February 23 – THE DEATH OF A SAINT


«Until the end of his life he made pilgrimages to all the small shrines in the large property at the Mother House supported by the arms of a kind Brother who was overjoyed and highly proud of this honour; he prayed for the works and needs of the Institute, for the benefactors whom he asked by letter for large – alms and to whom his letters brought pious words. In his long meditations, his communions and stations of the cross he prayed for the Pope whom he loved so much, for the holy souls, for the pagans, for the Russian schismatics whose conversion he was longing for.

No spiritual or material distress left him indifferent. After he had grown old and stooped, his great joy was to serve a large number of poor people everj morning, and in giving them alms he said a few kind words to them. All the people who knew hini regarded him as a saint and the voice of the people proclaimed him such on the day of his saintly death, 23 February 1885. Some visitors who had come to see him on his deathbed went as far as fighting for his relics: strands of his hair, pieces of his shabby cassock, pictures, etc.

The funeral of Br. Simeon was presided over by the Vicar General of Lucon and was a triumph. Those attending were inwardly convinced that they were taking the remains of a man of God to a grave destined to become glorious. May it be the source of miracles-

«Far from taking advantage of his title of former Superior General; or of the veneration lavished upon him, or of the title “father” which all of us liked to. use when addressing him, he regarded and treated himself as the least among us and submitted himself to asking the most trifling permissions on all occasions. Should the Superiors manifest a wish or simply give a sign, it was enough for him to hasten to obey. He often gave this piece of advice: “Do everything in a spirit of obedience and love.” How great was his respect for those in authority, i.e. for God and his Superiors! When a new Superior took office he would go to him, fling himself down on his knees and ask for his blessing. In such circumstances, how can one save face except by throwing oneself on one’s knees to restore order as far as possible, according to the requirements of propriety and personal merit. I apologize, dear Brothers, for this disclosure: I thought I ought to make it in order to show how much faith our venerated deceased Brother had and how great his humility was.»