mercredi 15 février 2012

Saint CLAUDE LA COLOMBIÈRE, prêtre de la Compagnie de Jésus et confesseur



Saint Claude La Colombière, prêtre et confesseur

Né près de Lyon, Claude entre à 17 ans dans la Compagnie de Jésus. Dès sa profession solennelle en 1674, il est affecté au petit collège de Paray-le-Monial où il devient le confesseur du couvent de la Visitation et entre en relation avec sainte Marguerite-Marie, à qui le Christ lui-même l’avait annoncé : "Je t’enverrai mon fidèle serviteur et parfait ami". C’est ainsi que le jeune jésuite devint l’instrument par lequel le Christ va diffuser dans l’Eglise le culte de son Cœur transpercé, révélé à sainte Marguerite-Marie. Nommé en 1675 prédicateur de la duchesse d’York, il passe deux ans en Angleterre où il est emprisonné puis dont il est banni. Accablé par la tuberculose, il retourne à Paray-le-Monial. Marguerite-Marie l’a prévenu : "Notre-Seigneur m’a dit qu’il voulait le sacrifice de votre vie en ce pays." C’est là qu’il meurt à 41 ans, en 1682. Ses écrits expriment une belle harmonie entre la spiritualité de saint Ignace de Loyola et celle de saint François de Sales.

SOURCE : http://www.paroisse-saint-aygulf.fr/index.php/prieres-et-liturgie/saints-par-mois/icalrepeat.detail/2015/02/15/5285/-/saint-claude-la-colombiere-pretre-et-confesseur

Saint Claude La Colombière

Jésuite, confesseur de sainte Marguerite-Marie (+ 1682)

Né près de Lyon dans une famille bourgeoise, Claude entre à 17 ans dans la Compagnie de Jésus, les Jésuites. Dès sa profession solennelle en 1674, il est affecté au petit collège de Paray-le-Monial où il devient le confesseur du couvent de la Visitation. Il a 34 ans. La supérieure des Visitandines avait alors fort à faire avec une timide religieuse, Marguerite-Marie, qui croyait avoir reçu les confidences du Cœur de Jésus. Elle la confie au père de la Colombière. Le prêtre et la moniale se comprennent tout de suite: "Je t'enverrai mon fidèle serviteur et parfait ami", avait dit Jésus à Marguerite-Marie. C'est ainsi que le jeune jésuite devient l'instrument par lequel le Christ va diffuser dans l'Église le culte de son Cœur transpercé, révélé à sainte Marguerite-Marie. Nommé en 1675 prédicateur de la duchesse d'York, il passe deux ans en Angleterre d'où il est banni à cause de calomnies. Accablé par la tuberculose, il retourne à Paray-le-Monial. Marguerite-Marie l'a prévenu: "Notre-Seigneur m'a dit qu'il voulait le sacrifice de votre vie en ce pays." C'est là qu'il meurt à 41 ans. Ses écrits expriment une belle harmonie entre la spiritualité de saint Ignace de Loyola et celle de saint François de Sales.

Patron de la paroisse Saint Claude en Val d'Ozon.

À Paray-le-Monial en Bourgogne, l'an 1682, saint Claude La Colombière, prêtre de la Compagnie de Jésus, homme entièrement donné à la prière, qui dirigea bien des fidèles à l'amour de Dieu par ses conseils sûrs et droits.

Martyrologe romain

A tout moment, j'attrape ces folles passions qui agitent ce pauvre cœur... Je demande à Dieu qu'il me fasse connaître ce que je dois faire pour son service et pour me purifier ; mais je suis résolu d'attendre avec douceur qu'il lui plaise faire cette merveille, car je suis bien convaincu que cela n'appartient qu'à lui seul.

Saint Claude de la Colombière - Retraites

SOURCE : https://nominis.cef.fr/contenus/saint/642/Saint-Claude-La-Colombiere.html

Claude La Colombière, troisième enfant du notaire Bertrand La Colombière et Marguerite Coindat, naquit le 2 février 1641 à St. Symphorien d'Ozon dans le Dauphiné.

La famille s'étant déplacée à Vienne (France), Claude y fit ses premières études, qu'il compléta ensuite à Lyon jusqu'aux classes de Rhétorique et de Philosophie.

C'est alors qu'il se sentit appelé à la vie religieuse dans la Compagnie de Jésus; mais nous ne connaissons pas les motifs de son choix et de sa décision. Par contre, dans ses écrits, il nous a livré cet aveu: "J'avais une horrible aversion pour la vie que je choisissais". Cette affirmation se comprend facilement pour qui connaît la vie de Claude, dont la nature, sensible au charme des relations familiales et aux amitiés, était portée vers l'art et la littérature et attirée par tout ce qu'il y avait de plus digne dans la vie de société. Mais il n'était pas homme à se laisser guider par le sentiment.

A 17 ans, il entre au Noviciat de la Compagnie de Jésus, installé à Avignon. C'est là qu'en 1660 il passe du Noviciat au Collège pour terminer ses études de philosophie. Il y émet aussi ses premiers voeux de religion. A la fin des cours, il est nommé professeur de Grammaire et de Littérature; tâche qu'il assumera pendant cinq ans dans ce Collège.

En 1666 il est envoyé à Paris pour étudier la Théologie au Collège de Clermont; il reçoit à la même époque une charge de haute responsabilité. Sa compétence notoire pour les études d'humanités, unie à des dons exquis de prudence et de finesse, amènent les Supérieurs à le choisir comme précepteur des fils de Colbert, Ministre des Finances de Louis XIV.

Ses études terminées et ordonné prêtre, il retourne de nouveau à Lyon: il y est professeur pendant quelque temps, et ensuite se consacre entièrement à la prédication et à la direction de la Congrégation Mariale.

La prédication de La Colombière se distingue surtout par sa solidité et sa profondeur; il ne se perdait pas en idées vagues, mais s'adressait avec à propos à un auditoire concret. Son inspiration évangélique avait le pouvoir de transmettre à tous sérénité et confiance en Dieu. La publication de ses sermons produisit dans les âmes, comme elle continue à le faire, de grands résultats spirituels; en effet, si l'on considère l'endroit où ils ont été prononcés et la brièveté de son ministère, ils semblent avoir moins vieilli que les textes d'orateurs plus célèbres.

L'année 1674 est décisive dans la vie de Claude. Il fait son Troisième an de probation à la "Maison Saint-Joseph" de Lyon et au cours du mois traditionnel d'Exercices Spirituels, le Seigneur le prépare à la mission qu'il lui avait destinée. Les notes spirituelles de cette époque nous permettent de suivre pas à pas les luttes et les triomphes de son caractère, singulièrement sensible aux attraits humains, mais aussi généreux envers Dieu.

Il fait le voeu d'observer toutes les Constitutions et les Règles de la Compagnie. Il ne s'agissait pas là comme but essentiel de se lier à une série d'observances minutieuses, mais de reproduire le vivant idéal apostolique décrit par saint Ignace. Puisque cet idéal lui paraissait magnifique, Claude l'adopta comme un programme de sainteté. Cela répondait à une invitation de Jésus Christ lui-même. La preuve en est qu'il fut ensuite pénétré d'un sentiment de libération et d'extension de son horizon apostolique, comme il en témoigne dans son journal spirituel.

Le 2 février 1675 il fait la Profession solennelle et est nommé Recteur du Collège de Paray-le-Monial. Certains s'étonnèrent qu'un homme si éminent fut envoyé dans un endroit aussi retiré que Paray. On en trouve l'explication dans le fait que les Supérieurs savaient qu'au Monastère de la Visitation, une humble religieuse, Marguerite Marie Alacoque, à laquelle le Seigneur révélait les trésors de son Coeur, vivait dans une angoissante incertitude; elle attendait que le Seigneur lui-même accomplisse sa promesse de lui envoyer son "fidèle serviteur et parfait ami", qui l'aurait aidée à réaliser la mission à laquelle il la destinait: manifester au monde les richesses insondables de son amour.

Dès que le P. La Colombière fut arrivé à destination, Marguerite Marie, après l'avoir rencontré plusieurs fois, lui manifesta toute son âme et les communications qu'elle croyait recevoir du Seigneur. Le Père, de son côté, l'approuva entièrement et lui suggéra de mettre par écrit tout ce qu'elle éprouvait dans son âme, l'orientant et l'encourageant dans l'accomplissement de la mission reçue. Lorsqu'il fut certain, à la lumière de la grâce divine manifestée dans la prière et le discernement, que le Christ désirait le culte de son Coeur, il s'y livra sans réserve, comme nous en avons le témoignage dans son engagement et ses notes spirituelles. On y voit clairement, que, déjà avant de recevoir les confidences de Marguerite Marie Alacoque, Claude, en suivant les directives de saint Ignace dans les Exercices Spirituels, était arrivé à contempler le Coeur du Christ comme symbole de son amour.

Après un an et demi de séjour à Paray, en 1676, le P. La Colombière part pour Londres, où il a été nommé prédicateur de la Duchesse d'York. Il s'agissait d'un ministère très délicat, étant donné les événements religieux qui à l'époque agitaient l'Angleterre. Avant la fin d'octobre de la même année, le Père occupait déjà l'appartement qui lui avait été réservé au palais de St. James. En plus des sermons qu'il prononce dans la chapelle et la direction spirituelle, orale et écrite, à laquelle il se livre, Claude peut consacrer du temps à instruire solidement dans la vraie foi plusieurs personnes qui avaient abandonné l'Eglise romaine. Même au coeur des plus grands dangers, il eut la consolation de voir plusieurs conversions, au point d'avouer, après un an: "Je pourrais écrire un livre sur la miséricorde dont Dieu m'a rendu témoin depuis que je suis ici".

Un travail si intense et un climat pernicieux eurent raison de sa santé; des symptômes d'une grave affection pulmonaire commencèrent à se manifester. Cependant Claude continua courageusement son genre de vie.
A la fin de 1678, il fut arrêté a l'improviste sous l'accusation calomnieuse de complot papiste. Après deux jours, on l'enferma dans la sinistre prison de King's Bench, où il resta trois semaines, en proie à de graves privations, jusqu'à ce qu'un décret royal lui signifiât son expulsion de l'Angleterre.Toutes ses souffrances rendirent encore plus précaire son état de santé, qui, avec des hauts et des bas, ne fit qu'empirer à son retour en France.

Pendant l'été 1681, déjà très gravement atteint, il fut renvoyé à Paray. Et le 15 février 1682, premier dimanche du Carême, à la soirée, il fut pris d'un crachement de sang qui mit fin à ses jours.Le Pape Pie XI a béatifié Claude La Colombière le 16 juin 1929. Son charisme, aux dires de S. Marguerite Marie Alacoque, fut d'élever les âmes à Dieu, en suivant le chemin de l'amour et de la miséricorde que le Christ nous révèle dans l'Evangile.

SOURCE : http://www.vatican.va/news_services/liturgy/saints/ns_lit_doc_19920531_la-colombiere_fr.html

Un père jésuite, Claude La Colombière (1641-1682) arrive à Paray en 1675 comme supérieur de la communauté. Confesseur des religieuses du couvent de la Visitation, il rencontre alors Marguerite-Marie : il prend nettement position en faveur de la voyante et la soutient dans sa mission.

“Mon fidèle serviteur et parfait ami” : c’est par ces mots étonnants que Notre-Seigneur lui-même avait désigné Claude La Colombière à Marguerite-Marie. Et il était en effet bien préparé à comprendre le message de l’amour de Dieu. Bien avant de venir à Paray, il avait écrit dans son journal : “Je veux que mon cœur ne soit désormais que dans celui de Jésus et de Marie, ou que celui de Jésus et de Marie soient dans le mien afin qu’ils lui communiquent leurs mouvements, et qu’il ne s’agite et qu’il ne s’émeuve que conformément à l’impression qu’il recevra de ces Cœurs”. Quand la sœur Marguerite-Marie Alacoque lui ouvre sa conscience, Claude voit en elle l’œuvre de Dieu, la rassure et l’encourage.

Mais dès l’année suivante, il part pour Londres en qualité de “prédicateur de la duchesse d’York”. Bientôt éclate en Angleterre la “Terreur papiste” : Claude est calomnieusement accusé, jeté en prison pendant trois semaines, frôle le martyre et finalement est expulsé. Il revient en France phtisique et presque mourant. Il ne retournera à Paray que pour de brefs séjours qui lui permettront de réconforter Sœur Marguerite-Marie dont la vie mystique se heurte toujours au scepticisme de son entourage. Quand la tuberculose l’emporte, il n’a que 41 ans : mission accomplie.

