Quote of the day, 5 May: Père Jacques de Jésus

Love the Communists. Adopt them. God has providentially permitted me (as a son of working-class parents) to become well acquainted with working-class youth. During my military service, during the war, and during my captivity, I was in the midst of workers.

As a result, I am well acquainted with Communist and Socialist thinking. I have come to know many mid-level directors of these movements. I have found many first-rate men among them. They are ready to die for their ideal and have often done so. They regularly devote their time to propagating their ideas and distributing their literature.

By way of contrast, I have rarely found the same level of dedication among the “respectable people” who spend their time on boats or at parties and always look for enjoyment, even at work. They never sacrifice themselves for others.

God deeply loves these poor people, who are sincere in their conviction and confident that they serve a good cause. In all honesty, I am convinced that they will be saved! Do not speak disparagingly of them!

Do parents speak badly of their children, even if they are wayward? If you love them and adopt them because they are the unfortunate children of the family, you will do them great good. Why not make yourselves their spiritual mothers?

Servant of God Père Jacques de Jésus, O.C.D.

The Apostolate
Retreat, Carmel of Pontoise, Conference 13 
Saturday evening, 11 September 1943 

Note: The Servant of God Jacques de Jésus, O.C.D., who was a professed friar of the Discalced Carmelite Province of Paris-Avon, an ordained priest, and the headmaster of the Discalced Carmelite friars’ boys’ preparatory school at Avon, the Petit Collège Sainte-Thérèse de l’Enfant-Jésuswas present when Allied Forces liberated the camps at Mauthausen-Gusen on 5 May 1945.

Though ill and exhausted, Père Jacques summoned the strength to help restore order and organize relief efforts. But 15 days later the Allied camp commanders transferred him to St. Elizabeth Hospital in Linz, Austria so that he could be close to the community of the Discalced Carmelite friars there. It was at the hospital that he died at 45 years of age on 2 June 1945.

The diocesan process of his cause for beatification was opened in 1990. Please join us in praying for his beatification.

Cheering survivors greet American troops as they enter the Mauthausen concentration camp a day after the actual liberation. This event, staged at the request of General Eisenhower, recreated the 5 May 1945 liberation. Image credit: National Archives and Records Administration / The Algemeiner

Jacques, P 2005, Listen to the silence: a retreat with Père Jacques, translated from the French and edited by Murphy F, ICS Publications, Washington DC.

2 thoughts on “Quote of the day, 5 May: Père Jacques de Jésus

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  1. It really does my heart good to read this on this site. My late father was a working man like this. Maybe it would be inappropriate to list his credentials and mine in this area, on a multicultural readership, suffice it to say I am very proud of him, and his countless sacrifices for his family. It is so good to see this comment by Father, “I am convinced that they will be saved!”… That is my hope of course too!!!

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