Time-line of life of Little Sister Magdeleine of Jesus (text only)


1898-1918 Childhood and Early Years

1898
Marie-Magdeleine Hutin is born in Paris on the 26th April. She is the youngest of six children. Her family from the Meuse in France,are deeply Christian.
Owing to the health and work of her father the family lived successively in Paris, Nantes, Bordeaux, Dax and Aix en Provence.
1902
She thought of religious life from an early age.
1907
She often spent her holidays in Seuzey, Meuse, with her grandmother, very close to the German border.
1914-1918
Two of her brothers died young and
Andrew and Jules were killed during the First World War.
1917
Her Sister Marie died of Spanish Flu and
this had a profound effect on Magdeleine.


1918-1936 A call through Brother Charles of Jesus. Preparation time.

1921
First Biography of Charles de Foucauld by Rene Bazin. Magdeleine found in the life of Charles the ideal she had been dreaming of.
1925
Death of her father. Magdeleine is the only support for her elderly mother.
1928-1936
Head of a private school in Nantes where as a child she had studied free of charge.


1936-1938 Departure for Algeria.

She leaves with her mother and Anne Cadoret, a young woman who shared her enthusiasm for North Africa. She sets up house at Boghari, a Muslim village south of Algiers at the invitation of Fr Leclerq.
1937
Opening of ‘the House of Charity of Father de Foucauld'.
1938
Pilgrimage to El Golea to the tomb of Father de Foucauld and first meeting with Father Voillaume.
She leaves Boghari and accepts Bishop Nouet's proposition to follow a time of noviciate with the White Sisters. After 6 months Bishop Nouet invites her to write the Rule of Life for the Little sisters of Jesus.


1939 The Foundation and first community of the Little Sisters of Jesus in Sidi Boujnan,Touggourt.

Situated near an artesian well, Sidi Boujnan was the meeting place for the nomads of the Region. Work on renovating the building which had been abandonned started with the help of men from the nearby zribas. It would become the work of everyone.They made friends with the nomads in the neighbouring tents.

1940-1942 The Tubet in Aix en Provence

1940
Foundation of the Tubet in Aix en Provence, a house offered to her by the Archbishop at Christmas. The first Novices.
1942
Magdeleine makes her final vows. The official recognition of the Little sisters by the Church.


1942–1945 The War continues.

Talks all over France with her little film about her love for her friends in Touggourt.
1944
Magdeleine brushes death in Grenoble where she is mistaken for a spy disguised as a religious. As a recompense she obtains passage in a military plane to Rome. Private audience with Pius XII who confirms her intuitions and encourages her for the future.

1945 Return to Touggourt.

Building and repair work to the house by the friends had never stopped. The Infant Jesus is given the place of honour.
1945
Little Sisters Magdeleine writes ‘the Green Booklet’ describing the way of life of the Little Sisters. A chapter on 'the Infant Jesus of the Manger and the Virgin Mary, his Mother, was added in 1951. She renews contact and confides in Fr Voillaume for the formation of the Little Sisters. Foundation of a community for formation at El Abiodh, Algeria, near the community of the Little Brothers.
1945
Bishop de Provencheres is named Bishop of Aix en Provence and he gives all his support to this new form of religious life.


1946-1952 Developpment of the Community and the setting in place of basic intuitions.

1946
Decision to extend the communities of the Little sisters of Jesus to every country, idea born while on retreat at La Sainte Bauume in France.
1946
Recognition of the Little Sisters of Jesus as a diocesan Congregation.
1946-1947
The first Communities involved in outside paid jobs:In 1946 Two Little sisters were employed at Zenith light bulb factory in Aix en Provence.In 1947 Little sister Magdeleine works in Pharmeceutical Factory making tablets in Marseille and in 1947in Algiers in a metal box factory.
1948
Foundations in the Middle East, inspired by her search to be among Arab Christians and enable the Communities to belong to the different Oriental Rites.
1949
Pilgrimage to Beni-Abbes with four Little sisters where they meet Mohammed, Br Charles’ companion, who looks after the hermitage of Br Charles.
Birth of the idea of Communities centered on Adoration.
1949
Bishop de Provencheres encouraged all Little Sister Magdeleine’s plans to become: 'a Worker among Workers, 'a Gypsy among Gypsies', by a sharing of life through friendship, as leaven in the dough'. First community among 'gypsies' living with them in a caravan.
1949
In Bethlehem Little sister Jeanne accepts to become General Sister in Charge. Little Sister Magdeleine remains Foundress and mother and is free to continue to prepare future foundations.
Spiritual childhood becomes the hallmark of the Little Sisters.
1950
Pilgrimage to Tamanrasset, Hoggar, where Br Charles had lived and to the Assekrem.
1950
First Tent community in El Abiodh.
1950
Journey to the Cameroons, across the desert, to prepare future foundations.