Deux ans plus tard, paraît en librairie la Retraite spirituelle du Père Claude La Colombière : ce modeste opuscule va merveilleusement ouvrir les voies à la mission de Marguerite-Marie et au message du Cœur de Jésus.

La “dévotion au Sacré-Cœur” va se répandre dans toute la chrétienté et en 1899, le pape Léon XIII instituera la fête du Sacré-Cœur. Marguerite-Marie a été canonisée et Claude La Colombière l’a été à son tour en 1991 par Jean-Paul II. Une chapelle dédiée à Claude La Colombière a été construite en 1930.

SOURCE : http://www.jesuites.com/2012/01/paray-le-monial/

Claude La Colombière, S.I. (1641-1682)

Claude La Colombière, troisième enfant du notaire Bertrand La Colombière et Marguerite Coindat, naquit le 2 février 1641 à St. Symphorien d'Ozon dans le Dauphiné.

La famille s'étant déplacée à Vienne (France), Claude y fit ses premières études, qu'il compléta ensuite à Lyon jusqu'aux classes de Rhétorique et de Philosophie.

C'est alors qu'il se sentit appelé à la vie religieuse dans la Compagnie de Jésus; mais nous ne connaissons pas les motifs de son choix et de sa décision. Par contre, dans ses écrits, il nous a livré cet aveu: "J'avais une horrible aversion pour la vie que je choisissais". Cette affirmation se comprend facilement pour qui connaît la vie de Claude, dont la nature, sensible au charme des relations familiales et aux amitiés, était portée vers l'art et la littérature et attirée par tout ce qu'il y avait de plus digne dans la vie de société. Mais il n'était pas homme à se laisser guider par le sentiment.

A 17 ans, il entre au Noviciat de la Compagnie de Jésus, installé à Avignon. C'est là qu'en 1660 il passe du Noviciat au Collège pour terminer ses études de philosophie. Il y émet aussi ses premiers voeux de religion. A la fin des cours, il est nommé professeur de Grammaire et de Littérature; tâche qu'il assumera pendant cinq ans dans ce Collège.

En 1666 il est envoyé à Paris pour étudier la Théologie au Collège de Clermont; il reçoit à la même époque une charge de haute responsabilité. Sa compétence notoire pour les études d'humanités, unie à des dons exquis de prudence et de finesse, amènent les Supérieurs à le choisir comme précepteur des fils de Colbert, Ministre des Finances de Louis XIV.

Ses études terminées et ordonné prêtre, il retourne de nouveau à Lyon: il y est professeur pendant quelque temps, et ensuite se consacre entièrement à la prédication et à la direction de la Congrégation Mariale.

La prédication de La Colombière se distingue surtout par sa solidité et sa profondeur; il ne se perdait pas en idées vagues, mais s'adressait avec à propos à un auditoire concret. Son inspiration évangélique avait le pouvoir de transmettre à tous sérénité et confiance en Dieu. La publication de ses sermons produisit dans les âmes, comme elle continue à le faire, de grands résultats spirituels; en effet, si l'on considère l'endroit où ils ont été prononcés et la brièveté de son ministère, ils semblent avoir moins vieilli que les textes d'orateurs plus célèbres.

L'année 1674 est décisive dans la vie de Claude. Il fait son Troisième an de probation à la "Maison Saint-Joseph" de Lyon et au cours du mois traditionnel d'Exercices Spirituels, le Seigneur le prépare à la mission qu'il lui avait destinée. Les notes spirituelles de cette époque nous permettent de suivre pas à pas les luttes et les triomphes de son caractère, singulièrement sensible aux attraits humains, mais aussi généreux envers Dieu.

Il fait le voeu d'observer toutes les Constitutions et les Règles de la Compagnie. Il ne s'agissait pas là comme but essentiel de se lier à une série d'observances minutieuses, mais de reproduire le vivant idéal apostolique décrit par saint Ignace. Puisque cet idéal lui paraissait magnifique, Claude l'adopta comme un programme de sainteté. Cela répondait à une invitation de Jésus Christ lui-même. La preuve en est qu'il fut ensuite pénétré d'un sentiment de libération et d'extension de son horizon apostolique, comme il en témoigne dans son journal spirituel.

Le 2 février 1675 il fait la Profession solennelle et est nommé Recteur du Collège de Paray-le-Monial. Certains s'étonnèrent qu'un homme si éminent fut envoyé dans un endroit aussi retiré que Paray. On en trouve l'explication dans le fait que les Supérieurs savaient qu'au Monastère de la Visitation, une humble religieuse, Marguerite Marie Alacoque, à laquelle le Seigneur révélait les trésors de son Coeur, vivait dans une angoissante incertitude; elle attendait que le Seigneur lui-même accomplisse sa promesse de lui envoyer son "fidèle serviteur et parfait ami", qui l'aurait aidée à réaliser la mission à laquelle il la destinait: manifester au monde les richesses insondables de son amour.

Dès que le P. La Colombière fut arrivé à destination, Marguerite Marie, après l'avoir rencontré plusieurs fois, lui manifesta toute son âme et les communications qu'elle croyait recevoir du Seigneur. Le Père, de son côté, l'approuva entièrement et lui suggéra de mettre par écrit tout ce qu'elle éprouvait dans son âme, l'orientant et l'encourageant dans l'accomplissement de la mission reçue. Lorsqu'il fut certain, à la lumière de la grâce divine manifestée dans la prière et le discernement, que le Christ désirait le culte de son Coeur, il s'y livra sans réserve, comme nous en avons le témoignage dans son engagement et ses notes spirituelles. On y voit clairement, que, déjà avant de recevoir les confidences de Marguerite Marie Alacoque, Claude, en suivant les directives de saint Ignace dans les Exercices Spirituels, était arrivé à contempler le Coeur du Christ comme symbole de son amour.

Après un an et demi de séjour à Paray, en 1676, le P. La Colombière part pour Londres, où il a été nommé prédicateur de la Duchesse d'York. Il s'agissait d'un ministère très délicat, étant donné les événements religieux qui à l'époque agitaient l'Angleterre. Avant la fin d'octobre de la même année, le Père occupait déjà l'appartement qui lui avait été réservé au palais de St. James. En plus des sermons qu'il prononce dans la chapelle et la direction spirituelle, orale et écrite, à laquelle il se livre, Claude peut consacrer du temps à instruire solidement dans la vraie foi plusieurs personnes qui avaient abandonné l'Eglise romaine. Même au coeur des plus grands dangers, il eut la consolation de voir plusieurs conversions, au point d'avouer, après un an: "Je pourrais écrire un livre sur la miséricorde dont Dieu m'a rendu témoin depuis que je suis ici".

Un travail si intense et un climat pernicieux eurent raison de sa santé; des symptômes d'une grave affection pulmonaire commencèrent à se manifester. Cependant Claude continua courageusement son genre de vie.

A la fin de 1678, il fut arrêté a l'improviste sous l'accusation calomnieuse de complot papiste. Après deux jours, on l'enferma dans la sinistre prison de King's Bench, où il resta trois semaines, en proie à de graves privations, jusqu'à ce qu'un décret royal lui signifiât son expulsion de l'Angleterre.

Toutes ses souffrances rendirent encore plus précaire son état de santé, qui, avec des hauts et des bas, ne fit qu'empirer à son retour en France.

Pendant l'été 1681, déjà très gravement atteint, il fut renvoyé à Paray. Et le 15 février 1682, premier dimanche du Carême, à la soirée, il fut pris d'un crachement de sang qui mit fin à ses jours.

Le Pape Pie XI a béatifié Claude La Colombière le 16 juin 1929. Son charisme, aux dires de S. Marguerite Marie Alacoque, fut d'élever les âmes à Dieu, en suivant le chemin de l'amour et de la miséricorde que le Christ nous révèle dans l'Evangile.

SOURCE : http://www.vatican.va/news_services/liturgy/saints/ns_lit_doc_19920531_la-colombiere_fr.html

CANONISATION DE CLAUDE LA COLOMBIÈRE

HOMÉLIE DU PAPE JEAN-PAUL II

Basilique vaticane - Dimanche 31 mai 1992


“Perché l’amore con il quale mi hai amato sia in essi” (Io. 17, 26).

[1. Cristo prega nel cenacolo. Prega nella sera, in cui ha istituito l’Eucaristia. Prega per gli Apostoli e per tutti coloro “che per la loro parola crederanno” (Ibid. 17, 20) lungo le generazioni e i secoli. Chiede al Padre che tutti “siano una cosa sola”, così come il Padre è col Figlio e il Figlio col Padre: “Siano anch’essi in noi una cosa sola” (Ibid. 17, 21).

Una cosa sola: l’unità della Divinità e l’unità di comunione delle Persone - unità del Padre col Figlio e del Figlio col Padre nello Spirito Santo. L’unità mediante l’Amore.

Cristo prega per l’amore: “Perché l’amore con il quale mi hai amato sia in essi e io in loro” (Ibid. 7, 26). Cristo rivela il segreto del suo Cuore. Proprio questo Cuore umano del Figlio di Dio è un ineffabile santuario che contiene tutti i tesori dell’amore: è un Cuore “traboccante di bontà e di amore” («Litaniae S. Cordis Iesus»).

2. La preghiera pronunciata da Cristo nel cenacolo continua nella Chiesa: di secolo in secolo, di generazione in generazione - essa costituisce una perenne “fonte di vita e di santità” (Ibid.). Ma nella storia ci sono momenti particolari, luoghi e persone prescelte che quasi di nuovo scopro no e di nuovo rivelano tale perenne ed intramontabile verità sull’amore.

L’uomo che la Chiesa oggi proclama santo - il Beato Claude La Colombière - è senz’altro una di queste persone.]  

3. En France, le dix-septième siècle a été appelé “le grand siècle des âmes”. C’est un temps de haute culture humaine, de développement des institutions de cette nation prestigieuse en Europe. Mais c’est aussi un temps de conflits cruels et de pauvreté du peuple. Le clergé et les ordres religieux sont souvent décadents; de ce fait, le peuple reste loin des lumières de la foi, des bienfaits de la vie spirituelle et de la communion ecclésiale. Cependant, depuis le Concile de Trente, depuis les fondateurs que furent saint François de Sales, Bérulle ou saint Vincent de Paul, un mouvement spirituel intense anime l’Église en France. On assiste à une grande activité réformatrice : le ministère sacerdotal est renouvelé, notamment avec la création des séminaires ; les religieux reviennent à l’authenticité de leur vocation, de nouvelles fondations voient le jour ; l’évangélisation des campagnes prend un nouvel élan avec les missions paroissiales; à la réflexion théologique s’associe une floraison mystique.

Au cœur de ce siècle, vit Claude La Colombière, entré jeune dans la Compagnie de Jésus. Celle-ci exerce sa mission à Paris comme en plusieurs provinces; elle a une influence notable par son effort intellectuel et, plus encore, par le dynamisme de vie chrétienne qu’elle sait communiquer.

4. Vrai compagnon de saint Ignace, Claude apprend à maîtriser sa forte sensibilité. Il garde humblement le sens de “sa misère” pour ne s’appuyer que sur son espérance en Dieu et sur sa confiance en la grâce. Il prend résolument la voie de la sainteté. Il adhère de tout son être aux Constitutions et aux Règles de l’institut, rejetant toute tiédeur. Fidélité et obéissance se traduisent, devant Dieu, par le “désir (. . .) de confiance, d’amour, de résignation et de sacrifice parfait” (CLAUDE LA COLOMBIÈRE, Retraites, n. 28). 

Le Père Claude a forgé sa spiritualité à l’école des Exercices. Nous en avons gardé l’impressionnant journal. Il se consacre d’abord à “méditer beaucoup la vie de Jésus Christ qui est le modèle de la nôtre” (Ibid., n. 33).  Contempler le Christ permet de vivre en familiarité avec lui pour lui appartenir totalement: “Je vois qu’il faut absolument que je sois à lui” (Ibid., n. 71).  Et si Claude ose tendre à cette totale fidélité, c’est en vertu de son sens aigu de la puissance de la grâce qui le transforme. Il accède à la parfaite liberté de celui qui s’en remet sans réserve à la volonté de Dieu. “J’ai un cœur libre”, dit-il (Ibid., n. 12):  épreuves ou sacrifices, il les accepte “en songeant que Dieu n’exige cela de nous que par amitié” (Ibid., n. 38). Tout son goût de l’amitié le conduit à répondre à l’amitié de Dieu, dans un élan d’amour chaque jour renouvelé.

