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PN 47


 
 
 
Priest of the Foreign Mission Society,
Martyred at Tonkin at the age of 31.

 

 1 All the Elect celebrate your praises,
O Théophane! Angelic Martyr.
And I know, in the Saintly army
The seraphim aspire to serve you!...
Since, exiled on this earth, I can't
Blend my voice with those of the Elect,
On this foreign shore I too want
To take up my lyre and sing of your virtues...
 
2 Your short exile was like a sweet canticle
Whose notes knew how to touch hearts,
And for Jesus your poetic soul
Made flowers spring up at each moment.
In ascending to the Celestial sphere,
Your farewell song again was spring-like.
You whispered: "As for Me, little ephemeral one,
I'm going off first to God's beautiful Heaven!..."
 
3 Blessed Martyr, at the moment of your death
You savored the happiness of suffering.
To you suffering for God seemed a delight.
Smiling, you knew how to live and to die
You hastened to say to your executioner
When he offered to shorten your torment:
'The longer my painful martyrdom lasts,
The better it will be and the happier I'll be!!!"
 
4 Virginal Lily, in the springtime of your life
The King of Heaven heard your desire.
I see in you: The Flower in bloom
That the Lord plucked for his good pleasure
And now you are no longer exiled.
The Blessed admire your splendor.
The Rose of Love, the Immaculate Virgin
Breathes the freshness of your perfume.
 
5 Soldier of Christ, ah! lend me your weapons.
For sinners, here below I want
To struggle, to suffer in the shadow of your victory palms.
Protect me, come steady my arm.
Without stopping the war for them I want
To storm the Kingdom of God,
For the Lord cast down on the earth
Not peace, but the Sword and Fire!....
 
6 I also love that infidel shore
That was the object of your burning love.
I would happily fly to it
If God called me there some day...
But in his eyes, there is no distance.
For Him the whole universe is just one speck.
My weak love, my little sufferings,
Blessed by Him, make Him loved far and wide!...
 
7 Ah! if I were a springtime flower
That the Lord soon wanted to pluck,
O Blessed Martyr! I implore you,
Descend from Heaven at my last hour.
Come embrace me in this mortal dwelling,
And I'll be able to fly with the souls
That will make up your eternal procession!...

        

 

© Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc

To Théophane Vénard

 

 

See the music score

 

datation: February 2nd, 1897

addressee: Thérèse