Big dark eyes, a frank and luminous smile: Marine Beauté’s face is full of joy. “With me, it’s all or nothing,” she warns, a mischievous gleam in her eye. Marine has a strong character coupled with an iron will. She knows what she wants, where she came from, and where she’s going.
Challenges in childhood
Her story is an unusual one. Marine is a child of deaf adults (CODA). She and her brother Jérémy, 3 years her senior, are both hearing. At the age of 25, the young woman says she’s lucky to have grown up in “two worlds, that of the deaf and that of the hearing.”
“My mother tongue is sign language,” she explains. “Before I went to school, I didn’t speak at all.” Having parents with a disability shapes a singular personality. “When you’re the child of deaf parents, you’re a bit like your parents’ parents,” explains the young woman. “You grow up faster than the average person, and I’ve always felt that I didn’t have the right to make mistakes,” she says.
Daily life in an extraordinary family is also punctuated by hardship. When she was just 4, her parents split up. Marine and her brother grew up in Toulon, where she was raised by her grandparents, mother, stepfather, and uncles. Despite the absence of her father, which was painful for her, the little girl grew up in a happy, close-knit family.
From time to time, she and her brother attended Sunday Mass with their grandmother. The rest of the family isn’t Catholic. “We used to laugh a little at God,” she admits. “I used to stay more at the back of the church, playing with my handheld game console.”
Encounter with Christ
Then came adolescence, with its share of questions, transformations, and tensions. “I fell into the excesses of our society. I didn’t think about anything but partying, I didn’t work at school and I was at odds with the Church, which didn’t interest me,” says Marine.
By chance, the young girl went to an activity organized by the chaplaincy of the college in Sanary-sur-Mer, near Toulon, which several of her friends attended. “The priest suggested I take part in a Christian youth festival, and told me it was open to non-Catholics too. The only thing that was non-negotiable was that I had to agree to 30 minutes of adoration on the last night,” says Marine.
“On the last day, with a non-believing friend I’d brought along, we tried to negotiate not to have to go. And then we finally gave in.” The teenager was only supposed to spend 30 minutes in adoration, but when she arrived in front of the Blessed Sacrament, it was love at first sight. “I spent 4 hours contemplating in silence.”
Marine thought she was dreaming. She found it hard to believe: had she really met Christ? Too good to be true, she thought. “The next day, I spoke to God for the first time: ‘I want to believe in you, but you’ll have to give me a clear sign within 5 minutes.’ Moments later, my friend received a message from her mother: ‘I never told you, but I love you.’ They’d been at loggerheads for years. That was my sign; I really took it personally, as if the good Lord were saying to me, ‘I love you, and if I haven’t said it before, perhaps it’s because you’ve never asked me.’”
Giving thanks in spite of trials
“That experience was the turning point of my life, and every time I talk about it, I get teary-eyed,” she says with a laugh, visibly moved. She was 15, and her life changed. “Since then, God has always been there, in times of joy and pain.” She entrusts herself daily to Jesus, whom she has taken to affectionately calling “JC.”
Marine also prays especially to St. Joseph, “because he has always heard her prayers.” She adds that, “Up there, it’s a bit like a blended family, and that speaks to me because I grew up in a blended family.” Her family cannot understand her faith and that of her brother, who is also very religious. “They think we go to Mass too much,” she says with a slightly embarrassed smile. “It’s difficult.”
Despite the trials, Marine gives thanks. “I didn’t end up in this family by chance. I was lucky and I love it more than anything.” However, growing up, the young woman also suffered from the way her parents’ disability and her family’s modest origins were viewed.
“An eighth-grade teacher once told me that I wouldn’t be able to study, because my social status wouldn’t allow it,” she recounts. “That was the biggest motivational moment of my whole life.” “People who aren’t born with a silver spoon in their mouth have incredible strength, and develop abilities that other people don’t have.”
Through persistence and hard work, Marine completed her studies and became a psychologist. In the meantime, she met the man who was to become her husband, and moved from the south of France to Brittany. At the age of 24, she became the mother of a little boy, Léopold, to whom she taught sign language. “My husband told me he wanted his son to be able to communicate with his grandmother.” In September 2023, she decided to start her own company to help couples manage their assets, alongside her work as a psychologist.
Marine wants to use her profession to help couples “become builders,” in contrast to a society of over-consumption. “I am who I am thanks to my family. I really want to pay tribute to them for their strength and courage,” she insists. “The first thing I’ll say to God when I see him is, ‘Thank you for my family.’”