Le Père La Colombière s’engage dans l’apostolat avec la conviction qu’il est l’instrument de l’œuvre de Dieu : “Pour faire beaucoup pour Dieu, il faut être tout à lui” (Ibid., n. 37). La prière, dit-il encore, est “l’unique moyen (. . .) de faire que Dieu s’unisse à nous pour faire quelque chose pour sa gloire” (Ibid., n. 52). Dans l’apostolat, les fruits et le succès viennent moins des facultés de la personne que de la fidélité à la volonté divine et de la transparence à son action.

5. Ce religieux au cœur pur et libre était préparé à comprendre et à prêcher le message que, dans le même temps, le Cœur de Jésus confiait à Sœur Marguerite-Marie Alacoque. Paray-le-Monial sera l’étape la plus féconde à nos yeux de l’itinéraire bien court de Claude La Colombière. Il arrive dans cette ville, depuis longtemps riche de sa tradition de vie religieuse, pour faire la rencontre providentielle de l’humble Visitandine entrée dans un dialogue constant avec son “divin Maître” qui lui promet “les délices de (son) pur amour”. Il découvre en elle une religieuse qui désire ardemment “la Croix toute pure” (CLAUDE LA COLOMBIÈRE, Mémoire, n. 49) et qui offre sa pénitence et ses peines sans réticence.

Le Père La Colombière, avec une grande sûreté de discernement, authentifie d’emblée l’expérience mystique de cette “disciple bien-aimée [du] sacré Cœur” (Ibid., n. 54), avec laquelle il connaîtra une belle fraternité spirituelle. D’elle, il recueille le message qui connaîtra un grand retentissement: “Voilà ce Cœur qui a tant aimé les hommes qu’il n’a rien épargné, jusqu’à s’épuiser et se consumer pour leur témoigner son amour” (EIUSDEM, Retraites, n. 135). Le Seigneur demande qu’une fête honore son Cœur, en lui faisant “réparation d’honneur” dans la communion eucharistique. Marguerite-Marie transmet au “serviteur fidèle et parfait ami”, qu’elle a reconnu dans le Père La Colombière, la mission d’“établir cette dévotion et donner ce plaisir à mon divin Cœur” (Ibid.). Claude, dans les années qui lui restent, intériorise les “richesses infinies”. Désormais sa vie spirituelle se développe dans la perspective de la “réparation” et de la “miséricorde infinie”, tant soulignées à Paray. Il est tout offert au Sacré Cœur “toujours brûlant d’amour”. Jusque dans l’épreuve, il pratique l’oubli de soi afin de parvenir à la pureté de l’amour et d’élever le monde à Dieu. Sentant sa faiblesse, il s’en remet à la puissance de la grâce : “Faites en moi votre volonté, Seigneur (. . .). C’est à vous à tout faire, divin Cœur de Jésus Christ” (Ibid.; EIUSDEM, Offrande, n. 152).

6. Les trois siècles passés nous permettent de mesurer l’importance du message confié à Claude La Colombière. Dans une période de contrastes entre la ferveur de certains et l’indifférence ou l’impiété de beaucoup, se présente une dévotion centrée sur l’humanité du Christ, sur sa présence, sur son amour de miséricorde et sur le pardon. L’appel à la “réparation”, caractéristique de Paray-le-Monial, pourra être diversement compris, mais, essentiellement, il s’agit pour les pécheurs que sont tous les hommes de revenir vers le Seigneur, touchés par son amour, et de lui offrir une plus vive fidélité pour l’avenir, une vie embrasée de charité. S’il y a solidarité dans le péché, il y a aussi solidarité dans le salut. L’offrande de chacun est faite pour le bien de tous. À l’exemple de Claude La Colombière, le fidèle comprend qu’une telle attitude spirituelle ne peut être que l’action du Christ en lui, manifestée par la communion eucharistique: accueillir en son cœur le Cœur du Christ et s’unir au sacrifice que lui seul peut offrir dignement au Père.

La dévotion au Cœur du Christ sera un facteur d’équilibre et d’affermissement spirituel pour les communautés chrétiennes bientôt affrontées à l’incroyance qui progressera dans les siècles suivants: une conception impersonnelle de Dieu se répandra; l’homme, s’éloignant de la rencontre personnelle du Christ et des sources de la grâce, voudra être seul maître de son histoire et se donner à lui-même sa loi, jusqu’à se montrer impitoyable pour servir ses ambitions. Le message de Paray, accessible aux humbles comme aux grands de ce monde, répond à de tels égarements en éclairant la relation de l’homme avec Dieu et de l’homme avec le monde par la lumière qui vient du Cœur de Dieu: conformément à la Tradition de l’Église, il oriente le regard vers la Croix du Rédempteur du monde, vers “Celui qu’ils ont transpercé” (Io. 19, 37).

7. Nous rendons grâce, aujourd’hui encore, pour le message confié aux saints de Paray et qui n’a cessé d’étendre son rayonnement. Au seuil de notre siècle, le Pape Léon XIII saluait “dans le Sacré Cœur de Jésus un symbole et une image claire de l’amour infini de Jésus Christ, amour qui nous pousse à nous aimer les uns les autres” (LEONIS XIII Annum Sacrum). Pie XI et Pie XII ont favorisé ce culte, y discernant une réponse spirituelle aux difficultés que rencontrent la foi et l’Église.

Certes, l’expression et la sensibilité évoluent, mais l’essentiel demeure. Lorsqu’on a découvert dans l’adoration eucharistique et la méditation le Cœur de Jésus “toujours brûlant d’amour pour les hommes” (CLAUDE LA COLOMBIÈRE, Retraites, n. 150), comment pourrait-on se laisser séduire par des formes de méditation qui replient sur soi sans accueillir la Présence du Seigneur ? Comment pourrait-on être attiré par la prolifération de conceptions du sacré qui ne font que masquer un tragique vide spirituel ?

Pour l’évangélisation d’aujourd’hui, il faut que le Cœur du Christ soit reconnu comme le cœur de l’Église : c’est Lui qui appelle à la conversion, à la réconciliation. C’est Lui qui entraîne sur les voies des Béatitudes les cœurs purs et les affamés de justice. C’est Lui qui réalise la communion chaleureuse des membres du Corps unique. C’est Lui qui permet d’adhérer à la Bonne Nouvelle et d’accueillir les promesses de la vie éternelle. C’est Lui qui envoie en mission. Le cœur à cœur avec Jésus élargit le cœur de l’homme aux dimensions du monde.

Puisse la canonisation de Claude La Colombière être pour toute l’Église un appel à vivre la consécration au Cœur du Christ, consécration qui est don de soi pour laisser la charité du Christ nous animer, nous pardonner et nous entraîner dans son ardent désir d’ouvrir à tous nos frères les voies de la vérité et de la vie !  

8. “Padre giusto, il mondo non ti ha conosciuto, ma io ti ho conosciuto; questi sanno che tu mi hai mandato” (Io. 17, 25).

Questi: i santi - le sante - la Chiesa nelle sempre nuove epoche della storia.

Questi: Claude La Colombière - Maria Margherita Alacoque. La Chiesa.

Nel tempo pasquale la Chiesa rivive le teofanie del suo Redentore e Signore-Buon Pastore che “offre la vita per le pecore” (Cfr. ibid. 10, 15).

E la Chiesa fissa lo sguardo al cielo insieme col diacono Stefano, primo martire lapidato in Gerusalemme.

La Chiesa fissa lo sguardo al cielo come Stefano nel momento della sua morte da martire: “Ecco, io contemplo i cieli aperti e il Figlio del l’uomo che sta alla destra di Dio . . . Signore Gesù, accogli il mio spirito” (Act. 7, 56. 59).

Amen !

© Copyright 1992 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

SOURCE : https://www.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/fr/homilies/1992/documents/hf_jp-ii_hom_19920531_la-colombiere.html

Les lumières de l’Esprit

Saint Claude La Colombière était le directeur spirituel de sainte Marguerite-Marie Alacoque dont nous faisons mémoire en ce jour.

On peut dire que le Saint-Esprit donne à la science de la foi le même avantage que la lumière donne aux figures et aux couleurs. Lorsque le soleil est entré aujourd’hui dans ce palais, il n’a ni doré les alcôves, ni brodé les lits, ni ciselé l’argenterie, ni peint les tableaux dont les appartements sont enrichis ; cependant on n’apercevait point ces meubles précieux, ils étaient à notre égard comme s’ils n’eussent point existé : c’est la lumière de cet astre brillant qui les a rendus visibles. Il en est de même en quelque sorte des vérités de la religion et de la morale chrétienne : nous en savons à peu près ce que nous en devons savoir ; mais il arrive souvent que cette science est comme éteinte dans notre esprit, qu’elle y est comme si en effet elle n’y était pas ; parmi tant de vérités qui ornent l’entendement, pas une ne touche la volonté : c’est parce qu’elles ne sont pas éclairées de ce rayon surnaturel qui nous les fait apercevoir ; elles sont peintes dans la mémoire sans que l’âme les y découvre. Voilà pourquoi, lorsque le Saint-Esprit vient en nous, on est surpris de voir tout d’un coup des choses qu’on ne voyait point auparavant, quoiqu’on les eût en quelque sorte devant les yeux ; on s’étonne qu’ayant eu une connaissance si exacte de la vérité, cette connaissance soit demeurée comme endormie, n’ait fait naître aucun sentiment dans notre âme ; tant on trouve de différence entre le grand jour dont on est environné, et les ténèbres d’où l’on sort.

St Claude La Colombière, s.j.

Saint Claude La Colombière († 1682), prêtre et théologien jésuite, fut le confesseur de sainte Marguerite-Marie Alacoque et le prédicateur de la duchesse d’York à Londres. / Œuvres, t. 2, Avignon, Seguin, 1832, p. 7-8

SOURCE : https://fr.aleteia.org/daily-prayer/samedi-16-octobre/meditation-de-ce-jour-1/

Réconciliation

Il n’est presque rien de plus rare que le pardon. Qui d’entre nous s’acquitte comme il le faut de ce devoir ? On se garde bien de dire qu’on veut se venger ; mais souvent, on ne laisse pas de le faire tout en protestant qu’on ne veut point de mal à son ennemi. Mais, comme si tout était permis après cette précaution, on dit de lui tout ce qu’on sait, et souvent même ce qu’on ne sait pas ; on exagère l’injustice et la violence de son procédé ; on prend plaisir à faire remarquer ses défauts ; on réveille le souvenir de ses actions passées. Certainement, la charité ne peut manquer d’en être blessée ; c’est toujours une espèce de vengeance.

Ceux qui sont les plus éloignés de se venger eux-mêmes sont quelquefois bien aises d’êtres vengés : on a de la complaisance à voir que celui qui nous voulait nuire est tombé lui-même dans le piège qu’il nous tendait ; on apprend avec plaisir que son procédé est condamné des honnêtes gens ; on se réjouit des disgrâces qui lui arrivent. Je ne dis pas seulement que ce n’est pas là aimer comme Jésus Christ nous l’ordonne ; il est tout visible que c’est haïr et vouloir du mal ; je dis même que c’est exercer une véritable vengeance.

La vengeance ne consiste pas à tuer, à frapper, à tirer du sang : se venger, c’est prendre plaisir au malheur de son ennemi ; c’est trouver de la joie et de la consolation en ce qui l’afflige. Or, n’est-il pas vrai que peu de personnes sont exemptes de ces sentiments, et qu’il est bien malaisé de s’en défendre ?

St Claude La Colombière, s.j.

Saint Claude La Colombière († 1682), prêtre et théologien jésuite, fut le confesseur de sainte Marguerite-Marie Alacoque et le prédicateur de la duchesse d’York à Londres. / Œuvres, VI, Avignon, Seguin Aîné, 1832, p. 199.

SOURCE : https://fr.aleteia.org/daily-prayer/jeudi-9-juin/meditation-de-ce-jour-1/


Saint Claude La Colombière priant le Sacré-Cœur de Jésus, église du Sacré-Cœur, MuntinlupaPhilippines.


Saint Claude de la Colombiere

Also known as

Claudius de la Columbiere

Memorial

15 February

Profile

Born to the French nobility, Claude early felt a call to religious lifeEducated at Jesuit college in Lyons, FrancePriestTaught humanities at AvignonFrance. Continued his studies in ParisFranceTutorPreached against Jansenism, advocating dedication to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Joined the Jesuits in 1659. Spiritual director of Saint Margaret Mary of Alocoque.

