Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

by divine will, she recovered from it, and related to us the foregoing. But the Father's body had, besides the arquebus wounds, the head cut open, from both temples even to the brain. The two Fathers who were in the neighboring Mission received the poor fugitive Christians all night; and on the following morning they went to St. Jean, in order to bury the body of their dear companion,— where they saw with their own eyes the effects of the Barbarian enemy's cruelty. They looked for that blessed body in vain, for a time; but at last they recovered it, naked, among many others which were half roasted; nor would they have known it,— so disfigured it was,—but for the help of some good Neophytes, who alone distinguished their dear Father from the others. In order to bury him, the two Fathers both stripped themselves of a part of their own clothing; and they immediately returned thence with their companions, who, for fear of the enemies, hastened away. The warriors of St. Jean returned two days later; and, being informed of their disaster by the blood and the corpses of the weakest (whom the enemies killed by the way, as a dangerous encumbrance), spent, according to their custom and that of the ancients, the day in a profound silence,— prostrated to the earth without lifting their eyes, and almost without motion, like statues of marble or of bronze,— leaving tears and lamentation to the women.

Father Charles Gamier was a native of Paris. He died at the age of 44 years, 25 of which he had spent in the Society, and 13 in these missions. From boyhood, he had had profound sentiments of devotion, especially toward the Most Blessed Virgin, whom he always called by the name of "Mother." He had alla morte la fua puriffima Concettione, della quale era diuotiffimo, e morì la vigilia di quefta feda per andarla à celebrar più folenneméte in Cielo. [116 i.e., 118] Effendo giouane tra noftri Conuittori nel Collegio di Parigi, riceueua ogni mefe dal Padre alcuni danari per fua ricreatione. Egli li riferuaua per il giorno della vacanza, nel quale hauuta licenza d' vfcire, in vece di confumarli al giuoco, li portaua à i prigioni. Vn dì ne comprò vn libro cattiuo per abbruciarlo, acciò non noceffe à neffuno. Effendo con alcuni compagni, che entrorono in vn' hofteria per farui colatione, egli per non fare contro le regole della Congregatione, fi tenne alla porta come vn laquay afpettando fino, che haueffero finito.

Il Signor fuo Padre confegnandolo al Padre Prouinciale per la Compagnia gli diffe, che gli daua vn figlio, che non haueua mai commeffa vna minima difobedienza. La fua modeftia veramente Angelica lo faceua dal principio fteffo del fuo Nouitiato proporre à tutti per efempio. I Superiori non lo voleuano riceuere nella Compagnia, e molto meno inuiare nel Canada fenza confenfo del Padre, che fortemente vi repugnaua, ma la perfeuerante coftanza d' anni intieri ottenne il tutto. Nel viaggio di mare, che fece per paffare alla nuoua Francia, fece con vn gran zelo, e prudenza notabili conuerfioni, tra l' altre d' vn' huomo fenza cofcienza, nè religione, che haueua paffati più di dieci anni fenza confeffione. Haueua per quefto vna gratia particolare, & anche più marauigliofa per la conuerfione de' Barbari, de' quali fapeua made a vow to defend her immaculate Conception, to which he was extremely devoted even till death; and he died on the eve of this feast, in order to go and celebrate it more solemnly in Heaven. [116 i.e., 118] While a young man among our Students at the College of Paris, he received every month from his Father some money for his recreation. He reserved it for the day of the vacation; when, having obtained leave to go abroad, instead of spending it in sports, he carried it to the prisoners. One day he bought with it an immoral book, in order to burn it, so that it should harm no one. Being with some companions who entered an inn, to make a banquet there, he, so as not to act against the rules of the Congregation, stayed at the door like a footman, waiting till they had finished.

The Signor, his Father, on committing him to the Father Provincial for the Society, told him that he gave him a son who had never committed the slightest disobedience. His modesty, truly Angelic, caused him, at the very beginning of his Novitiate, to be set before all as an example. The Superiors did not wish to receive him into the Society, and much less to send him to Canada, without the consent of his Father, who strongly opposed it; but the persevering constancy of whole years obtained it all. On the seavoyage which he made in crossing to new France, he effected, with great zeal and prudence, notable conversions,— among others, that of a man without conscience or religion, who had spent more than ten years without confession. He had a special grace for this, and a still more wonderful one for the conversion of the Barbarians,—whose language he perfectly knew, and whose hearts he gained by a perfettamente la lingua, e guadagnaua con mille induftrie i cuori. Molti affermano efferfi mutati, e rifoluti di conuertirfi folo in riguardarlo. Era huomo d' vna profonda humiltà, che tutto che profeffo de 4. voti, & hauendo ogni cofa eminente, fi ftimaua il minimo di tutti anche non Sacerdoti, e fentendofi lodare, fi giudicaua caftigato da Dio, e ne fentiua pena fenfibile; onde per rimedio fcopriua fpeffo à chi lo lodaua i difetti, che penfaua potergli dare auerfione dalla fua perfona. Nell' oratione tra le occupation! le più diftrattiue era raccoltiffimo, e tutto fuoco dal principio fino alla fine. Oltre il dormir à terra, cofa iui commune à tutti i noftri Miffionanti, fi feruiua d' vna cintura di ferro con ftellette d' acciaio, e con l' ifteffe fi difciplinaua. Il viuere non folo era di cofe infipidiffime, ma parchiffimo, per farne limofina à famelici, maffime ne' due vl timi anni, che viffe, ne' quali parte per neceffità, parte per edificatione, ancorche delitiofamente alleuato in cafa nobile, mentre mercenari/ in domo patris abundabàt panib9 fi riduffe à priuarfi fino del gran turchefco, vnico [117 i.e., 119] cibo del paefe, contentandoli di qualche ghianda, ò di qualche amara radice cotta nell' acqua femplice, fenza fale, fenza pane, ò altro companatico. Tré dì prima, che moriffe, il Superiore della Miffione gli haueua fcritto, che vedeffe, fe per rimetterfi vn poco non era efpediente di ritirarli alquanto da trauagli ecceffiui, ne' quali viueua, e l' inuitaua à quefto fine alla refidenza fiffa, detta di Santa Maria. Ecco vna parte della rifpofta. E vero, dice, che patifco qual

thousand ingenuities. Many affirm that they became changed, and resolved to be converted, merely by looking at him. He was a man of profound humility, who-though he had taken the 4 vows, and was, in every respect, of eminent character — esteemed himself the least of all even of those who were not Priests; and, if he heard himself praised, he thought that he was punished by God, and felt sensible pain from it. Accordingly, by way of remedy, he often revealed his defects to the person who was praising him,- which he thought might give the latter an aversion to him. In prayer, even amid the most distracting occupations, he was most collected, and all fire from beginning to end. Besides sleeping on the ground, - a thing common there to all our Missionaries,— he used an iron belt with stars of steel; and with this he disciplined himself. His food was not only of things most insipid, but extremely moderate, so as to give alms with it to the hungry, especially in the last two years that he lived. During that time, partly from necessity, partly for edification,although he had been delicately brought up in a noble house, while mercenarii in domo patris abundabant panibus,- he reduced himself to the deprivation even of turkish corn, the only [117 i.e., 119] food of the country; he contented himself with some acorns, or with some bitter root cooked in water alone, without salt, and without bread or other relish. Three days before he died, the Superior of the Mission had written to him that he ought to consider whether it were not expedient, in order to recuperate himself somewhat, to retire for a time from the excessive labors in which he lived; and invited him, to this end, to the fixed residence called Sainte Marie

« AnteriorContinuar »