Tribute to the Revere Fr. Jules Chevalier

Friday March 15, 2024

On the 200th Anniversary of his birth

Rejoice in Issoudun, providential cradle of a work that has irrigated the earth!
Rejoice Beri, first listener to the cries of innocence of a child whose story travels the earth
Remember the days of yore, lands of decay, laboratories of emptiness, vast deserts of meaning
Peoples of the earth, be silent and listen to the echo of a life of charity led in the direction of meaning

200 years ago, God’s love manifested itself in the midst of the torments of the new France
The genesis of a world without God, the crucible of a suffering humanity
The seed may survive in the harvest, but grace transcends the obvious
This is why, in order to experience the generosity of providence, Chevalier was deprived of abundance from the start

The harshness of conditions led Chevalier towards the ideal
Entrusted to Mary from dawn to dusk, Christ always had a central place in his life
Like the beloved disciple, Chevalier looked at and saw the pierced Heart
In that Heart, he found the remedy for all of life’s proven inconsistencies

Throughout his life, Jules strove to make the Sacred Heart known and loved everywhere.
In grace, he gave birth to the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart and the Fraternity of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart
For the mission and in gratitude to Mary, he founded the Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart
The Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart were born out of sorrow sublimated by faith
As well as a plethora of institutes that share this beautiful spirituality of the Heart through irrigation

Knight, man of God, apostle of the Sacred Heart, silent martyr of love
Father Des hommes whose smile had no more time, man of character and humour
By his person and his works, Jules drew so many souls from worldliness to divinity
He helped to shape the face of the world by directing it towards the Heart, the source of true civility

Jules Chevalier did so much that even a book cannot contain
I’m not denying the merits of Cuskelly, Tostain and the others, I’m just evoking the memory
With this text, let a vibrant tribute be paid to this worthy son of the Church of Touraine
His life was a blaze of fire that blazed from metropolises to distant shores
From Europe to Asia, from the islands of Oceania to the lands of Africa and America, God is with the living
His heart must be known and loved in return, today, tomorrow and in the days to come.
In wishing Father Chevalier’s sons and daughters a happy jubilee, I would like to express one wish

That he be proposed as a public model of holiness. I should have said two wishes!
That the celebration of this event will be a Kairos for the rediscovery of our spirituality
That spirituality of the heart that soaks the soul and frees it from the jails of rituality
This spirituality that re-energises the Church in its Zeal
This spirituality that presents God at the heart of his creation
This spirituality that reminds man of his primary vocation
This spirituality that transcends immanence and introduces man into the life of God
This spirituality, a boulevard of holiness

Romain Danem, msc