Chaplain to Mary Beatrice d’Este, the Duchess of York. He converted many Protestants through the example of his holy life. Due to rumours of “Popish plots” against the king and the re-establishment Catholicism, Claude was imprisoned, accused of being part of the Titus Oates Plot. It was only by the efforts of Louis XIV, who had recommended him for the assignment, that he was not martyredBanished from England. His health had been ruined by his time in prison, and he returned to Paray to die. The day after his deathSaint Margaret received supernatural assurance that Claude needed no prayers, as he was in already heaven. He is considred a “dry” martyr, having suffered every abuse for the faith except death.

Born

2 February 1641 at Saint-Symphorien d’Ozon, Rhône, France

Died

15 February 1682 at Paray-le-Monial, Saône-et-Loire, France of hemoptysis (coughing up blood)

Venerated

11 August 1901 by Pope Leo XIII

Beatified

16 June 1929 by Pope Pius XI

Canonized

31 May 1992 by Pope John Paul II in RomeItaly

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Additional Information

Catholic Encyclopedia

Saints for Sinners, by Father Alban Goodier, SJ

An Act of Hope and Confidence in God, by Saint Claude de la Colombiere

Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence, by Saint Claude de la Colombiere

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John Paul II’s Book of Saints, by Matthew Bunson and Margaret Bunson

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An Act of Hope and Confidence in God, by Saint Claude de la Colombiere

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Readings

The past three centuries allow us to evalutate the importance of the message which was entrusted to Claude. In a period of contrasts between the fervor of some and the indifference or impiety of many, here is a devotion centered on the humility of Christ, on his presence, on his love of mercy and on forgiveness. Devotion to the Heart of Christ would be a source of balance and spiritual strengthening for Christian communities so often faced with increasing unbelief over the coming centuries. – Pope John Paul II, during the canonization of Saint Claude

Lord, I am in this world to show Your mercy to others. Other people will glorify You by making visible the power of Your grace by their fidelity and constancy to You. For my part I will glorify You by making known how good You are to sinners, that Your mercy is boundless and that no sinner no matter how great his offences should have reason to despair of pardon. If I have grievously offended You, My Redeemer, let me not offend You even more by thinking that You are not kind enough to pardon Me. Amen. – Saint Claude de la Colombiere

MLA Citation

“Saint Claude de la Colombiere“. CatholicSaints.Info. 29 May 2021. Web. 16 October 2021. <https://catholicsaints.info/saint-claude-de-la-colombiere/>

SOURCE : https://catholicsaints.info/saint-claude-de-la-colombiere/

Claude de la Colombière

Missionary and ascetical writer, born of noble parentage at Saint-Symphorien-d'Ozon, between Lyons and Vienne, in 1641; died at Paray-le-Monial, 15 Feb., 1682. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1659. After fifteen years of religious life he made a vow, as a means of attaining the utmost possible perfection, to observefaithfully the rule and constitutions of his order under penalty of sin. Those who lived with him attested that this vow was kept with great exactitude. In 1674 Father de la Colombière was made superior at the Jesuit house at Paray-le-Monial, where he became the spiritual director of Blessed Margaret Mary and was thereafter a zealous apostle of the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In 1676 he was sent to England as preacher to the Duchess of York, afterwards Queen of Great Britain. He lived the life of a religious even in the Court of St. James and was as active a missionary in England as he had been in France. Although encountering many difficulties, he was able to guide Blessed Margaret Mary by letter. His zeal soon weakened his vitality and a throat and lung trouble seemed to threaten his work as a preacher. While awaiting his recall to France he was suddenly arrested and thrown into prison, denounced as a conspirator. Thanks to his title of preacher to the Duchess of York and to the protection of Louis XIV, whose subject he was, he escaped death but was condemned to exile (1679). The last two years of his life were spent at Lyons where he was spiritual director to the young Jesuits, and at Paray-le-Monial, whither he repaired for his health. His principal works, including "Pious Reflections", "Meditations on the Passion", "Retreat and Spiritual Letters", were published under the title, "Oeuvres du R. P. Claude de la Colombière" (Avignon, 1832; Paris, 1864). His relics are preserved in the monastery of the Visitation nuns at Paray-le-Monial.

Sources

SEQUIN, Vie du P. de la Colombière (Paris, 1876), tr. in Quarterly Series (London, 1883); LUBEN, Der ehrwurdige Diener Gottes P. Claudius de la Colombière (Einsiedeln, 1884); LETIERCE, Le Sacré Coeur, ses apôtres et ses sanctuaires (Nancy, 1886); Lettres inédites de la bienheureuse Marguerite Marie (Toulouse, 1890); CHARRIER, Histoire du V. P. Claude de la Colombière (Paris, 1894); BOUGAUD, Histoire de la bienheureuse Marguerite Marie (Toulouse, 1900); Oeuvres complètes du R. P. de la Colombière (Grenoble, 1901); HATTLER, Lebensbild der ehrwurdige P. Claudius de la Colombière (1903); POUPLARD, Notice sur le serviteur de Dieu, le R. P. Claude de la Colombière.

[Note: Claude de la Colombière was beatified in 1929, and canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1992.]

Steele, Gertrude Dana. "Ven. Claude de la Colombière." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 16 (Index). New York: The Encyclopedia Press, 1914. 16 Oct. 2021 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/16026b.htm>.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Herman F. Holbrook. In te, Domine, speravi; non confundar in aeternum.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. March 1, 1914. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.

Copyright © 2020 by Kevin Knight. Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
SOURCE : http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/16026b.htm

Saint Claude De La Colombiere : An Act of Hope and Confidence in God

My God, I believe most firmly that Thou watchest over all who hope in Thee, and that we can want for nothing when we rely upon Thee in all things; therefore I am resolved for the future to have no anxieties, and to cast all my cares upon Thee.

People may deprive me of worldly goods and of honors; sickness may take from me my strength and the means of serving Thee; I may even lose Thy grace by sin; but my trust shall never leave me. I will preserve it to the last moment of my life, and the powers of hell shall seek in vain to wrestle it from me.

Let others seek happiness in their wealth, in their talents; let them trust to the purity of their lives, the severity of their mortifications, to the number of their good works, the fervor of their prayers; as for me, O my God, in my very confidence lies all my hope. "For Thou, O Lord, singularly has settled me in hope." This confidence can never be in vain. "No one has hoped in the Lord and has been confounded."

I am assured, therefore, of my eternal happiness, for I firmly hope for it, and all my hope is in Thee. "In Thee, O Lord, I have hoped; let me never be confounded."

I know, alas! I know but too well that I am frail and changable; I know the power of temptation against the strongest virtue. I have seen stars fall from heaven, and pillars of firmament totter; but these things alarm me not. While I hope in Thee I am sheltered from all misfortune, and I am sure that my trust shall endure, for I rely upon Thee to sustain this unfailing hope.

Finally, I know that my confidence cannot exceed Thy bounty, and that I shall never receive less than I have hoped for from Thee. Therefore I hope that Thou wilt sustain me against my evil inclinations; that Thou wilt protect me against the most furious assults of the evil one, and that Thou wilt cause my weakness to triumph over my most powerful enemies. I hope that Thou wilt never cease to love me, and that I shall love Thee unceasingly. "In Thee, O Lord, have I hoped; let me never be confounded."

SOURCE : http://www.catholic-forum.com/saints/stc28001.htm

St. Claude la Colombière

St. Claude de la Colombiere, SJ, promoted the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and was the confessor of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque.

Claude de la Colombiere was born of French noble parents in 1641. His young years were apparently happy ones, as he was close to his family and friends, leading an active social life. He entered the Jesuit novitiate at 17 and commenced a life of study and teaching. After his ordination he taught at the Jesuit college in Lyons, preached, and served as moderator for several Marian congregations.

In 1674, after 15 years of Jesuit life, Colombiere took a personal vow to observe the Rule and Constitutions of the Society of Jesus. He discovered in this program of sanctity an experience of inner liberation and a greater ability to open his heart to others in ministry.

In 1675 Claude was named rector at the Jesuit college at Paray-le-Monial, France. While in Paray, Colombiere became the spiritual advisor for Sr. Margaret Mary Alacoque. The Lord was revealing to Margaret Mary visions of his compassionate heart for the world.

Margaret Mary was filled with anxiety and uncertainty about what she was experiencing. The Lord instructed through Sr. Margaret Mary Alacoque that the world be devoted to his Sacred Heart. Colombiere assured Sr. Margaret Mary that her visions were authentic. He also instructed her to write down all that she had experienced. In accepting the authenticity of Margaret Mary’s visions, Claude de la Colombiere pledged himself to the mission of spreading the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

In 1676 Claude became the appointed preacher for the Duchess of York (later Queen of England). He moved to London, where he worked to reconcile former Catholics with the Church. In 1678 he was caught in the web of lies spun by Titus Oates about an alleged plot by Jesuits to kill Charles II. Claude, in spite of failing health, was first thrown into prison and later exiled to France. In 1682 Colombiere died in Paray-le-Monial.

Claude de la Colombiere was declared a saint by Pope John Paul II in 1992.

- See more at: http://www.ignatianspirituality.com/ignatian-voices/16th-and-17th-century-ignatian-voices/st-claude-de-la-colombiere-sj/#sthash.oT1Tduw2.dpuf

SOURCE : http://www.ucatholic.com/saints/saint-claude-la-colombiere/

Saints for Sinners – Blessed Claude de la Colombiere

The beatification of Blessed Claude de La Colombiere cannot be without interest to English Catholics, more especially to Catholics in London. Anyone passing Saint James’s Palace may recall that for two years he lived there, in the last days of Charles II; therefore at that time he must often have been seen, passing down Pall Mall or up Saint James’s Street, a singular figure in such a gay world, tolerated because he was a Frenchman, protected because he was the official chaplain of Mary of Modena, the wife of James, then Duke of York. But still more should his memory be dear to English Catholic hearts because it is to him that we owe it that, even in those times of trouble, the first formal petition for the establishment of the Feast of the Sacred Heart was sent to Rome from London. We may add another reason; unless we are mistaken Claude de La Colombiere is the last resident in England not a martyr who has been beatified. On that account we would claim him as one of ourselves, closely allied with our martyrs. And yet, when we come to study his career, there is singularly little to be said about him; indeed one may assert that he has been remembered more because of his connection with the name of another than on his own account. Had he never come across Saint Margaret Mary he might never have been known, any more than Bernadette would have been known, had it not been for the apparitions at Lourdes. Nor, when he is known, is it easy at first to discover the sanctity in its highest degree which was his. There is little to show us that any of his contemporaries and friends looked on him as anything more than an excellent religious, and even that on some accounts might have seemed to need qualification. There are saints whom no man would discover if God did not discover them for him; one of these was La Colombiere. There are saints who have never dreamt they were saints; it would seem that of no one could this be more truly said than of him.

Claude de La Colombiere was one of a family of seven children, two of whom died young, four of the rest embraced the religious life or the priesthood; of his childhood we know practically nothing. At the age of nine he went to a Jesuit school; almost all we know of his schooldays is that he “showed ability”; a remark that will have been made of many of his companions. When he was seventeen he entered the Jesuit novitiate; we are told that he had “a horrible aversion to the life he chose”, but he is not the only novice who has felt the same. He passed through his course of training very much as any other scholastic; if during his theology he was at the same time appointed tutor to the children of Colbert this was nothing exceptional. By an indiscretion of his own he lost that post; this threw him back into the colleges, where he held offices suited to one of rather more than average ability, but not of themselves suggestive of anything exceptional, whether in nature or in grace. He then made his third year of probation; after which, at the age of thirty-five, he was sent as superior to the residence at Paray-le-Monial. During his college days he had taught rhetoric, and had shown a gift for preaching; at the same time he was delicate in physique, and incapable of excessive work. It would seem that these two circumstances had decided his appointment to Paray, where he could exercise his talent without undue pressure or labor. His work in Paray was such as might have been expected of a good religious, little more. He took a lively interest in the little Jesuit school that was under him; he founded a sodality for men; he helped in the founding of a hospital; he preached with apparently average success; he was sought for as a confessor and a director of souls; to the outside world that appears to have been all. But he was also extraordinary confessor to the Visitation nuns of Paray, and in that convent at the moment Sister Margaret Mary Alacoque was causing anxiety. Naturally Father de La Colombiere soon came across her. He studied her case and at once, against the opinion of others, he espoused her cause; he was rewarded, perhaps not altogether at first to his liking, by being told by the saint that he was the one appointed by Our Lord to be her chief support in the task imposed upon her. Still he did not shrink. He became her staunch friend and adviser; if we may judge from notes written in his journal more than two years later, he accepted this responsibility as a further motive compelling him to aim at the highest sanctity.

