlawed. Limited in physical stature, she demonstrated a boundless and courageous energy in service of the Gospel.

Catholic tradition has a rich understanding of saints. Simply stated, the saints form a “family album” representing men and women of every age and in every place who have brought forth an understanding of God’s presence in the world. In the early church, women saints were most often martyrs who gave themselves in witness to the Christian faith. In the Middle Ages, saints included women mystics who through their prayer and understanding of scripture led others to lives of holiness. In most recent times, saintly women have been identified for their apostolic zeal, their commitment to the poor and suffering, and for their practical works in education, healthcare, and social services.

This moment is truly one of Gaudete for our University community as now Saint Anne Marie Rivier will continue to inspire us through her life of transformation and service. We look forward to sharing in celebration when the date of the canonization is announced.


Sister Paula Marie Buley, IHM
Rivier University