- Published: Sunday, 20 October 2019 22:05
JULES CHEVALIER DAY, 21st OCTOBER, 112th ANNIVERSARY OF HIS DEATH.
With thanks to Liz Taylor OLSH who prepared this outline for the gathering of the Melbourne Chevalier Family commemorative gathering.
An invitation to spend some moments reflecting on just some of the life events of the man whose life has touched the lives of thousands in over 50 countries of the world. An invitation to imagine Jules’ feelings as you look at some of his experiences.
In the Richelieu church, 14 year-old Jules Chevalier is struck deeply by a mission sermon: ”What a beautiful vocation is that a missionary”…
At the age of 17, Jules enters the seminary after a long, wait… then after only 2 weeks, he found himself in the grip of chronic boredom and profound rejection..
In 1854, Jules is appointed to Issoudun… the heart of France, the place he longed to bring back to God and from there to have God’s love go forth into the world ..
In 1858 the Archbishop of Bourges gave Jules just 24 hrs notice to close the little chapel of the Sacred Heart at Issoudun because of its alleged danger of collapse.
Fr Chevalier told St Joseph: ‘the damage is on your side, it is up to you to fix it’.
On March 25th, 1859, construction began on the Basilica in Issoudun…
Jules’ joy in the coronation of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in Issoudun on September 8th, 1869 amid thousands of pilgrims.
In 1972, France is consecrated to Our Lady of the Sacred Heart
In 1880 The MSC community is expelled from Issoudun and the doors of the Basilica are sealed.
In 1881, Father Chevalier accepts the mission in the Apostolic Vicariate of Melanesia and Micronesia…
In 1890 the laity, particularly the associates and pilgrims, storm the municipal buildings and the Basilica seals are re-opened.
On March 25, 1900, Fr Chevalier commissions Fr Hubert Linckens, to establish a congregation of Sisters at Hiltrup, who would share his charism and spirituality.. initially for the new German colony in Melanesia ..
The French Government (1901) confiscates all Church property … the Basilica is again, closed, sealed and eventually sold.
At this time Fr Chevalier is engaged in at least 5 or 6 lawsuits against the municipal council of Issoudun… over church property ..
In 1907 the Basilica is bought back by M. de Bonneval and re-opened shortly before Chevalier’s death.
On January 21, 1907, Fr. Chevalier is expelled from the presbytery and taken to the home of a parishioner … he never returns to St Cyr but has the consolation of knowing he will be buried in the crypt of the Basilica, directly under the statue of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart.