A Life that went beyond all Borders

Political borders

Marked by this experience of her childhood, Little Sister Magdeleine always strove to find the borders between peoples and countries that prevent people from meeting each other. She accepted obstacles only when she was sure that they were willed by God. In each country she sought and found the borders which, in one way or another, cut them in half or separated them from other countries. We could say that it was almost a vocation for her to destroy all barriers in order to promote reconciliation and equality among peoples.

She was very aware of the need for tact in certain situations. For her, having taken sides in a milieu - for example, the workers' milieu - did not mean ignoring the other side,

'for as long as we remain on only one side of the barrier, the problem will not be solved - we need opportunities for blending even if that at first creates friction'.

Or as she said:

'Put yourself generously on the side of Blacks but do not put yourself with them against Whites. Do not pass thoughtlessly from one side of the barrier to the other...'
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1949 Jerusalem1949 Jerusalem

A few examples from the first years of foundation prove her sensitivity before all that creates boundaries and shows her efforts to overcome them.

In Jerusalem, the city that war has cut in half, she wanted to found two communities: one among the Palestinians, the other among the Jews.

In Lebanon two communities began at the same time in two different villages that profound hostilities had separated for generations.


In South Africa she found a street where Blacks lived on one side and Whites on the other - the only way to resist apartheid.

'Here, our vocation to want to demolish every barrier in order to promote reconciliation and equality among races is like a living contradiction and like a challenge.'