From Weedy@21:1/5 to All on Sun Oct 2 00:18:27 2022
On Bearing with the Faults of Others [IV]
Now, God has thus ordered things that we may learn to bear one
another's burdens;(Gal.6:2) for there is no man without his faults,
none without his burden.(Gal.6:5) None is sufficient in
himself;(2Cor.3:5) none is wise in himself;(Prov.3:7) therefore we
must support one another,(Col.3:13) comfort(I Thess 5:11), help,
teach, and advise one another. Times of trouble best discover the true
worth of a man; they do not weaken him, but show his true nature.
--Thomas à Kempis --Imitation of Christ Bk 1, Ch 16
2 October – Blessed Antoine Chevrier T.O.S.F.
Priest, Founder of the Sisters of Prado and the Institute of the
Priests of Prado, professed member of the Franciscan Third Order,
Apostle of Charity, Writer – born on Easter Sunday, 16 April 1825 in
Lyon, Rhône, France and died on 2 October 1879 in Lyon, Rhône, France
of natural causes. Patronage – the Sisters of Prado and the Institute
of the Priests of Prado. His entire life and pastoral mission was
devoted to the service of the poor and the education of poor children
and those on the peripheries.
Antoine Chevrier was born on Easter on 16 April 1825. He was the sole
child born to his parents and received baptism on the following 18
April. From his father he inherited a humble spirit and gentleness
while he received from his mother a passionate and energetic
disposition. He had his First Communion in 1837. In 1840 – at the age
of 14 – a parish priest asked him if he wanted to become a priest
himself. Chevrier never thought about it but said he would like to. He
felt immediate happiness in this realisation and decided to become a
priest. Chevrier commenced his studies for the priesthood at the age
of seventeen in 1842. He received the cassock in October 1846 and
received the tonsure in 1847.
Prior to being ordained he wanted to join the foreign missions but his
mother opposed and said to him: “You are an ingrate, mister, a bad
son. Do you think I raised you for you to be eaten by savages? Savages
you can fin in Lyon! If you go in spite of me, I will disown you as my child”. He was ordained to the priesthood on 25 May 1850 by Cardinal
Louis Jacques Maurice de Bonald and was sent to Saint-André de la
Guillotière as an assistant priest where he became greatly saddened
with the miserable conditions of the poor that he encountered.
In the middle of the night on 31 May 1856 a great storm caused
flooding. He rescued several victims despite the danger to his own
life. On Christmas Eve in 1856 he meditated before the crib and it was
there and then that he realised his true mission as a priest was to
evangelise to the poor but also to tend to the poor on the streets
while forming a religious congregation for all those who were poor.
This experience was almost like a sudden “conversion”. In
Ars-sur-Formans – in January 1857 – he consulted with Saint John-Baptiste-Marie Vianney (1786-1859) on his mission and who
encouraged his work. He asked to leave his parish to pursue this aim
and a meeting with layman Camille Rambaud in June 1857 hastened this.
Sometimes parents sent him their delinquent children and others asked
him to get their children out of prison and take them to live with him
for a better life. In 1859 he became a professed member of the Third
Order of Saint Francis.
On 10 December 1860 he purchased a disused ballroom in order to
establish a chapel and a shelter for poor children and those on the
peripheries in order to provide them with a Christian education. In
his lifetime he received around 2400 male adolescents. In 1866 he
opened a clerical school – that grew into his male institute – for
clerical aspirants. The first lot were ordained in Rome in 1876. The
female branch of his order – the Sisters of Prado – opened not long
after his first was established.
Social unrest threatened Lyon and Paris in 1871 but the conflict in
Lyon stalled as Chevrier celebrated the Feast of Corpus Christi and
paraded the Eucharist through the streets – the quarrelers dared not interrupt the celebration.
Chevrier was also a writer and he wrote both the “Disciple of Jesus
Christ” and “God sends Revolutions”. The latter was a critique of
priests who pursued greed and their excessive attachment to material
He fell ill in the spring of 1874 which began his long period of
illness until his death. He recovered and made a four-month visit to
Rome to be with his future priests.
He knew his death was approaching in September 1879 due to his
ailment. Chevrier died on 2 October 1879 after suffering a long
illness. Around 10 000 people attended his funeral many of them the
people the Work of Prado had helped. He was buried in the chapel he
had built and the street in front of it is now named for him. His
order was approved of diocesan right in 1924 and was aggregated to the Conventual Franciscans in 1930. The order received the papal decree of
praise of Pope John XXIII on 28 October 1959.
Blessed Antoine was Beatified on 4 October 1986 by St Pope John Paul II.
I knelt to pray but not for long,
I had too much to do.
I had to hurry and get to work
For bills would soon be due.
So I knelt and said a hurried prayer,
And jumped up off my knees.
My Christian duty was now done
My soul could rest at ease.....
All day long I had no time
To spread a word of cheer
No time to speak of Christ to friends,
They ' d laugh at me I ' d fear.
No time, no time, too much to do,
That was my constant cry,
No time to give to souls in need
But at last the time, the time to die
I went before the Lord,
I came, I stood with downcast eyes.
For in his hands God! Held a book;
It was the book of life.
God looked into his book and said
' Your name I cannot find
I once was going! To write it down...
But never found the time '