163rd MSC Foundation Day

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Today, on the Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, we celebrate our 163rd Foundation Day. 163 years ago, Fr Chevalier and Fr Maugenest concluded their novena.

The story goes as follows:

We started our novena which was to finish on December 8, the great Feast of the Immaculate Conception. We promised the Blessd Virgin that, if our prayer was answered, we would call ourselves Missionaries of the Sacred Heart and honour her in a very special manner. The great day arrived and we were filled with hope. I was appointed to sing the High Mass and at the offertory two altar boys presented a small picture, lovingly and painstakingly executed by my confrere – one which we still treasure. After Mass we went in procession to the sacristy. I was hardly out of my vestments when a gentleman approached.

“Father, I would like to speak to you; when could you see me?”

“In a quarter of an hour if that suits you.”

After thanksgiving I went to the presbytery and the gentleman followed me. “Father, I have an offer to make on behalf of someone who wishes to remain anonymous. He is making available to you 20,000 francs for a good work in Issoudun”.

“What kind of good work?”

“Preferably a house of missionaries.”

“You have been sent from heaven; through the you the Immaculate Virgin is giving her answer. May God shower his blessings on you and on the person who sent you here. Please express our deep gratitude and tell him that his wishes will be carried out; we will certainly pray for him and God will repay his generosity.” (Personal Notes, p.20f)

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