He is risen !
N° 219 – March 2021
Director : Frère Bruno Bonnet-Eymard
Saint Joseph, Protect Us!
OUR community of Little Brothers and Little Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, was born and grew under the patronage of Saint Joseph. According to the prologue of our Holy Rule: “They will have an intimate predilection for Nazareth and will desire to relive, close to the Holy Family, the whole mystery of His hidden life. Saint Joseph will be their great protector and the Virgin Mary, their Mother.”●
Our founder, Father Georges de Nantes, in religion Brother Georges de Jesus-Marie, was of noble lineage, like Saint Joseph; a child of the Church, he was predestined to serve her from his birth, on April 3, 1924, and called by the voice of Canon Pattriti, the very day that he baptised him at the baptismal font of Saint Louis’ Church in Toulon, on April 5:
“And this one, Commander, shall we not make him a priest?”
“Well! Canon, if it is the will of the Good God, we give him to Him. It would be a great honour for us.”
Father de Nantes was predestined to be the guardian of the Holy Church, as Saint Joseph was the Immaculate’s guardian, to defend the virginity of the Church’s inviolable faith against the assaults of Modernism and progressivism back in the Church of France, ‘liberated’ by Herod’s soldiers in 1944. This battle began as soon as he entered the seminary in 1943, and did not cease until his death on February 15, 2010.
Ordained a priest in 1948, his first ten years of priesthood were a succession of exiles, including one in Pontoise in 1952 – my good fortune!● –, which led him to seek refuge in Nazareth, like Saint Joseph! in his three parishes of Villemaur, Pâlis and Planty, where he founded our community in 1958. By his appointment as parish priest of the collegiate church in Villemaur, he became a spouse of the Church, and baptised, confessed and awoke vocations through love of the Virgin Mary, during five years of a “hidden life.”
A new exile obliged him to find refuge in Maison Saint-Joseph, from where he set off into public life to combat the diabolical disorientation into which the Second Vatican Council was plunging the entire Church. It was then that our Father, Brother George of Jesus Mary, manifested all the characteristics that Pope Francis attributes to Saint Joseph in his Apostolic Letter. When applied to our Father, these seven characteristics defined by the Pope lead to the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, because we pass from natural and even ‘ecological’ considerations, to the fulfilment of the supernatural vocation of Saint Joseph, spouse of the Immaculate Virgin.
1. “A beloved Father,” yes, of many friends, recipients of the Letters to My Friends from 1956 to 1967, for the joy of the Truth that he taught untiringly with wisdom, the first gift of the Holy Spirit, a consummate Wisdom. It suffices to reread these 252 Letters to My Friends to be convinced of this.
2. “A tender and loving Father” of the Heart of Jesus-Mary with piety, a tender piety.
3. “An obedient Father,” obeying the desires of God, manifested by the Immaculate Heart of Mary at Fatima: filial fear of the Lord.
4. “An accepting Father” who, through the gift of counsel, accepted all souls for direction of the conscience.
5. A creatively courageous Father: of inexhaustible fecundity, the superabundant fruit of the gift of understanding to be able to build a ‘cathedral of light.’
6. A working Father through tireless ‘work’: supported by the gift of fortitude.
7. A Father “in the shadows”: in the sole light of the gift of knowledge “whereby we know and acquire a strong sense of the true value of things, or, if you like, of their essential vanity.”● And therefore without the slightest ambition that would distract him from the sole purpose of all our work: the contemplation and defence of Truth.
“Let us march peacefully looking to Heaven, the only goal of our works. “ (Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, April 1889) Even at the cost of the permissions that had to be obtained from the authorities to found our community. So much so that we are still not “recognised!”
