martes, 6 de diciembre de 2016

Private Audience Pope Francis with Eudist Family

Rome, December 3rd, 2016

Dear brothers and sisters,

With deep joy, I announce that we have had a beautiful private audience with Pope Francis this morning. Monsignor Luc Crepy, Sister Marie Françoise Le Brizaut, Father Gerson Mora and this servant attended. We were received in the Pope’s library; he was sitting at his desk, and we were in front of him; we were alone in his presence.

After thanking the Holy Father for this audience, we introduced ourselves on behalf of the Eudist Family, mentioning several of the Congregations that are part of it, including the new Congregations that have been born inspired by St. John Eudes and his spirituality.

Next, we stated the reason for the visit: the cause of doctorate of St. John Eudes, for which we handed in to the Pope the letter that you will find attached to this communication. We expressed that the Eudist Family has a spiritual and pastoral heritage that can be of use to the Church in her evangelizing mission, and that it is our intention to place this patrimony in the hands of the Holy Father for the good of the Church. During the dialogue, we focused on the person of saint John Eudes as the Holy Father did not know him very well.

As it is natural, we also gave him the elements for the reasoning behind the cause of our founder, which had previously been prepared by the commission of the cause, based on the work done in France and Latin America last year. This brief argumentation was published, thanks to Mgr. Crepy, as a five-page booklet in Spanish, entitled "Saint John Eudes, master of Christian life". Please find the corresponding text enclosed.

In a very natural and spontaneous way, Marie Françoise spoke about the path of mercy in St. John Eudes, the various concrete services he rendered to the weakest, his service to the plague-stricken, the "hospitals for the soul" he devised for women... and, of course, she also spoke about the spiritual
development St. John Eudes made about the Heart of Mary and the Heart of Jesus.

After that, it was my commitment to present saint John Eudes as a missionary, his work for the renewal of the Christians’ baptismal life, the publications he made for this purpose, his preachments, his pedagogy, the centrality of baptism… particularly, I spoke about the mission in Autun (France) and also about the effects of his missions in the renewal of the Christian life in several dioceses.

Mgr. Luc presented St. John Eudes as a former of the faithful and the clergy. He particularly put an emphasis on the formation of Jesus in the heart of the believer, and on the priests’ mission of forming people. He, of course, insisted upon St. John Eudes’s work on clergy formation, and upon his spirituality at the service of priests.

The Holy Father used to interrupt spontaneously, making short assertions, with the simplicity that characterizes him; he was always interested in the subject. From time to time he made a joke; we laughed and continued with the brief exhibition.

We gave the Holy Father some presents:
  • The book about Saint John Eudes, written by Mgr. Luc and Sister Marie Françoise.
  • The “Cahier” Eudists 23rd, “Saint John Eudes, doctor of the Church?”, which he already knew, thanks to the good service of Cardinal Baltazar Porras.
  • Let’s Pray with Saint John Eudes
  • The Eudist lectionary
In relation to the last two gifts, we said they were for him personally, and we asked him to please keep them. He nodded benevolently.

We also gave him a beautiful picture of the "Virgin Mother", which he contemplated with deep sweetness, commenting on the tenderness of this image. Sister Marie Françoise told him that saint John Eudes always had this image on his desk, and that he gave account of all his missions to the Virgin Mother, just as Pope Francis does after travelling on a mission, when he visits Virgin Mary in the Basilica of Saint Mary Major.

Finishing, dear brothers and sisters, I tell you this: I was carrying, in the inner pocket of my coat, near my heart, the "cross of St. John Eudes", that one he used in his missions and which always remains on the desk of the Superior General. The Holy Father, who was standing, took the cross in his hands; he reflected deep joy in his face, he kissed the cross, looked at it, kissed it again and returned it to me. It was a deep and intimate moment.

Then the Pope said: "As you have spoken several times about mercy, wait a moment there." He walked to a door, opened it, and took several books. He returned and he gave each one of us his book "The name of God is mercy", in our own languages. In addition, immediately, he handed each one of us a white envelope, containing several rosaries and prints as a memento of our visit.

In conclusion, he told us: "I will pass this on to the Congregation of the Cause of Saints." We told him: "Holy Father, we did not want to initiate this cause without having dialogued with you. We thank you for your kindness and benevolence towards us." He said: "That’s fine, I understand what you wanted to do."

He said goodbye to each one of us at the door of his library and, as usual, he asked: “Pray for me."

Let’s go on praying for the cause of the doctorate of Saint John Eudes.

Camilo, cjm

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