“I told him that I had read The Three Wisdoms and that thanks to this book I “felt intelligent” when I read it. He took me by the arm and told me with his broken voice which still resounds in my ears “That’s not surprising – it’s the truth.”
“A Missionary of Charity witnessed the meeting between Father and Sr. Nirmala, their general superior, at Rome for the beatification of Mother Teresa. Father was shedding tears of joy – and the tears flowed onto the hands of this sister, who was embarrassed by this manifestation. She asked her superior: “What should I do?” and her superior responded with a smile: “Keep them preciously – they are the tears of a saint!”
“Father always gave all his energy. Often his bed was nothing more than the sunken seat of an uncomfortable car. It was an old car, surely given by a generous donor who did not know what else to do with this mechanical carcass, repaired by a clever Brother. He went to bed late and got up early. Sometimes he slept in my home, since Lyon was well-situated between Fribourg and Saint Jodard. To be sure that he was up on time, he had me knock on his bedroom door to tell him: “Father, it’s time”, “It’s 5 o’clock or 6 o’clock”, “You have to get ready to go” and I heard “Deo gratias”. Another day begun, to make Jesus more known and loved by those who did not know him, or knew him wrongly or not enough. His life was entirely given.”
“He helped us to get through the illness and death of my husband, who was stricken by cancer in 1988 and passed away in 1995, at the age of 50 with 8 children from 9 to 25 years of age. During a serious decline when the doctors said he only had a few months to live, if not weeks, we went on a retreat at St Jodard. He had to lie down to rest often and attended the conferences with great difficulty. When we went back home, his tests were so positive that the doctors could not believe it, and wondered what we had done!
I wonder if we were perhaps lacking in faith to have let the doctors continue chemotherapy.”
“A short story about his goodness and self-effacement and his gift to others: in 2001 Father was gravely sick, he almost died, and then the next day when he was released from the hospital, instead of resting and paying attention to his health, he began to preach a retreat at Saint Jodard. I was very touched because what’s more, one afternoon during the week of the retreat, I crossed paths with Father outside as he was going in haste to visit someone in the village who surely needed him.”
“He loved the truth. And he entrusted this love to us. Everything in him was true. True in his research and his intellectual work, true in his religious life, true in his poverty, in his obedience, true in his chastity. I remember when the monastery of Salvador was in a difficult situation of poverty, the arch-bishop asked him if he wanted a different one. His answer was NO. By that, he manifested his total confidence in Providence. The same thing happened for the monastery of Finale Emilia in Italy – a tiny Sanctuary, without apostolic activity, unknown. After arriving in this place and praying he said: “This is where we should be.”