Father Emile Geara found the social welfare of the Young Girl of Lebanon before the congregation of the Missionary Sisters of the Very Holy Sacrament. He wanted this religious congregation to be a virtuous humanitarian organization which always take care over the management and continuity of the institution that he founded for the education and the good training of the Lebanese girl, to whom it is necessary to provide religious, moral and social educational needs, as well as scientific and technical skills.
Driven by his deep love and adoration to the Very Holy Sacrament, he decided to sow the Eucharist among all people, especially since this Sacrament is not loved as it deserves, because it is not known as it should be.
Thus, he had the idea of founding a religious congregation with the name of the Holy Sacrament.
On February 21, 1956, Father Emile GEARA met the most Reverend Patriarch Paul-Pierre MEOUCHI, and clearly exposed his intention to found a new religious congregation. His Beatitude was deeply interested and promised to take care of this matter, while means and the opportune moment will be available… Eight girls among the teachers and students of the social welfare expressed their deep desire to consecrate to God, in the Eucharistic congregation that Father Emile wanted to found.
As early as 1962, the Patriarch entrusted the mission of guiding the young girls who desired to consecrate and preparing them to this life and all the responsibilities that await them to R.F. Capuchin Moussa Zoghbi.
On December 26, 1963, R. Father Moussa, as chaplain, presented to the Patriarch, at the request of His Beatitude, a detailed report and he expressed his satisfaction regarding the good intentions of the eight aspirants who will be the bedrock of the new congregation named “Missionary Sisters of the Very Holy Sacrament”, and he listed the congregation goals on the level of services to the Lebanese village and inhabitants.
At the beginning of the year 1964, the Patriarch entrusted to the Bishop “Youhanna CHEDID” the task of accomplishing everything needed to legally initiate the foundation of the congregation. At that time, there was an urgent need to find a sister who could teach the novices. The founder tells “Sadly, we’ve been moving, Father Moise and me, since a year, across different Lebanese regions, visiting all the religious superiors of the congregations, national or foreign and asking one of their religious sisters to help us with the foundation. “Some of them refused, others apologized politely or agreed to impose unacceptable conditions … Finally, Bishop Elias FARAH advised him to go to the source: to Rome or elsewhere … And here, all doors will be opened “Since no one has been disappointed by counting on God”
On November 1, 1964, Father Emile GEARA left to Rome counting on God, who inspired him to take with him a French agenda with the names of the all the congregations in the world.
Father Emile selected from this agenda the name of congregation of “Franciscan Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart” able to have an appointment with the superior of the convent on November 4, 1964. After the meeting, the superior of this congregation “Sister Tarcizia Bracalé” agreed to send two sisters to Lebanon to help found the congregation.
On December 19, 1964, the Apostolic See authorized the departure of the two nuns to Lebanon.
On January 21, 1965, Mother Marie Nicodème Gemin and Sister Marie Joséphine Ibrahimi arrived to Lebanon, to Ain Warka, accompanied by Reverend Mother Superior. Mother Marie Nicodème officially started her mission as “teacher of Novices”, helped by Sister Marie Josephine, who gave the novices a solid spiritual formation adequate to their mission, which they will one day apply in the rural areas.
It was on May 31, 1965 when his Beatitude St Paul-Pierre MAOUCHI, sought the authorization of the Apostolic See for the foundation of the new Eucharistic Congregation. The latter wanted to give great interest to the subject in order to achieve, as soon as possible, his desired wish. Father Emile left to Rome and presented the constitutions relating to the congregation. Those in charge received the constitutions and studied them.
On Wednesday, September 17, 1965, Father GEARA obtained the favor of being received in audience by His Holiness Pope Paul VI, who blessed him and the congregation.
The Holy Father ends the audience with his paternal encouragement, and while blessing Father GEARA, he utters these words: “Receive, dear Son, my paternal blessing, for you, and all the souls that are dear to you and to your ministry “.
Before returning to Lebanon on October 17, 1965, he was promised by the Vatican to quickly study his request and to grant him the foundation permission as soon as possible.