He lived at Paray-le-Monial only eighteen months, after which he was appointed chaplain to tine Ducliess of York, daugliter of tine Duke of Modena, in London. There he lived, in Saint James’s Palace, for two years, a lonely and cramped life, but, if we may judge from his letters, not without the fruit which an earnest priest in such a situation might have been expected to reap. At the end of that time he was betrayed by a Frenchman whom he thought he had converted. He was accused of reconciling heretics, and of speaking against the king; it was the year of the Titus Gates “Plot,” and La Colombiere, a Jesuit, and living in the household of the Duke of York, must have seemed a likely source of information. He was thrown into prison, cross-examined many times, but clearly knew nothing of what was said to be going on; at length, being a Frenchman, he was banished from the country. But before he could leave his health broke down; the hardships of his prison, added to the rigor of the English climate, had affected his lungs, and he suffered a serious hemorrhage. As soon as he was able he returned to France; there he was given light work as spiritual father in the college of Lyons. But he never recovered. He was removed to Paray in the hope that the climate might suit him better; and there he died, on February 15th, 1682, having just completed his forty-first year. A good man, so his brethren thought, but not exactly what was usually ranked as a saint. He had worked no miracles; he had written no books; he had done nothing in particular. His health had prevented him from using his talents as they might have been used; he had lived only six years from his probation, and two of those had been spent in London, hidden away, unknown to his fellow religious, bearing no fruit that could be seen. He was buried as a good man might have been expected to be buried, with the usual becoming ceremony; perhaps there were those among the mourners who regretted that here was another good life thrown away.

But when he was gone two precious documents were found among his papers. It was true Sister Margaret Mary had always spoken of him as something exceptional, and after his death revered him as a saint, but this was put down to her natural enthusiasm, perhaps a little to her biased judgment, a matter of fidelity to the memory of one who had been her staunch support and champion. But these two documents proved that she was right. None but a man with the highest ideals could have written them; if he had lived up to the standard they laid down, then without a doubt he had lived a life of heroic sanctity. And when his brethren came to reflect upon it, gradually they saw that he had. Gradually his name was dissociated from that of Saint Margaret Mary, and the devotion of which she constituted him the first apostle; it was found that it represented one who on his own account deserved a place in the ranks of the Church’s saints.

Beneath these great ideals, is it possible to trace the natural man on which they are built? We think it is. Colombiere has written his double self-analysis, one during his third year of probation, the other during a retreat he made in England, with such simplicity and accurate attention to detail that we are able to infer the things he has omitted without much fear of mistake. And the picture we would draw is something of this kind. By nature Colombiere was a man given to despondency, to self-mistrust leading almost to despair, even as at one time was his immediate predecessor, to whom he had so great a devotion, Saint Francis de Sales. He had a keen appreciation of are and literature, with which there usually goes great sensitiveness of soul, he felt things keenly, above all his own apparent failures, even in the little things of life. Though once or twice he breaks out in expressions of devotion, yet as a rule his prayer was dry and arid; with all his aspirations after sanctity, he can only resign himself to the commonest planes of the spiritual life and look for perfection in that resignation. Behind all this, the placid exterior, interpreted by his contemporaries, and even by modern biographers, as a sign of placidity within, in matter of fact concealed a soul unceasingly troubled by a whirl of temptation, and of passions which he had need of every grace to resist.

It is in this light that we would read and interpret the three or four characteristics of his sanctity; they were the outcome of the battle he found he had to fight, and of experience of himself, more than of any illumination from without. Margaret Mary had visions and ecstasies, Colombiere had none. She was told what she had to do, even in the matter of her own perfection, Colombiere had to discover all this by the painful sifting of himself. In the third year of probation he took a vow always to do the thing that was most perfect; we can see that the vow was taken, less because of any great light from above, more because of the trouble he found in battling with his own nature. Later he took another vow, to choose by preference, when the choice was allowed him, the thing that he most disliked; again we see in it the determined conquest of his sensitive nature, more than straining after sanctity. Throughout his life his ideal of prayer was, as it were, to have no ideal; to be content with what was given him, and not even to aspire to more; this was nothing else but the recognition of his common experience, and the determination to turn it into what profit he could. Lastly, in regard to sanctity itself he has language almost peculiarly his own. Much as his soul longed for it, he seemed to think that a nature like his could never attain to sublime perfection; he meets the apparently hopeless prospect by accepting as his goal just that standard which is appointed for him and no more. Of all the saints in the calendar of the Church few can have been less aware of their sanctity than was Colombiere.

To illustrate these characteristics of our saint we have only to compare certain passages in which he expresses his own mind; from first to last there is a certain consistency which enables us to read what is going on beneath. Thus, on the seventh day of his Long Retreat he writes: “On the seventh day, during the morning, I found myself attacked with thoughts of mistrust in regard to the aim in life which I am making for the future; I see in it hopeless difficulties. Any other life would seem to me easy to spend in the manner of a saint, so it appears to me, and the more austere, solitary, obscure, separated from all communication, so much the sweeter would it seem to me to be. Much as I dread the ordinary things of nature, such as imprisonment, continued sickness, death itself, all these appear to me pleasant in comparison with an everlasting fight against the surprises of worldliness and self-love, and of that death in life in the midst of the world. When I think on it all, it seems to me that life is going to be intolerably long, and that death will not come soon enough; I understand the words of Saint Augustine; “Patienter vivit, et delectabiliter moritur.” (“He lives patiently, and he die sweetly”)

So he wrote in 1674, when he was preparing for his vow of perfection. Three years later, during a retreat in England, we find him recalling the vow with satisfaction, saying he looks on it as “the greatest grace I have ever received in all my life”; nevertheless the next note is this: “I am made miserable on a matter of which I cannot speak; my imagination is mad and extravagant. All the passions toss my heart about; there scarcely passes a day but all, one after another, stir in me the most unruly emotions. Sometimes they are real things that rouse me, sometimes they are pure imaginations. It is true that by the mercy of God I endure all this without contributing much to it of myself and without consenting to it; still, at any moment I catch these foolish passions stirring up this poor heart. My self-love flies from corner to corner, and is never without a hiding-place; I feel very sorry for myself. Still I do not lose my temper, I do not let myself feel annoyed; what would be the use? I ask God to let me know what I ought to do to serve Him and to purify myself; but I am resolved to wait in peace till it pleases Him to work this miracle, for I am quite convinced that He alone can do it: “Quis potest facere mundum de immundo conceptum semine, nisi tu qui solus es?” (Job 15,4).

Passages parallel to these might be multiplied. They tell with sufficient clearness the struggle that was always going on with an unruly nature; their proximity to the places where he speaks of the vow makes one suspect that the two are connected. In like manner we may judge of his prayer. It is true that in many places he speaks of his attraction for prayer; nevertheless no less often does he tell us of his dryness, always he emphasizes that his prayer is of the common sort, and that he does not wish it to be otherwise. There is no more striking summary of his mind than the following, taken from the notes of his retreat in 674: “Since by the mercy of God I feel myself somewhat drawn to prayer, I have asked of God, with a large heart, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, that He would give me the grace to love this holy exercise more and more, unto the hour of my death. It is the one means for our purification, the one way to union with God, the one channel by which God may unite Himself with us, that He may do anything with us for His glory. To obtain the virtues of an apostle we must pray; to make them of use to our neighbor we must pray; to prevent our losing them while we use them in His service we must pray. The counsel, or rather the commandment: Pray always, seems to me extremely sweet and by no means impossible. It secures the practice of the presence of God; I wish, with the help of Our Lord, to endeavor to follow it. We are always in need of God, then we need to pray always; the more we pray the more we please Him, and the more we receive. I do not ask for those delights in prayer which God gives to whom He will; I am not worthy of them, I have not strength enough to bear them. Extraordinary graces are not good for me; to give them to me would be to build on sand, it would only be pouring precious liquor into a leaking hogshead which can hold nothing. I ask of God only a solid, simple manner of prayer, which may give Him glory and will not puff me up; dryness and desolation, accompanied with His grace, are very good for me, so it seems. Then I make acts of the best kind, and with satisfaction; then I make efforts against my evil disposition, I try to be faithful to God, etc.” Shortly afterwards he concludes:

“Above all things I am resigned to be sanctified by the way that God shall please, by the absence of all sensible delight, if He wishes it so to be, by interior trials, by continual combat with my passions.”

There seems to be no evidence that he ever deviated from this path, or rose beyond the prayer of simplicity. In the retreat of 1677 he confesses that he finds little help in points for meditation, and decides to fall back upon his favorite method of the practice of the presence of God; that is all. But that is an experience of many souls of prayer, who nevertheless are far from being saints; it is foreseen and prepared for by every writer on prayer, within the Society of Jesus as well as without. With all this as a background we may well now ask ourselves what was the characteristic of his sanctity. It has al ready been suggested that the need of unceasing battle with himself led him to make first one heroic vow and then another; the faithful fulfillment of those vows meant the making of a saint. But as a first characteristic trait we would notice Colombiere’s childlike simplicity; to the end he remained a child. This is manifest enough in the spontaneous way he writes of himself; it is manifest no less in his correspondence, in the stories he narrates, in the simplicity of his advice, in the confidence he shows towards his correspondents. But most of all does it appear in his attitude towards Saint Margaret Mary. It was simplicity of soul that enabled him to understand her from the first; the same simplicity made him think of her, and speak of her with the greatest reverence; what she told him of himself he took as perhaps his chief source of encouragement. For example, what can be more simply childlike than the following? He has been speaking of his former temptation to vainglory and human respect:

“Formerly (he says) I was so strongly obsessed with this temptation, that it sapped all my courage, and made me almost lose all hope of saving my own soul while thinking of the souls of others. So strong was it that if I had been free I do not doubt that I would have passed my days in solitude.” Then naively he goes on:

“This temptation began to weaken from a word which N.N. [meaning Saint Margaret Mary] spoke to me one day. For once when she told me that while praying to God for me, Our Lord had given her to understand that my soul was dear to Him, and that He would take particular care of it, I answered her: ‘Alas! N.N., how can this agree with what I feel within myself? Could Our Lord love anyone as vain as I am, one whose only object is to please men, and to win consideration from them, one who is steeped in human respect?’ – ‘O my Father,’ she replied, ‘all this does not really belong to you.’ It is true that this single word of assurance gave me peace; from that time I troubled myself less about these temptations, and they grew weaker and less frequent.”

In other places Colombiere falls back for his own encouragement on the words of Saint Margaret Mary. Evidently, if he was her main support, she in her turn did no less for him. So simple, and childlike, and dependent was this guide of other souls.

Nevertheless we have not yet touched upon the quality which seems to us most characteristic of Colombiere. With a nature given to mistrust of itself and consequent despondency, with a physique which would never permit him to labor to the extent of his desires, placed in situations which invariably seemed to go wrong, or to give him little scope for his zeal, lastly with a spiritual experience in his soul which was more often desolate than consoling, it is no wonder that there grew within him an unbounded confidence in God, as the one mainstay on which he could rely. He speaks of trust in superiors, of openness with his spiritual fathers, of simplicity in dealing with others, of his love of friendship; but all these are treated more as external signs of self-conquest and charity, they are less considered as supports to himself. When he speaks of confidence in God it is quite different. He sees his sins, but the mercy of God is infinite, and he will not despair. He looks up to God in His majesty, to his Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, to the indwelling of God in the human soul, to the union of the heart of man with the heart of Our Lord by complete surrender; and he flings himself blindly into the arms of God to find there perfect peace. Nowhere does he write with more self-revelation than on the last day of his retreat in England. The passage is a summary of his life; we have but to read between the lines, giving each phrase its full value, and we seem to know Colombiere well.

