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DEATH: 1719: Home

"GLORIFICATION" Stained Glass Window, Manhattan College

LAST DAYS: From Bull of Canonization

FINAL TRIALS

" . . .God, in order to fill the measure of merit of his servant, permitted him to be overwhelmed with opprobrium to the end.  Being, through envy, accused to the Archbishop of an odious falsehood, he was deprived in concientiae foro of all exercise of his faculties, in virtue of a judgment of this prelate.  The news of condemnation reached the man of God in his bed to which he was confined by the illness that was to be fatal: he listened to it with perfect meekness and made no reply.

 

LAST ILLNESS

". . . At the approach of Lent in 1719, great difficulty in breathing cause by asthma, then, an injury to his head, caused by the accidental fall of a door, were added to the rheumatic pains from which John had already long suffered.  When he learned that with so many infirmities, he could not long survive, he felt great consolation at the thought of soon entering into the joy of His Lord.  On the eve of the feast of St. Joseph, to whom the Saint had consecrated his person and his Congregation, he made known his desire of celebrating the Holy Sacrifice, God suddenly gave him the necessary strength, and on the following day, he was in a condition to celebrate Holy Mass. At this sight, his children abounded with joy, thinking that he had entirely recovered his health.  but hardly had a few hours elapsed, when suddenly, he grew worse, and death appeared imminent.  John understood it, and wished to give his disciples his last advice, to exhort them to walk with constancy in the way of religious perfection which they had entered.  He recommended to them obedience, mutual charity, and above all, respect and submission to the Apostolic See whither, he said, he had sent two Brothers, who were to live in Rome as witnesses of his inviolable submission, and of that of all the members of his Institute.  He recommended to them to have great devotion towards our Blessed Lord, to unite themselves frequently to Him in the adorable Sacrament of the Eucharist; to delight in loving His Most Holy Mother, and to honor, in a special manner, her most chaste Spouse, the Patron of their Society.  Two days afterwards, he asked for the last sacraments of the church.  Whilst awaiting the Holy Viaticum of the body of Jesus Christ, he had his room decorated, asked to have his habit, surplice and stole put on; and charity giving him strength, he adored the Holy Eucharist on his knees, and received with the most profound respect.  On Thursday of Holy Week, he was anointed, and passed seven whole hours in thanksgiving.  Towards evening at the request of Brother Barthelemy, he blessed all the members of the Institute.  Then the prayers for the recommendation of the soul were recited; when they were finished, he assumed his exhortation to the Brothers not to have dealings with worldlings, to live and die in the vocation to which they had been called.  He was already two and a half hours in agony and without movement, when suddenly, as if awaking from a profound sleep, he devoutly received the invocation prescribed for the Brothers for the evening: Maria, Mater gratiae . . .  then he exclaimed: "I adore in all things the will of God in my regard": and raising his eyes to heaven, he placed his hands in the form of a cross one over the other, and slept peaceably in the Lord, about four o'clock on Good Friday, April 7th, 1719 in the sixty-eighth year of his age."

BULL OF CANONIZATION FOR ST. JOHN BAPTIST DE LA SALLE BY POPE LEO XIII