Her message

Love is stronger than suffering

The claim that love is stronger than everything has almost become a slogan. But when it is a question of practising love in a tangible way to the point of transcending suffering, we often find ourselves at a loss. Indeed, suffering can become so pervasive that it is hard to imagine that such a thing is possible. Yet this is what Marthe Robin experienced and practised.

« She was screaming. The poor girl was suffering so much that I heard her screaming all the time. We didn't dare to approach her bedside because she was screaming so much, the poor girl. What's more, her pain continued through the day and night. She said to me, 'If you put me in the boiling laundry, the pain could not be worse». These few lines from Marthe Robin's niece, describing the first phase of the encephalitis of the young woman, give us an idea of the intensity of the pain that she endured. The paralysis, which claimed her body little by little, did not make her insensitive to the pain, quite the reverse. It seems hard to imagine just how she could have borne such suffering for more than sixty years without losing her mind. Especially since we know with certainty that, far from diminishing, the sufferings of Marthe only intensified throughout her life.

Confronted with the absurdity of suffering

So, Marthe really experienced the hell of physical and moral suffering. Yet for her, this suffering was a path of love. Creating a link between suffering and love seems outrageous, yet, when the suffering is so bad and there is no way of relieving it with medicine, you try, by any means to find a purpose to the pain that could make it worth living. Without a purpose, the only option is to seek death. Marthe was not spared from this temptation: « I feel physically and morally broken, and would be much better in the ground than above it », she wrote during those years of great emptiness preceding her surrender to God.

The way of the Cross, a source of joy

So, in Marthe, we have a credible witness of the power of love. She is not a theologian who is making the claim that suffering can be transcended by love from the comfort of her office. She experienced it beyond what is humanly conceivable. To understand this, we must turn to the One who is Marthe's ultimate model: Jesus Christ. The gospels show us that Jesus could have avoided the punishment that he had been promised at certain very specific moments. What's more, the very same Gospels state that this would have been a great temptation. But out of love for mankind, which he was saving by his sufferings and death, he accepted to drink the cup to the last drop.

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Marthe simply followed a path shown by Christ: that salvation is obtained by the Cross, and that we, like Christ, must sacrifice ourselves for the souls of sinners. This may seem morbid and terrifying, yet Christ promised that this difficult path would be a source of great happiness. And Marthe also experienced this great joy, because she was no more a masochist than we are.

By uniting her sufferings with those of Christ, Marthe did not stop suffering. However, those who came to see her, expecting to meet a poor woman to be pitied, quickly forgot their preconceived ideas. In fact, she received them with extreme care and attention and in a very joyful and loving way; it was not uncommon to hear her laugh!

To those who were surprised by this, Marthe herself would say:« First, your mood can affect everything around you for good or bad; then, you can give your heart, soul and kindness. One thing always remains and it is within everyone's grasp: the joy of others...
Giving a little peace, courage, hope and prompting a smile, all these are acts of grace and there is no need to be on your feet or healthy to accomplish them. On the contrary, nothing is more understanding than great pain.
»

Giving a little peace, courage, hope and prompting a smile, all these are acts of grace and there is no need to be on your feet or healthy to accomplish them. On the contrary, nothing is more understanding than great pain.

“My life is a cross, but a cross of love”

It was God who gave Marthe the strength to conceal the pain she was in from her visitors. The secret of this wonder lies not in Marthe's will, but in her trust in Jesus: « As [...] the suffering increases and becomes more difficult, I feel my trust become more intense. Jesus, yes, Jesus alone is my sweet and constant hope […]. Nothing can separate me from his love. » She also said the following phrase that is full of meaning: « My life is a cross, but a cross of love... a cross of delights, because suffering with Jesus is no longer suffering. » Many people who suffer throughout the world know that, when a friend holds your hand in adversity, it is easier to bear. For Marthe, the friend was Jesus himself, and it was not only her hand that he took, but her whole being, as evidenced by the stigmata of the Passion which demonstrated the deep union between them.

From the girl who cried out in pain, a pain that nothing could relieve, to the elderly disabled lady going beyond her suffering so as to be entirely given up to those who came to see her, the testimony of Marthe's life therefore brings us an extraordinary message of hope: God does not shy away from making even the most abject human situation fruitful, and he makes it a place of deep consolation for a whole multitude.

Discover
Prayers, words and writtings of Marthe Robin Read the “Journal”

Le cheminement intérieur de Marthe Robin est dévoilé grâce à la publication de son "Journal". Découvrez-le en ligne...

Un rayonnement immense Des prophéties de Marthe Robin sur la France ?

Entretien avec le père Bernard Peyrous, historien et postulateur de sa Cause de béatification...

Beatification Marthe Robin declared “venerable” by Pope Francis

Une étape essentielle vers une possible béatification...

Her message Rekindling the love that is dying out in the world

« Je t’ai choisie pour ranimer dans le monde l’Amour qui s’éteint », dira le Christ à Marthe. Elle-même...

Prayers, words and writtings of Marthe Robin Prayer of Marthe Robin: O beloved Mother

Ô Mère Bien-Aimée, vous qui connaissez si bien les voies de la Sainteté et de l’Amour, apprenez-nous...

Immense influence Marthe, the Second Vatican Council and the vocation of each baptised person

« Marthe Robin peut être considérée comme une sorte de sage-femme ayant participé à la naissance (…) »

Her message The unconditional love of God for every individual

Les milliers de témoignages concernant la façon dont Marthe accueillait ceux qui venaient la voir sont unanimes...

Her life Complete chronology

Principales dates de la vie de Marthe Robin (1902-1981)

Her legacy The Foyers de Charité

La création des Foyers de Charité repose sur la rencontre de Marthe Robin et d’un prêtre, le père Georges Finet, en 1936. Aujourd’hui présents dans une quarantaine de pays, les Foyers de Charité...

God, a loving and compassionate Father St Thérèse, a “big sister” for Marthe Robin

Entre Marthe Robin et Sainte Thérèse de Lisieux, il existe une relation si forte qu'on peut parler d'amitié ou de parenté spirituelle...

The communities linked to Marthe Robin VIDEO : “Une prophète pour aujourd’hui !” Père Nicolas Buttet (Communauté Eucharistein)

The communities linked to Marthe Robin VIDEO : "Une prophète pour aujourd'hui !"...

Testimony Sophie Guex : Comment se déroulaient les “passions” de Marthe Robin ?

[VIDEO] Les carnets du père Faure nous permettent de retracer les "Passions" vécues par Marthe Robin...

The essentials about Marthe Robin
Nothing predisposed this young woman of the Drôme countryside to become one of the central figures of the spiritual renewal of the Church in France. She radiated with a love that transfigured her life that spanned the 20th century.
"I have chosen to rekindle the love that is dying out in the world". These words of Christ to Marthe Robin summarise her mission, which is to reveal the unconditional love of God for everyone.
Marthe Robin's legacy is immense. It lives on today through many communities and movements in the Church, but more particularly across the world through the Foyers de Charité.
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Diary
Groupe de prières Prier à Paris avec Marthe Robin Paroisse Saint Christophe de Javel (Paris)
Groupe de prières Prier à Paris avec Marthe Robin Paroisse Saint Christophe de Javel (Paris)
Veillée Marthe Robin Veillée Espérance avec Marthe Robin dans le cadre du Festival Marial Notre Dame du Laus (F - 05 130 Saint-Etienne-le Laus), à 20h30
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