“On this eighth day (he writes) I seem to have found a great treasure, if only I can profit by it. It is a firm confidence in God, founded on His infinite goodness, and on the experience I have had that He never fails us in our needs. More than that, I find in the memoir which was given to me when I left France, that He promises to be my strength in proportion to the trust which I place in Him. Therefore I am resolved to put no limit to my trust, and to spread it out to everything. It seems to me that I ought to make use of Our Lord as an armor which covers me all about, by means of which I shall resist every device of my enemies. You shall then be my strength, my God! You shall be my guide, my director, my counselor, my patience, my knowledge, my peace, my justice, and my prudence. I will have recourse to you in my temptations, in my dryness, in my repugnances, in my weariness, in my fears; or rather I will no longer fear either the illusions or the tricks of the demon, nor my own weakness, my indiscretions, not even my mistrust of myself. For you must be my strength in all my crosses; you promise me that this you will be in proportion to my confidence. And wonderful indeed it is, my God, that at the same time that you impose this condition, it seems to me that you give me the confidence wherewith to fulfill it. May you be eternally loved and praised by all creatures, my very loving Lord! If you were not my strength, alas! what would I do? But since you are, you assure me that you are, what shall I not do for your glory? “Omnia possum in eo qui me confortat.” You are everywhere in me, and I in you; then in whatever situation I may find myself, in whatever peril whatever enemy may rise up against me, I have my support always with me. This thought alone can in a moment scatter all my trials, above all those uprisings of nature which at times I find so strong, and which in spite of myself, make me fear for my perseverance, and tremble at the sight of the perfect emptiness in which it has pleased God to place me.”

Could Saint Augustine be more transparent? When in his sermons we hear Colombiere crying out that even were he in mortal sin he would still never doubt that God would save him, we understand the source of his unbounded hope. He was a very human being indeed; perhaps this was the reason why he was chosen before others to be the apostle of the human Heart of Jesus Christ. “Come to me all you that labor and are burdened, and I will refresh you. . . . Learn of me, because I am meek and humble of heart. . . . You shall find rest for your souls.” It would be hard to find a more perfect fulfillment of this prophecy than is found in the soul of Claude de La Colombiere.

SOURCE : https://catholicsaints.info/saints-for-sinners-blessed-claude-de-la-colombiere/

Claude La Colombière, S.I. (1641-1682) 

CLAUDE LA COLOMBIÈRE, third child of the notary Bertrand La Colombière and Margaret Coindat, was born on 2nd February 1641 at St. Symphorien d'Ozon in the Dauphine, southeastern France. After the family moved to Vienne Claude began his early education there, completing his studies in rhetoric and philosophy in Lyon.

It was during this period that Claude first sensed his vocation to the religious life in the Society of Jesus. We know nothing of the motives which led to this decision. We do know, however, from one of his early notations, that he "had a terrible aversion for the life embraced". This affirmation is not hard to understand by any who are familiar with the life of Claude, for he was very close to his family and friends and much inclined to the arts and literature and an active social life. On the other hand, he was not a person to be led primarily by his sentiments.

At 17 he entered the Jesuit Novitiate at Avignon. In 1660 he moved from the Novitiate to the College, also in Avignon, where he pronounced his first vows and completed his studies in philosophy. Afterwards he was professor of grammar and literature in the same school for another five years.

In 1666 he went to the College of Clermont in Paris for his studies in theology. Already noted for his tact, poise and dedication to the humanities, Claude was assigned by superiors in Paris the additional responsibility of tutoring the children of Louis XIV's Munster of Finance, Jean Baptiste Colbert.

His theological studies concluded and now a priest, Claude returned to Lyon. For a time he was teacher in the College, then full-time preacher and moderator of several Marian congregations.

Claude became noted for solid and serious sermons. They were ably directed at specific audiences and, faithful to their inspiration from the gospel, communicated to his listeners serenity and confidence in God. His published sermons produced and still produce significant spiritual fruits. Given the place and the short duration of his ministry, his sermons are surprisingly fresh in comparison with those of better-known orators.

The year 1674 was a decisive one for Claude, the year of his Third Probation at Maison Saint-Joseph in Lyon. During the customary month of the Exercises the Lord prepared him for the mission for which he had been chosen. His spiritual notes from this period allow one to follow step-by-step the battles and triumphs of the spirit, so extraordinarily attracted to everything human, yet so generous with God.

He took a vow to observe all the constitutions and rules of the Society of Jesus, a vow whose scope was not so much to bind him to a series of minute observances as to reproduce the sharp ideal of an apostle so richly described by St. Ignatius. So magnificent did this ideal seem to Claude that he adopted it as his program of sanctity. That it was indeed an invitation from Christ himself is evidenced by the subsequent feeling of interior liberation Claude experienced, along with the broadened horizons of the apostolate he witnesses to in his spiritual diary.

On 2nd February 1675 he pronounced his solemn profession and was named rector of the College at Paray-le-Monial. Not a few people wondered at this assignment of a talented young Jesuit to such an out-of the-way place as Paray. The explanation seems to be in the superiors' knowledge that there was in Paray an unpretentious religious of the Monastery of the Visitation, Margaret Mary Alacoque, to whom the Lord was revealing the treasures of his Heart, but who was overcome by anguish and uncertainty. She was waiting for the Lord to fulfill his promise and send her "my faithful servant and perfect friend" to help her realize the mission for which he had destined her: that of revealing to the world the unfathomable riches of his love.

After Father Colombière's arrival and her first conversations with him, Margaret Mary opened her spirit to him and told him of the many communications she believed she had received from the Lord. He assured her he accepted their authenticity and urged her to put in writing everything in their regard, and did all he could to orient and support her in carrying out the mission received. When, thanks to prayer and discernment, he became convinced that Christ wanted the spread of the devotion to his Heart, it is clear from Claude's spiritual notes that he pledged himself to this cause without reserve. In these notes it is also clear that, even before he became Margaret Mary's confessor, Claude's fidelity to the directives of St. Ignatius in the Exercises had brought him to the contemplation of the Heart of Christ as symbol of his love.

After a year and half in Paray, in 1676 Father La Colombière left for London. He had been appointed preacher to the Duchess of York - a very difficult and delicate assignment because of the conditions prevailing in England at the time. He took up residence in St. James Palace in October.

In addition to sermons in the palace chapel and unremitting spiritual direction both oral and written, Claude dedicated his time to giving thorough instruction to the many who sought reconciliation with the Church they had abandoned. And even if there were great dangers, he had the consolation of seeing many reconciled to it, so that after a year he said: "I could write a book about the mercy of God I've seen Him exercise since I arrived here!"

The intense pace of his work and the poor climate combined to undermine his health, and evidence of a serious pulmonary disease began to appear. Claude, however, made no changes in his work or life style.

Of a sudden, at the end of 1678, he was calumniously accused and arrested in connection with the Titus Oates "papist plot". After two days he was transferred to the severe King's Bench Prison where he remained for three weeks in extremely poor conditions until his expulsion from England by royal decree. This suffering further weakened Claude's health which, with ups and downs, deteriorated rapidly on his return to France.

During the summer of 1681 he returned to Paray, in very poor condition. On 15th February 1682, the first Sunday of Lent, towards evening Claude suffered the severe hemorrhage which ended his life.

On the 16th of June 1929 Pope Pius XI beatified Claude La Colombière, whose charism, according to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, was that of bringing souls to God along the gospel way of love and mercy which Christ revealed to us.

SOURCE : https://www.vatican.va/news_services/liturgy/saints/ns_lit_doc_19920531_la-colombiere_en.html

An Act of Hope and Confidence in God, by Saint Claude de la Colombiere

My God, I believe most firmly that Thou watchest over all who hope in Thee, and that we can want for nothing when we rely upon Thee in all things; therefore I am resolved for the future to have no anxieties, and to cast all my cares upon Thee. People may deprive me of worldly goods and of honors; sickness may take from me my strength and the means of serving Thee; I may even lose Thy grace by sin; but my trust shall never leave me. I will preserve it to the last moment of my life, and the powers of hell shall seek in vain to wrestle it from me. Let others seek happiness in their wealth, in their talents; let them trust to the purity of their lives, the severity of their mortifications, to the number of their good works, the fervor of their prayers; as for me, O my God, in my very confidence lies all my hope. “For Thou, O Lord, singularly has settled me in hope.” This confidence can never be in vain. “No one has hoped in the Lord and has been confounded.” I am assured, therefore, of my eternal happiness, for I firmly hope for it, and all my hope is in Thee. “In Thee, O Lord, I have hoped; let me never be confounded.” I know, alas! I know but too well that I am frail and changable; I know the power of temptation against the strongest virtue. I have seen stars fall from heaven, and pillars of firmament totter; but these things alarm me not. While I hope in Thee I am sheltered from all misfortune, and I am sure that my trust shall endure, for I rely upon Thee to sustain this unfailing hope. Finally, I know that my confidence cannot exceed Thy bounty, and that I shall never receive less than I have hoped for from Thee. Therefore I hope that Thou wilt sustain me against my evil inclinations; that Thou wilt protect me against the most furious assults of the evil one, and that Thou wilt cause my weakness to triumph over my most powerful enemies. I hope that Thou wilt never cease to love me, and that I shall love Thee unceasingly. “In Thee, O Lord, have I hoped; let me never be confounded.” – Saint Claude de la Colombiere

SOURCE : https://catholicsaints.info/an-act-of-hope-and-confidence-in-god-by-saint-claude-de-la-colombiere/

Plaque apposée sur la maison où il mourut à Paray-le-Monial.


San Claudio de la Colombiere Religioso

15 febbraio

pr. Grenoble (Francia), 2 febbraio 1641 - Paray-le-Monial (Francia), 15 febbraio 1682

Nato a Grenoble, in Francia, il 2 febbraio 1641 era il terzo figlio di un notaio. Brillante negli studi entrò a 17 anni nel noviziato di Avignone della Compagnia di Gesù. A venticinque anni andò a studiare teologia a Parigi e a ventotto fu ordinato sacerdote. Il gesuita Claudio de la Colombière fu superiore del collegio di Paray-le-Monial e confessore delle vicine Suore della Visitazione. Tra esse c'era Margherita Maria Alacoque, propagatrice del culto al Sacro Cuore di Gesù, che sarebbe divenuta santa. Rappresentò una guida sicura per i fedeli, disorientati dalle dispute tra Francia e Roma a causa delle dottrine gianseniste. Venne poi mandato a Londra come cappellano della futura regina Maria Beatrice d'Este. Ma fu arrestato con l'accusa di voler restaurare la Chiesa cattolica in Inghilterra. Espulso, tornò a Paray-le-Monial, dove morì solo tre mesi dopo, il 15 febbraio 1682. È santo dal 31 maggio 1992. (Avvenire)

Etimologia: Claudio = zoppo, dal latino

Martirologio Romano: A Paray-le-Monial in Burgundia, in Francia, san Claudio La Colombière, sacerdote della Compagnia di Gesù: uomo assai dedito alla preghiera, con il suo saldo e retto consiglio avviò molti all’amore di Dio. 

E’ un uomo di cuore, dotato di una sensibilità delicata e di un gusto profondo dell’amicizia. Sente una profonda inclinazione verso il calore della famiglia e “un’avversione orribile” per la vita religiosa. E sceglie quest’ultima, non sappiamo bene perché. Claudio, terzo figlio di un notaio, ha una posizione economicamente solida e un avvenire sicuro. Brillante negli studi, entra a 17 anni nel Noviziato di Avignone della Compagnia di Gesù, dove termina il corso di Filosofia e poi, per cinque anni, è professore. A 25 anni lo mandano a Parigi, per studiare teologia nel celebre collegio di Clermont. All’impegno nello studio i superiori gli aggiungono l’incarico di precettore dei figli di Colbert, ministro delle finanze del re di Francia, e questo è un chiaro riconoscimento delle sue doti di prudenza, finezza e del profondo gusto dell’amicizia che lo contraddistingue. Sacerdote a 28 anni, gli affidano a Lione l’incarico di professore e predicatore, che esercita per cinque anni. A sorpresa, nel 1675, Padre Claudio viene destinato come Superiore della comunità dei Gesuiti di Paray-le-Monyal, decisamente sproporzionata, per dimensioni, importanza e dislocazione geografica, alla fama che si è venuta acquistando ed alle doti che tutti gli riconoscono. E se non c’è una spiegazione “logica” a questa improvvisa e inadeguata nomina, non c’è che da rallegrarsi, con il senno del poi, con i suoi superiori per quello che egli da quel momento diventerà. A Paray-le-Monyal una suora, che per ceto sociale e cultura è inferiore a tutte le altre consorelle, sta mettendo a subbuglio il monastero delle suore Visitandine in cui vive, con le sue stranezze e le sue visioni. E mentre sacerdoti prudenti e illuminati giudicano opera diabolica i suoi doni mistici, lei continua a sentirsi portatrice di un messaggio affidatole da Gesù stesso, che le chiede di diffondere nel mondo la devozione al Suo Cuore. In mezzo alle incomprensioni che sta sopportando soprattutto da parte del clero, Gesù promette a Suor Margherita Maria Alacoque (che la Chiesa proclamerà poi santa) di mandarle “un suo servo fedele e perfetto amico”, che l’avrebbe sostenuta e incoraggiata. Suor Margherita Maria, durante la prima predica di Padre Claudio nella chiesa del monastero, sente che è sicuramente lui il sacerdote promessole da Gesù. Ed infatti, nei pochi mesi di permanenza, Padre Claudio diventa il primo apostolo della devozione al Sacro Cuore, accettando con docilità ed entusiasmo il ruolo che il Cielo gli ha assegnato. Un anno dopo è mandato a Londra, come predicatore della duchessa di York, e l’ambiente protestante che lo circonda rende estremamente amaro il suo soggiorno inglese. Addirittura lo arrestano, con l’accusa calunniosa di “complotto papista”, e dopo tre settimane di carcere, viene espluso dall’Inghilterra. L’amarezza del carcere, insieme ai maltrattamenti subiti, incidono sulla sua salute, già provata da gravi disturbi polmonari. Dopo un periodo trascorso a Lione, i superiori, confidando nel clima migliore, lo fanno tornare a Paray-le-Monial, dove muore il 15 febbraio 1682 ad appena 41 anni. Nel 1994 Papa Giovanni Paolo II° proclama santo il Padre Claudio La Colombière, “maestro di illuminata spiritualità”, che Dio stesso aveva scelto per far conoscere “le imperscrutabili ricchezze” del Cuore di Cristo.

