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  • Writer's pictureUrsulines of Brown County

The Journey Continues: Bridge Over the Dordogne

The Beaulieu Story of their dramatic leave of France continued in “The Cross in The Wilderness.”

“The eight Beaulieu sisters set their teeth and decided to go with them (Boulogne sisters). But the most illustrious of the band – everybody knew and loved her as Sister Stanislaus Laurier – what was to be done about her? The Laurier family were of noble blood and the very leaders of the storm. There was no way out of it for Pauline Laurier; desperation must devise a way to get her out of town. She would have to steal out in disguise. Accordingly, at six in the evening of April eighth, Pauline Laurier, in peasant dress, her aristocratic feet encased in sabots like those of the market women, paused an instant in the crowd on the bridge over the Dordogne. At the outskirts of the town Sister Bernard Bouyon joined her, likewise dressed. Trembling, they awaited their servitor, Mr. Puisjallon, who shouldered the bundle containing their religious dress. On, by foot, to Bretenour, they hurried in the gathering darkness; but there the gatekeeper of the bridge was fast asleep. What with knocking and cries, they could scarcely arouse him for an agony of fifteen minutes.

An Old Account of New Beginnings” tells us of further intrigue. While on the way to the bridge, “Someone recognized them as “Sisters.” This frightened Sr. Stanislaus so she quickly prayed to Mary Immaculate who, she believed protected them then, and would do so for the rest of their journey. They finally found hospitality for what was left of the night. In the morning they reached the town of Aurillac and were welcomed by the Sisters of St. Vincent. These sisters offered to give them “Letters of Testimonial” affirming that all eight Sisters were authentic Religious.”

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