From Mme Martin to Mme Guérin CF 38 - September 3, 1868.

From Mme Martin to Mme Guérin

September 3, 1868

You know the latest loss we have suffered. This morning, at five o’clock, our good father offered up his soul into the hands of God. Last night the fever returned. He had been feeling better all day, and the doctor hoped to save him. I stayed to take care of him until midnight. Our poor dear father suffered horribly, and I shudder just thinking about it. Each breath was an effort. However, I had seen him this bad before, and I hesitated a long time before calling my brother, who so needed his rest. I believed our good father was going to get better, as he had done so many times before. Finally, I couldn’t bear it any longer, and I went to look for Isidore. He told me that he didn’t seem any worse, and he made me go lie down. But around four o’clock, I got up. My brother told me to go back, that our dear patient was doing better, and there was nothing to fear at the moment. He’d had the maid come, so he himself could rest a little in the armchair, because he couldn’t keep his eyes open.

And then, at five o’clock, the servant called him to tell him that my father’s eyes were lifeless and that he had died. There was still time. They came to look for me, and I was barely able to see his last sigh. I’d been well expecting that the end was quite near, but my heart was broken in sorrow and, at the same time, full of heavenly consolation.

If you knew, my dear sister, with what holiness he prepared for death. At three o’clock, he made the sign of the cross. I have the hope, and even the conviction, that our dear father was well received by God. I want my death to be like his. We’ve already had three Masses said for him. We intend to request a great number of them so that, if he has anything to atone for, he’ll quickly be delivered from Purgatory. His grave will be very near that of my two little Josephs (in the cemetery of Our Lady of Alençon).

Good-bye, my dear sister, I embrace you, as well as your little Jeanne. But each time I intend to speak of her, my heart aches to think of my little Joseph, who was such a handsome and sweet little boy! I had eagerly looked forward to showing him to you, but what can you do. I’m used to sorrow....

© Society of St. Paul / Alba House

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