Autore: Gianpiero Pettiti


I suoi vogliono mandarlo in convento, ma lui non ne vuole sapere: "Ne avevo un’orribile avversione". Superata la crisi dirà: "Chi si mette al servizio di Dio va sempre incontro a gravi pene". Ma presto il ragazzo (figlio di un notaio) si fa stimare dai gesuiti del noviziato di Lione: "Ha prudenza superiore all’età, giudizio solido, sana pietà". Negli studi passa da Lione ad Avignone e poi a Parigi (1666). Tre anni dopo è sacerdote e ritorna a Lione. Nel 1675 emette i voti solenni nella Compagnia di Gesù e dirige la piccola comunità dell’Ordine a Paray-le-Monial (Saône-et-Loire).

Ha pure l’incarico di confessore alla Visitazione, un tranquillo monastero diventato quasi una polveriera da quando è arrivata una consorella di 28 anni, bloccata a letto dai dolori reumatici: Margherita Maria Alacoque, malata, ma di spirito vivacissimo, con forte influenza su chiunque l’avvicini. Parla appassionatamente delle sue visioni e rivelazioni, dividendo clero e fedeli. Stimola il culto per il Sacro Cuore, che risale al Sei-Settecento: si tratta dell’adorazione alla persona di Cristo anche nella sua umanità, e al suo amore infinito, che da sempre ha per simbolo il cuore. Ma in Francia il clima religioso è infiammato dallo scontro con Roma per le dottrine giansenistiche, e i devoti del Sacro Cuore vengono irrisi come idolatri da chi non accoglie i fondamenti dottrinali del culto. D’altra parte, certi ambienti devoti alimentano di fatto le accuse con eccessi di parole e gesti che non esprimono una fede illuminata.

A Paray-le-Monial egli è anche preziosa guida per tanti cattolici disorientati dai contrasti, ma nel 1674 viene mandato a Londra come cappellano di Maria Beatrice d’Este, moglie di Giacomo II, duca di York e futuro re. All’epoca la Chiesa cattolica è fuori legge in Inghilterra: lui deve solo celebrare in una piccola cappella, e farsi vedere poco. Obbediente, vive ritirato, non fa visite. Ma c’è chi visita lui: cattolici inglesi che vogliono ascoltarlo, suore clandestine, preti spretati che vogliono tornare... Riesce perfino a mandare missionari cattolici in America, allora colonia inglese. Ma a 18 mesi dall’arrivo è arrestato con molti altri, accusati di voler restaurare la Chiesa di Roma nel regno. Lui non va in carcere perché protetto dal re di Francia, ma viene espulso. Tornato in patria, nel 1681 è di nuovo a Paray-le-Monial, molto malato. Suo fratello lo vorrebbe con sé nell’aria salubre del Delfinato. Ma lui non si muove, perché ha ricevuto un biglietto di Margherita Maria, che dice: "Il Signore mi ha detto che vuole il sacrificio della vostra vita qui". Tre giorni dopo, padre Claudio muore lì, a Paray-le-Monial. E il suo corpo vi sarà custodito dai gesuiti nella loro cappella. Pio XI lo proclamerà beato nel 1929 e Giovanni Paolo II santo il 31 maggio 1992.

Autore: Domenico Agasso

SOURCE : http://www.santiebeati.it/dettaglio/41150

Claudio La Colombière, S.I. (1641-1682) 

Claudio la Colombière, terzo figlio del notaio Bertrando La Colombière e di Margherita Coindat, nacque il 2 febbraio 1641 a St. Symphorien d'Ozon nel Delfinato.

Essendosi trasferita la famiglia a Vienne, Claudio ricevé qui la sua prima educazione scolastica, che completò poi a Lione con lo studio della Retorica e della Filosofia.

E' in questo periodo che si sente chiamato alla vita religiosa nella Compagnia di Gesù; ma non conosciamo i motivi che lo spinsero a questa decisione. Di contro egli ci ha lasciato in uno dei suoi scritti questa confessione: " Avevo una avversione orribile per la vita che abbracciavo ". Questa affermazione è agevolmente comprensibile da chi si è interessato alla vita di Claudio, la cui natura, sensibile ai rapporti familiari ed amichevoli, era anche grandemente incline alla letteratura e all'arte e attratta da ciò che ha di più degno la vita di società. Ma non era, d'altra parte, uomo che si lasciasse guidare dal sentimento.

All'età di 17 anni entrò nel Noviziato della Compagnia di Gesù, ad Avignone. In questo stesso luogo, nel 1660, passò dal Noviziato al Collegio, per condurre a termine gli studi di Filosofia e simultaneamente pronunciare i primi voti religiosi. Alla fine del corso, fu nominato professore di Grammatica e Letteratura; incarico che mantenne, in quel Collegio, durante cinque anni.
Nel 1666 fu mandato a Parigi, per studiare Teologia nel Collegio di Clermont: in quella stessa epoca gli venne pure affidato un incarico di grande responsabilità. La notevole attitudine che Claudio aveva manifestato per gli studi umanistici, unita alle sue doti di prudenza e finezza, decisero i Superiori a sceglierlo come precettore dei figli di Colbert, Ministro delle Finanze di Luigi XIV.

Terminato lo studio della Teologia e ricevuto il Sacerdozio, tornò di nuovo a Lione: per qualche tempo in qualità di professore, poi per dedicarsi completamente alla predicazione e direzione della Congregazione Mariana.

La predicazione di La Colombière si distinse sempre per la sua solidità e profondità: non si perdeva nel vago, ma si dirigeva abilmente verso un uditorio concreto, e con una ispirazione evangelica così vigorosa da infondere in tutti serenità e fiducia in Dio. Le edizioni dei suoi sermoni produssero nelle anime, e continuano ancora a produrre, grandi frutti spirituali; infatti, considerato il luogo e la durata del suo ministero, essi sembrano meno invecchiati di quelli di altri oratori di maggior fama.

L'anno 1674 fu decisivo nella vita di Claudio. Fece dunque la III Probazione nella " Maison Saint-Joseph " di Lione e, durante il mese di Esercizi che solitamente si praticano, il Signore lo andò preparando per la missione che gli aveva destinato. Gli appunti spirituali di questo tempo ci permettono di seguire passo passo le lotte e i trionfi del suo spirito, straordinariamente sensibile alle attrattive umane, ma generoso con Dio.

Il voto che fece di osservare tutte le Costituzioni e Regole della Compagnia non aveva come scopo essenziale di legarsi ad una serie di osservanze minuziose, ma di riprodurre quel vivido ideale di apostolo descritto da S. Ignazio. E poiché questo ideale gli parve magnifico, Claudio lo adottò come programma di santità. Che ciò rispondesse ad un invito dello stesso Gesù Cristo, è provato dal conseguente sentimento di liberazione che sperimentò, insieme con l'aumentata ampiezza degli orizzonti apostolici, che egli stesso testimonia nel suo diario spirituale.

Il 2 febbraio 1675 pronunciò la Solenne Professione e fu nominato Rettore del Collegio di Paray-le-Monial. Non mancò chi si sorprese che un uomo così eminente fosse destinato ad una città tanto remota come Paray. La spiegazione sta nel fatto che i Superiori sapevano che qui, nel Monastero della Visitazione, un' umile religiosa, Margherita Maria Àlacoque, alla quale il Signore andava rivelando i tesori del suo Cuore, viveva in una angosciosa incertezza; aspettava che lo stesso Signore adempisse la promessa data di inviarle un suo " servo fedele e amico perfetto ", che l'avrebbe aiutata a realizzare la missione alla quale la destinava: manifestare al mondo le ricchezze imperscrutabili del suo amore.

Una volta giunto nella sua nuova destinazione il P. La Colombière, dopo i primi incontri con Margherita Maria, questa gli manifestò tutto il suo spirito e quindi anche le comunicazioni che ella credeva ricevere dal Signore. Il Padre, da parte sua, approvò pienamente e le suggerì di mettere per iscritto tutto ciò che passava nella sua anima, orientandola e sostenendola nell'adempimento della missione ricevuta. Quando poi fu certo, grazie alla luce divina manifestatasi nella preghiera e nel discernimento, che Cristo desiderava il culto del suo Cuore, si votò ad esso senza riserve, come ci testimoniano la sua dedizione e i suoi appunti spirituali. In questi ultimi appare chiaro che, già prima delle confessioni di Margherita Maria Alacoque, Claudio, seguendo le direttive di S. Ignazio negli Esercizi, era giunto alla contemplazione del Cuore di Cristo come simbolo del suo amore.

Dopo un anno e mezzo di permanenza a Paray, nel 1676 il P. La Colombière partì per Londra, essendo stato nominato predicatore della Duchessa di York. Era un incarico delicatissimo, considerati gli avvenimenti che in quel tempo agitavano l'Inghilterra; prima della fine di ottobre dello stesso anno, il Padre già occupava l'appartamento che gli era stato riservato nel palazzo di St. James. Oltre ai sermoni pronunciati nella cappella e alla costante direzione spirituale, sia orale che scritta, Claudio potè dedicarsi a una solida istruzione nella vera fede di non poche persone che avevano abbandonato la Chiesa Romana. E, anche se tra grandi pericoli, ebbe la consolazione di vedere molti ritornarvi, al punto che, dopo un anno, diceva: " Potrei scrivere un libro sulla misericordia di cui Dio mi ha fatto testimone da quando sono qui ".

Il lavoro così intenso e il clima poco propizio minarono la sua salute; cominciarono così a manifestarsi i sintomi di una violenta affezione polmonare. Tuttavia P. Claudio portò avanti con coraggio il suo sistema di vita.

Improvvisamente, alla fine del 1678, fu arrestato sotto un'accusa calunniosa di complotto papista. Dopo due giorni fu trasferito nell'orribile carcere di King's Bench, dove restò durante tre settimane, sottoposto a gravi privazioni, finché per decreto reale fu espulso dall'Inghilterra.

Tutte queste sofferenze minarono ancor più la sua salute che, con alterne vicende, andò peggiorando al suo rientro in Francia. Nell'estate del 1681, essendo già molto aggravato, fu rimandato a Paray. Il 15 febbraio 1682, prima domenica di Quaresima, all'imbrunire, sopravvenne una forte emottisi che pose fine alla sua vita. Il 16 giugno 1929, il Papa Pio XI beatificò Claudio La Colombière, ìl cui carisma, secondo S. Margherita Maria Alacoque, sarebbe stato quello di condurre le anime a Dio, seguendo il cammino di amore e di misericordia che Cristo ci rivela nel Vangelo.

SOURCE : https://www.vatican.va/news_services/liturgy/saints/ns_lit_doc_19920531_la-colombiere_it.html

CANONIZZAZIONE DI CLAUDE LA COLOMBIÈRE

OMELIA DI GIOVANNI PAOLO II

Basilica Vaticana - Domenica, 31 maggio 1992

 

“Perché l’amore con il quale mi hai amato sia in essi” (Io. 17, 26).

