April 8, 1816 – Death of Mère Julie
17. About the large monument:
On July 25, 1816, some months after the death of Julie, a funerary stone of 1.55m by 0.95 m was put on the grave in the Namur village cemetery. Monseigneur Pisani de la Gaude, Bishop of Namur, had engraved on the stone all the houses founded by Julie.
In 1891, when the cemetery closed, the sisters took back the tombstone and it was incorporated in the outer wall of the Chapel of the Heart of Mary. In 2012, it was placed in the garden of the Heritage Centre.
Translation of the large monument:
D. O. M.
Here lies the body of the very virtuous Mère Julie Billiart foundress and Superior General of the Congregation of the Sisters of Notre Dame, who led a saintly life and died in Namur, April 8, 1816 at the age of 65.
She committed the most precious moments of her life to the education of youth and the establishment of excellent schools justly considered as highways of religion and morality.
She founded these establishments in Amiens, Ghent, Bordeaux, Namur, Chartron, Mont-Didier, Rubampré, Jumet, Saint-Hubert, Zèle, Andennes, Gembloux, Fleurus, and, after having been exhausted of her strength by this work done very diligently for the glory of God, she slept in the Lord greatly missed by those who had followed her, admired by those who had know her.
R. I. P.
18. About the small monument:
In 1882, Because of the successive floods, the sisters had to build a raised annex for the graves of the first three superiors general. These graves were covered with a marble slab bearing the name and age of the deceased and the date of her death. Upon the upper parts were engraved the initials DOM (Deo optimo maximo, to the most great and good God). After the beatification of Julie in 1906 and the placement of her relics in the reliquary, this stone slab was incorporated into the exterior wall of the Garden Chapel. In 2012, it was placed in the sanctuary of this Church.
Translation of the small monument:
Bones and ashes
of the servant of God
foundress of the Congregation of the Sisters of Notre-Dame
died April 8, 1816
at the age of 65 years