Day after day, the year 1966 passed … But unfortunately, an obstacle aroused: the Superior Mother of the convent Saint Francis realized that the stay of the two sisters in Lebanon will be delayed. She sent a letter in the end of the spring of 1966, and expressed that the two sisters needed to return, in case the legal foundation of the congregation does not start as soon as possible.
Once again, Father Emile left to Rome on July 16, 1966. While arriving to the Vatican, he met the Bishop responsible for the Congregation’s file, who exclaimed “Here is Father GEARA! Enormous are your expenses, father, to come to Rome! ”
He answered frankly: “The reason behind my visit is your delay in carrying out the transactions of our congregation …”
He informed him of the decision of the Superior Mother who wanted her sisters to return because of their delay. Thus, the Monseigneur understood the seriousness of the situation. With a look of anxiety, he told him, “If you are able to stay a week in Rome, I will be ready to give you the permission and the fees of the congregation without any delay …” And he added” what matters now is to meet the Mother Superior to assure her that the transactions are already ready … ”
No sooner said than done, and the mother superior relinquished her intention to bring back the sisters! Father Emile said “I felt peace and gratefulness filled my heart, and Providence showed me, once again, that it was up to her to do everything, and obstacles and difficulties that hurdle our path encourage me to believe and trust in God’s ability … and that the Crosses we carry are the path to guide us towards victory. ”
Father Emile spent his waiting days in visiting the sacred places of Italy in order to be blessed and to devote himself to the prayer and thanking God for all his gifts. He started by visiting Assisi, the country of Francis the Great.
Thursday morning, July 21, 1966, he celebrated mass in an old small chapel named since the time of St. Francis “Precionchella” and in which St Francis had founded his three religious congregations.
The Divine Providence has been revealed as the following:
– The subject of the Gospel that day was Jesus’ prayer during the night and his choice of his twelve apostles the next day.
– The Epistles spoke of talents: “God wanted some to be missionaries, others to be apostles and others teachers …”
– Thursday was the day of the Eucharist.
– The church was the place of foundation of St. Francis congregations.
While returning to Rome and arriving at the Vatican, he found that the license of the foundation of the Congregation of the Very Holy Sacrament came out on July 21: that is to say on the same date when he celebrated Mass at St Francis Church.
Sunday, July 24, Father Emile visited the Church of Our Miraculous Lady of Bombei, to whom the novices had prayed novenas for about three years. The latter had asked her to visit them so they have the opportunity to thank her. What is most touching is that the archpriest asked him to celebrate the Eucharist on the great altar of Our Lady, while Father Emile feared not to find a free altar, since it was Sunday and people around the world visited the place It was a heavenly favor and a grace that they allowed him to enjoy charities of the Blessed Virgin and earn her blessings.
September 14, 1966, Reverend Mgr. Jean Chedid, Maronite Patriarchal Vicar, went to Ain-Warka and gave the religious habit to the first eight novices of the congregation “Missionary Sisters of the Very Holy Sacrament”, during a solemn mass, at the request of his Beatitude and in collaboration with the founding Father and he declared :
Reverend Father, dear sons,
“For years, the public of this convent has been waiting for a special grace from God through the ecclesiastical authorities. Many years have passed and the day has finally arrived. We are here to put the religious habit on the eight Lord’s daughters, who have shown the good will to join Christ, having waited between fear and hope, until hope has triumphed.
Today, these girls take the religious habit of the novices.
By virtue of the power vested to me by His Beatitude, our Father, the Patriarch, St Paul-Pierre MAOUCHI, I give the religious habit to eight of the Servants of Christ, thus founding one more Congregation in the Lord’s field and will work zealously in the service of God, the Church and Lebanon.
The present crowd is well acquainted with the meaning of the monastic life: it consists of following the steps of the Savior on a narrow path, carrying his cross which seems light to all those who love God, and to all who carry their cross with joy, and especially those who are aware that after the fight the sun will shine, that after fatigue lies rest and that after the renunciation of the pleasures of this world awaits us, in heaven, eternal joy.
In the name of the Church and in the name of his Beatitude, today we put the religious habit on the novices, thus founding the new congregation, the congregation of the Missionary Sisters of the Very Holy Sacrament, in the service and glory of the Lord as well as for the service of the Church in the field of God “.