1. Cristo prega nel cenacolo. Prega nella sera, in cui ha istituito l’Eucaristia. Prega per gli Apostoli e per tutti coloro “che per la loro parola crederanno” (Ibid. 17, 20) lungo le generazioni e i secoli. Chiede al Padre che tutti “siano una cosa sola”, così come il Padre è col Figlio e il Figlio col Padre: “Siano anch’essi in noi una cosa sola” (Ibid. 17, 21).

Una cosa sola: l’unità della Divinità e l’unità di comunione delle Persone - unità del Padre col Figlio e del Figlio col Padre nello Spirito Santo. L’unità mediante l’Amore.

Cristo prega per l’amore: “Perché l’amore con il quale mi hai amato sia in essi e io in loro” (Ibid. 7, 26). Cristo rivela il segreto del suo Cuore. Proprio questo Cuore umano del Figlio di Dio è un ineffabile santuario che contiene tutti i tesori dell’amore: è un Cuore “traboccante di bontà e di amore” («Litaniae S. Cordis Iesus»).

2. La preghiera pronunciata da Cristo nel cenacolo continua nella Chiesa: di secolo in secolo, di generazione in generazione - essa costituisce una perenne “fonte di vita e di santità” (Ibid.). Ma nella storia ci sono momenti particolari, luoghi e persone prescelte che quasi di nuovo scopro no e di nuovo rivelano tale perenne ed intramontabile verità sull’amore.

L’uomo che la Chiesa oggi proclama santo - il Beato Claude La Colombière - è senz’altro una di queste persone.  

3. En France, le dix-septième siècle a été appelé “le grand siècle des âmes”. C’est un temps de haute culture humaine, de développement des institutions de cette nation prestigieuse en Europe. Mais c’est aussi un temps de conflits cruels et de pauvreté du peuple. Le clergé et les ordres religieux sont souvent décadents; de ce fait, le peuple reste loin des lumières de la foi, des bienfaits de la vie spirituelle et de la communion ecclésiale. Cependant, depuis le Concile de Trente, depuis les fondateurs que furent saint François de Sales, Bérulle ou saint Vincent de Paul, un mouvement spirituel intense anime l’Église en France. On assiste à une grande activité réformatrice: le ministère sacerdotal est renouvelé, notamment avec la création des séminaires; les religieux reviennent à l’authenticité de leur vocation, de nouvelles fondations voient le jour; l’évangélisation des campagnes prend un nouvel élan avec les missions paroissiales; à la réflexion théologique s’associe une floraison mystique.

Au cœur de ce siècle, vit Claude La Colombière, entré jeune dans la Compagnie de Jésus. Celle-ci exerce sa mission à Paris comme en plusieurs provinces; elle a une influence notable par son effort intellectuel et, plus encore, par le dynamisme de vie chrétienne qu’elle sait communiquer.

4. Vrai compagnon de saint Ignace, Claude apprend à maîtriser sa forte sensibilité. Il garde humblement le sens de “sa misère” pour ne s’appuyer que sur son espérance en Dieu et sur sa confiance en la grâce. Il prend résolument la voie de la sainteté. Il adhère de tout son être aux Constitutions et aux Règles de l’institut, rejetant toute tiédeur. Fidélité et obéissance se traduisent, devant Dieu, par le “désir (. . .) de confiance, d’amour, de résignation et de sacrifice parfait” (CLAUDE LA COLOMBIÈRE, Retraites, n. 28). 

Le Père Claude a forgé sa spiritualité à l’école des Exercices. Nous en avons gardé l’impressionnant journal. Il se consacre d’abord à “méditer beaucoup la vie de Jésus Christ qui est le modèle de la nôtre” (Ibid., n. 33).  Contempler le Christ permet de vivre en familiarité avec lui pour lui appartenir totalement: “Je vois qu’il faut absolument que je sois à lui” (Ibid., n. 71).  Et si Claude ose tendre à cette totale fidélité, c’est en vertu de son sens aigu de la puissance de la grâce qui le transforme. Il accède à la parfaite liberté de celui qui s’en remet sans réserve à la volonté de Dieu. “J’ai un cœur libre”, dit-il (Ibid., n. 12):  épreuves ou sacrifices, il les accepte “en songeant que Dieu n’exige cela de nous que par amitié” (Ibid., n. 38). Tout son goût de l’amitié le conduit à répondre à l’amitié de Dieu, dans un élan d’amour chaque jour renouvelé.

Le Père La Colombière s’engage dans l’apostolat avec la conviction qu’il est l’instrument de l’œuvre de Dieu: “Pour faire beaucoup pour Dieu, il faut être tout à lui” (Ibid., n. 37). La prière, dit-il encore, est “l’unique moyen (. . .) de faire que Dieu s’unisse à nous pour faire quelque chose pour sa gloire” (Ibid., n. 52). Dans l’apostolat, les fruits et le succès viennent moins des facultés de la personne que de la fidélité à la volonté divine et de la transparence à son action.

5. Ce religieux au cœur pur et libre était préparé à comprendre et à prêcher le message que, dans le même temps, le Cœur de Jésus confiait à Sœur Marguerite-Marie Alacoque. Paray-le-Monial sera l’étape la plus féconde à nos yeux de l’itinéraire bien court de Claude La Colombière. Il arrive dans cette ville, depuis longtemps riche de sa tradition de vie religieuse, pour faire la rencontre providentielle de l’humble Visitandine entrée dans un dialogue constant avec son “divin Maître” qui lui promet “les délices de (son) pur amour”. Il découvre en elle une religieuse qui désire ardemment “la Croix toute pure” (CLAUDE LA COLOMBIÈRE, Mémoire, n. 49) et qui offre sa pénitence et ses peines sans réticence.

Le Père La Colombière, avec une grande sûreté de discernement, authentifie d’emblée l’expérience mystique de cette “disciple bien-aimée [du] sacré Cœur” (Ibid., n. 54), avec laquelle il connaîtra une belle fraternité spirituelle. D’elle, il recueille le message qui connaîtra un grand retentissement: “Voilà ce Cœur qui a tant aimé les hommes qu’il n’a rien épargné, jusqu’à s’épuiser et se consumer pour leur témoigner son amour” (EIUSDEM, Retraites, n. 135). Le Seigneur demande qu’une fête honore son Cœur, en lui faisant “réparation d’honneur” dans la communion eucharistique. Marguerite-Marie transmet au “serviteur fidèle et parfait ami”, qu’elle a reconnu dans le Père La Colombière, la mission d’“établir cette dévotion et donner ce plaisir à mon divin Cœur” (Ibid.). Claude, dans les années qui lui restent, intériorise les “richesses infinies”. Désormais sa vie spirituelle se développe dans la perspective de la “réparation” et de la “miséricorde infinie”, tant soulignées à Paray. Il est tout offert au Sacré Cœur “toujours brûlant d’amour”. Jusque dans l’épreuve, il pratique l’oubli de soi afin de parvenir à la pureté de l’amour et d’élever le monde à Dieu. Sentant sa faiblesse, il s’en remet à la puissance de la grâce: “Faites en moi votre volonté, Seigneur (. . .). C’est à vous à tout faire, divin Cœur de Jésus Christ” (Ibid.; EIUSDEM, Offrande, n. 152).

6. Les trois siècles passés nous permettent de mesurer l’importance du message confié à Claude La Colombière. Dans une période de contrastes entre la ferveur de certains et l’indifférence ou l’impiété de beaucoup, se présente une dévotion centrée sur l’humanité du Christ, sur sa présence, sur son amour de miséricorde et sur le pardon. L’appel à la “réparation”, caractéristique de Paray-le-Monial, pourra être diversement compris, mais, essentiellement, il s’agit pour les pécheurs que sont tous les hommes de revenir vers le Seigneur, touchés par son amour, et de lui offrir une plus vive fidélité pour l’avenir, une vie embrasée de charité. S’il y a solidarité dans le péché, il y a aussi solidarité dans le salut. L’offrande de chacun est faite pour le bien de tous. À l’exemple de Claude La Colombière, le fidèle comprend qu’une telle attitude spirituelle ne peut être que l’action du Christ en lui, manifestée par la communion eucharistique: accueillir en son cœur le Cœur du Christ et s’unir au sacrifice que lui seul peut offrir dignement au Père.

La dévotion au Cœur du Christ sera un facteur d’équilibre et d’affermissement spirituel pour les communautés chrétiennes bientôt affrontées à l’incroyance qui progressera dans les siècles suivants: une conception impersonnelle de Dieu se répandra; l’homme, s’éloignant de la rencontre personnelle du Christ et des sources de la grâce, voudra être seul maître de son histoire et se donner à lui-même sa loi, jusqu’à se montrer impitoyable pour servir ses ambitions. Le message de Paray, accessible aux humbles comme aux grands de ce monde, répond à de tels égarements en éclairant la relation de l’homme avec Dieu et de l’homme avec le monde par la lumière qui vient du Cœur de Dieu: conformément à la Tradition de l’Église, il oriente le regard vers la Croix du Rédempteur du monde, vers “Celui qu’ils ont transpercé” (Io. 19, 37).

7. Nous rendons grâce, aujourd’hui encore, pour le message confié aux saints de Paray et qui n’a cessé d’étendre son rayonnement. Au seuil de notre siècle, le Pape Léon XIII saluait “dans le Sacré Cœur de Jésus un symbole et une image claire de l’amour infini de Jésus Christ, amour qui nous pousse à nous aimer les uns les autres” (LEONIS XIII Annum Sacrum). Pie XI et Pie XII ont favorisé ce culte, y discernant une réponse spirituelle aux difficultés que rencontrent la foi et l’Église.

Certes, l’expression et la sensibilité évoluent, mais l’essentiel demeure. Lorsqu’on a découvert dans l’adoration eucharistique et la méditation le Cœur de Jésus “toujours brûlant d’amour pour les hommes” (CLAUDE LA COLOMBIÈRE, Retraites, n. 150), comment pourrait-on se laisser séduire par des formes de méditation qui replient sur soi sans accueillir la Présence du Seigneur? Comment pourrait-on être attiré par la prolifération de conceptions du sacré qui ne font que masquer un tragique vide spirituel?

Pour l’évangélisation d’aujourd’hui, il faut que le Cœur du Christ soit reconnu comme le cœur de l’Eglise: c’est Lui qui appelle à la conversion, à la réconciliation. C’est Lui qui entraîne sur les voies des Béatitudes les cœurs purs et les affamés de justice. C’est Lui qui réalise la communion chaleureuse des membres du Corps unique. C’est Lui qui permet d’adhérer à la Bonne Nouvelle et d’accueillir les promesses de la vie éternelle. C’est Lui qui envoie en mission. Le cœur à cœur avec Jésus élargit le cœur de l’homme aux dimensions du monde.

Puisse la canonisation de Claude La Colombière être pour toute l’Église un appel à vivre la consécration au Cœur du Christ, consécration qui est don de soi pour laisser la charité du Christ nous animer, nous pardonner et nous entraîner dans son ardent désir d’ouvrir à tous nos frères les voies de la vérité et de la vie!  

8. “Padre giusto, il mondo non ti ha conosciuto, ma io ti ho conosciuto; questi sanno che tu mi hai mandato” (Io. 17, 25).

Questi: i santi - le sante - la Chiesa nelle sempre nuove epoche della storia.

Questi: Claude La Colombière - Maria Margherita Alacoque. La Chiesa.

Nel tempo pasquale la Chiesa rivive le teofanie del suo Redentore e Signore-Buon Pastore che “offre la vita per le pecore” (Cfr. ibid. 10, 15).

E la Chiesa fissa lo sguardo al cielo insieme col diacono Stefano, primo martire lapidato in Gerusalemme.

La Chiesa fissa lo sguardo al cielo come Stefano nel momento della sua morte da martire: “Ecco, io contemplo i cieli aperti e il Figlio del l’uomo che sta alla destra di Dio . . . Signore Gesù, accogli il mio spirito” (Act. 7, 56. 59).

Amen!

© Copyright 1992 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

SOURCE : https://www.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/it/homilies/1992/documents/hf_jp-ii_hom_19920531_la-colombiere.html


Voir aussi : http://www.saintjosephduweb.com/Saint-Claude-la-Colombiere-apotre-du-Sacre-Coeur-1641-1682-fete-le-15-fevrier_a431.html

http://www.jesuites.com/2012/01/paray-le-monial/