1951-1953 Spreading of the Communities.

1951
First Foundation in Rome at the Borgata Prenistina. Little sister Magdeleine wanted to be at the heart of the Church.
Foundations in Switzerland, Brazil, Morocco, the Middle East, Central Africa, India and Vietnam. By 1953 there are 100 communities with 300 little Sisters.


1953-1954 Journey round the world, crossing five continents in one year.

From Niger to Cameroons, East Africa, South Africa and West Africa.
By boat to South America and Mexico. On towards Martinique, Cuba, Haiti, North America up to Alaska.
From there to Asia; Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Vietnam.
On to Australia, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan,Iran and Turkey.


1956-1957 Journeys into Eastern Europe building friendship and preparing future foundations.

1956
Little Sister Magdeleiene in her van 'the Shooting Star' crossed into Yugoslavia, Hungary and Czechoslovakia. First communities are set up as in Poland. When on the roads of Eastern Europe she would carry her work on the Constitutions, wrapped in a red scarf which she called ‘the Mother House’.
1957
Little Sister Magdeleine decides to stay in Eastern Europe but unforseen circumstances obliged her to return among the Little Sisters in the West.


1956-1959 Tre Fontane

1956
Don Sortais, the General of the Trappists of Tre Fontane, Rome, welcomes the Little sisters to build their Generalate.Seminarians from the Roman Colleges help with the work.
1960
A great trial, the Apostolic Visit.
1961
On the first day of the week of Unity the visit was ends. Little Sister Magdeleine was confirmed in her role as foundress and mother of the Little Sisters.


1962-1965 The General house in Rome

The second Vatican council brings bishops from all over the world together and many visit Tre fontane.
1964
The Little Sisters of Jesus are recognized as being of Pontifical right and Tre fontane becomes officially the Generalate.
Opening of a house for parents of the Little Sisters in Tre fontane
1964
In Russia for the first time


1966-1972 New Projects

Creation of special groups of Communities: Among Nomads, Fairground Workers, Gypsies, in Circuses also among the Sick, Prisoners and Victims of prostitution and drugs.
1967
Touggourt, returning to North Africa after many years to see friends of the foundation days in El Abiodh and Touggourt.
1967
El Golea, on pilgrimage to the tomb of Br Charles.
1971
Decision to open the Community to welcome women from other Churches.
1971
Project for a community among 'the Hippies'.
1972
Little sister Magdeleine comes to Ireland and England.


1972-1980 Special Visits to Tre Fontane.

1973
Paul VI Surprise visit to Tre Fontane.
1985
John Paul II visits as Pope. He had visited many times when Bishop.
1971
Welcome of The Salvation Army.
1972
Br Roger of Taizé.
1972
Jean Vanier and pilgrims from L'Arche.
1974
Don Helda Camera of Brazil.
1975
Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
1977
Cardinal Can of Hanoi.
1978
Metropolitan Nikodim of Lenningrad.


1979-1988 Last Years

1979
Journey to the Republic of China
1980
Visit of Metropolitan Batholomew, the present Patriarch of Constantinople.
984
Death of bishop de Provencheres in the Tubet.
1988
Definitive approval of the Constitutions
1989
Chiara Lubich comes to Tre Fontane.
1989
Last visit to Russia three months before her death. Meeting with Fr Men from Russia in Moscow.
1989
Celebrating Fifty Years Celebrations since the Foundation in the Tubet.
1989 The final Meeting
Little sister Magdeleine dies on the 6th November in the little room prepared for young people travelling the roads.
Her funeral and farewell Mass take place in Tre fontane on the 10th November, the day the Berlin wall crumbles.