11 August 2016
11 Aug 2016

He was called to the Father’s house

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On August 12, 1925, at approximately noon, Fr. Leo John Dehon, following a short illness, died in Brussels. According to his wishes, he was buried in the cemetery of St. Quentin, France. On the 30th anniversary of his death, Msgr. Philippe, one of the last witnesses of those difficult days, recalled the final moments of the founder:

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“It was the last day. It was a Wednesday; on Tuesday, August 4, Fr. Dehon celebrated Mass for the last time. He often spoke of death and said that when he heard talk of the agony “The most beautiful would be this: getting sick for three days; the first day you bring order to your affairs, there is confession, you receive the last sacraments; the third part is to the good Lord.” One can say that this nearly happened to him. The general treasurer was informed, as was Fr. Ottavio Gasparri, the procurator, who arrived from Rome and brought a special blessing for the seriously ill. At about 10:00 I went to the founder and told him: “Let Fr. Falleur (general treasurer) go to the bank for regular business.” We had to change everything that was in Fr. Dehon’s name. Back home, we noticed that the last moments had come. We gathered for the prayers for the dying; the relatives of Fr. Dehon were there also. We recited together the prayers of the dying. He could follow them and was in perfect calm, until 12:10, when, without agony, he ceased breathing. It was the end of a lifetime of work and sacrifice”.

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