This School of Love
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“…take my soul into your most sacred wound, so that in this school of love, I may learn to make a return of love to God, who has given me such wondrous proofs of his love.”
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November 21, 2014
We have already sent into God’s presence a vanguard of 50 religious. It is our best endowment. Death in the Sacred Heart is a happy one. All our dead have offered their lives for the reign of the Sacred Heart, for reparation, for the Society, and for the sanctification of consecrated souls, so dear to Our Lord.
The beloved Fr. Alphonse Rasset was my first companion, my assistant general, and one of the best advisors. He was present at my first vows, June 28, 1878, and became a postulant on that day. He shared in all my sufferings and he had his own. Crosses were abundant: political persecution, sufferings from illness, troubles in the family, and a thankless ministry at Marchais. He had done much missionary work. He was the confidential friend and counselor of many priests. He devoted himself to the Workers’ Guild. He died on November 4, 1905, after several years of sufferings and a very painful operation.
Another of our early members, whose saintly life has left us many most edifying memories, was Fr. Modeste Roth. He was as modest as his name. How regular, how humble, how devout, how obedient he was! He did everything well. He passed on to God on March 3, 1904.
Fr. Blancal was one of our consultors. Driven by force from his beloved House of the Sacred Heart [Editor’s note: because of the French government’s appropriation of the property], he went to Fayet to die as a true confessor of the faith. I saw him breathe his last, like that of Fr. Rasset. He died on December 1, 1905. His last words were these: “I die in the love of the Sacred Heart; I die in the peace of the Lord.” He was laid to rest in our vault with Frs. Rasset and Roth. These three priests have been zealous and saintly apostles who were esteemed and loved throughout the Diocese of Soissons.
My saintly assistant, Fr. André Prévot, died on November 26, 1913, at Brugelette. Opinion regarding him is unanimous: he was a saint. He lived by faith, sacrifice, and immolation. He had been Novice Master for twenty-three years. His perpetual smile indicated his peace of soul. He wrote the book, “Love, Peace, and Joy.” He lived by that spirit before he described it.
Several of our young members died in the novitiate or in the scholasticate. They have edified us greatly by their devotion, their patience, and their abandonment to the divine will—pious novices like Fr. Sanctus and Fr. Quentin. Our generous missionaries went to die gladly in Ecuador, Brazil, and the Congo. Seventeen have given their lives in the Congo. A saintly cardinal told me that the very fact of going there in the face of death merits a martyr’s palm in heaven.
The Sacred Heart has already given us a beautiful group of saintly souls who are the foundation of our Society. Truly, we have had some good priest-victims of the Sacred Heart.
Fr. Leo John Dehon, SCJ, compilation from his 39th Circular Letter and Daily Notes of 1913, 1916, 1919.
“By their untimely demise, they became one with him who loved us and gave his life for us [Galatians 2:20]. Their deaths were the consequence of a life choice made much earlier and kept perseveringly to the end. They are our inspiration and a source of strength for our vocation and mission. We recall that martyrdom can be one possible outcome for each of us as we look at a life coupled with a daily reparatory oblation of Christ.”
Fr. José Ornelas Carvalho, SCJ, General Superior
Martyrs of the Priests of the Sacred Heart:
Blessed Juan María de la Cruz, SCJ
Executed during the Spanish Civil War on Aug. 23, 1936.
Fr. Franz Loh, SCJ
Died in a Nazi prison camp in Germany in 1941.
Fr. Joseph Stoffels, SCJ
Died in a Nazi gas chamber in Austria on May 25, 1942.
Fr. Nicolas Wampach, SCJ
Died in a Nazi gas chamber in Austria on Aug. 12, 1942.
Fr. Nicolas Capelli, SCJ
Executed in Italy during World War II in 1944.
Fr. Petrus Cobben, SCJ
Fr. Andreas Gebbing, SCJ
Fr. Wilhelmus Hoffmann, SCJ
Fr. Franciscus Hofstad, SCJ
Fr. Theodorus Kappers, SCJ
Fr. Isidorus Mikkers, SCJ
Br. Mattheus Schulte, SCJ
Br. Theodurus van der Werf, SCJ
Fr. Petrus van Eyk, SCJ
Fr. Franciscus van Iersel, SCJ
Fr. Heinrich van Oort, SCJ
Died in a Japanese concentration camp in Indonesia from 1944-1945.
Fr. Kristiaan Muermans, SCJ
Died in a Nazi concentration camp in Germany on Feb. 12, 1945.
Fr. François Musslin, SCJ
Murdered in his mission station in Cameroon on Aug. 30, 1959.
Fr. Laurent Héberlé, SCJ
Br. Valentin Sarron, SCJ
Shot and beheaded at their mission station in Cameroon on Nov. 29, 1959.
Fr. Franciscus ten Bosch, SCJ
Fr. Amour Aubert, SCJ
Fr. Hermanus Bisschop, SCJ
Fr. Gerardus Nieuwkamp, SCJ
Br. Henrik Vanderbeek, SCJ
Fr. Henricus Verberne, SCJ
Br. Martinus Brabers, SCJ
Br. Jozef Paps, SCJ
Fr. Jean Trausch, SCJ
Fr. Joseph Conrad, SCJ
Fr. Henricus van der Vegt, SCJ
Murdered during the Simba Revolution in the Congo on Nov. 25, 1964.
Bishop Joseph Wittebols, SCJ
Fr. Jacques Moreau, SCJ
Fr. Clément Burnotte, SCJ
Br. Jozef Laureys, SCJ
Fr. Jeroom Vandemoere, SCJ
Fr. Karel Bellinckx, SCJ
Fr. Christian Vandael, SCJ
Fr. Leo Janssen, SCJ
Fr. Josephus Tegels, SCJ
Murdered during the Simba Revolution in the Congo on Nov. 26, 1964.
Fr. Henricus Hams, SCJ
Fr. Joannes Slenter, SCJ
Br. Wilhelmus Schouenberg, SCJ
Fr. Joannes de Vries, SCJ
Fr. Petrus van den Biggelaar, SCJ
Fr. Arnoldus Schouenberg, SCJ
Fr. Wilhelmus Vranken, SCJ
Murdered during the Simba Revolution in the Congo on Nov. 27, 1964.
Fr. Aquilino Longo, SCJ
Murdered during the Simba Revolution in the Congo on Nov. 3, 1964.
Fr. Paulo Punt, SCJ
Assassinated by organized crime in Brazil on Dec. 15, 1975.
The Priests of the Sacred Heart celebrate SCJ Memorial Day every November 26, “with a deep sense of gratitude toward God,” notes Fr. José Ornelas Carvalho, General Superior, “for all its SCJ missionaries and religious who were and are faithful to our charism.” In your kindness throughout the coming week, please remember in your prayer all the deceased among the Priests of the Sacred Heart. Your may find helpful this prayer for the deceased, based on #69 of the Rule of Life of the Priests of the Sacred Heart.
as you completed your oblation to the Father
on the wood of the cross, you confidently prayed,
“Into your hands I commend my spirit.”
Our deceased brothers, who have gone before us in faith,
have also completed their life of oblation.
We entrust them to your mercy, and with steadfast hope
we pray they are with you in paradise.
We pledge to stay united to them through prayer,
trusting that our community, drawn together
and held together by your love,
will find its full realization in eternity.