This is why his work is still “in the shadows,” corresponding to the ultimate characteristic of Saint Joseph, according to Pope Francis: “a father in the shadows.” This is a monument of wisdom that remains completely overlooked, and which makes us, his disciples, heirs to the founders of our Church and our most Christian monarchy, and adopted by them, under the guidance of Saint Joseph, with “their one hundred and fifty truths and exceptional qualities, human and Christian beauties, or better still, monastic and monarchic.”●
We experienced the most beautiful expression of the “tenderness” of our Father, which is the second characteristic of Saint Joseph according to Pope Francis, on the day of his departure into exile in obedience to our bishop: “For once he spoke to me!” In the evening, while the Community was watching Henri Ghéon’s play, ‘The Poor Man Under the Staircase,’ staged by our Canadian Phalangists, he had me prepare his suitcase in secret to leave the house during the night, like Saint Alexis. Leaving a note on the chest of drawers in the sacristy: “Brothers and sisters, my blessing. Do not weep, for this is the good way of the Cross. Obedientia in dilectione, obedience with tender love. Brother George of Jesus.”
Obedientia, submission to the Divine Will expressed by legitimate authority; with mutual strength and encouragement in dilectione, with tender love.
In the car, he said to me: “It is piety that will save you.” A tender piety.
The fourth point: “An accepting father,” was expressed when our Father took our brothers and sisters into his confidence by revealing his intimate struggles: “It is difficult to forgive. We must model ourselves on the Sacred Heart of Jesus. My first concern is the return of the hierarchy to the true Catholic Faith. The debate must not be obstructed by the injustice inflicted upon me, in order not to jeopardise the combat for the Faith and thus the Church.”
To be sure that he forgave his calumniators, he inaugurated a simple devotion which he recommended to us: “Make the sign of the cross and placing your open right hand on the middle of your chest, add: ‘By the Immaculate Conception, Mother of every one of us, forever!’
“Do you know why I set out with firm will and fervour to do this?” he told us. “Because if I do not forgive, I will not be forgiven, and from the present moment, if the memory of the ‘others’ comes back to me without being the occasion of a true and complete charity, my faults come back to the Most Unique Heart of Jesus and Mary with indignation against this spoiled child.
“Then, the Immaculate is invoked as Mediatrix for the solution of our affairs, but in exchange the invocation ‘our Mother of every one of us’ includes every one who... who... every one, it is not all ‘men,’ it is every one of us! And the ‘forever’ means: without any spirit of revenge or pursuit of any kind of personal defence. Also so that we may all find ourselves, yes, every one of us! in Heaven. Hell is too, too, too terrible. I do not wish it to anyone.”
It was with these sentiments that he left for Heaven, eleven years ago to the day, with the obvious help of his protector, Saint Joseph, patron saint of a good death. He went to meet the Virgin Mary, in whose arms Saint Joseph himself had given up his soul to God the Father to wait, in the bosom of Abraham, for his Son Jesus to open the gates of Heaven through His death on the Cross.
It was at 6.25 a.m. on that Monday, February 15, 2010, the very hour when the Community was reciting the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary in the chapel.
“I know the Home that awaits me and I run, I fly to it without sorrow, without regret. It is a home like my childhood home, a home worthy of my father and mother, the home of my Heavenly Father and my beloved Mother, Queen of angels and virgins. Oh, how beautiful are your dwellings, Israel. The pavilions of your tents are resplendent, new Jerusalem, espoused City, walled gardens, mountains and crystalline fountains, Paradise!”●
As he had wished, our Father made his death the most beautiful act of love of his life!
May it be so for each and every one of us, my dear brothers, sisters, and friends of the Phalange, in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, by You, Immaculate Conception, Mother of every one of us, forever!
Brother Bruno of Jesus Mary.
Provisional Rule Of The Little Brothers Of The Sacred Heart Of Villemaur, Article 2.
Brother Bruno’s interpolated clause is prompted by the fact that during Father de Nantes’s “exile” in Pontoise, he taught at the boarding school there. This was where the child Bruno Bonnet-Eymard was a student. This providential encounter determined the course of Brother Bruno’s life.
Memoirs and Anecdotes, Vol. I, pp. 67-70.
Memoirs and Anecdotes, Vol. II, pp. 194-196.
The Home that Awaits Us, Mystical Page no. 86, March 1976.