Jean LEUDUGER Year. Closing

The extraordinary in ordinary life!
It took place on an ordinary Sunday, the 30th of Ordinary Time, the closing day of the missionary week. It took place in the cathedral of Saint-Brieuc, brightly lit on this day and filled with the symphony of the organs… It is there that Jean LEUDUGER was buried on 17 January 1722.

It was a very ordinary assembly… if it were not for the unusual presence of the Daughters of the Holy Spirit and some members of Jean LEUDUGER’S family, in reserved seats. This was an assembly tinged with universality by the presence of believers from various continents.

A very beautiful Eucharistic Celebration presided over by Mgr Denis Moutel, Bishop of Saint Brieuc and Tréguier, assisted by some priests.
Olga Kiendrebeogo, on behalf of Sr Ann Almodovar, who was detained by her duties as Superior General, invited us to give thanks to God for “the beautiful collaboration between the diocese, the congregation of the Daughters of the Holy Spirit and the souls of good will” throughout this Jean Leuduger year. She thanked her good “pilot”: Father Le Vézouet. Referring to the events of the year, she invited us to give thanks for “the fruits of charity that the Holy Spirit has made germinate in this diocese”.

The ordinary course of a Mass where the manecanter, as on beautiful feast days, spreads its harmonious voices and supports the prayer of the assembly. As usual, Mgr Moutel gave the homily of the day. As if stimulated by the face of the diocesan priest, a Breton missionary, who until now was little known to him, his words and his whole being vibrate under the extraordinary message that he has received and that he is transmitting today to the assembly and to all his diocesan friends:
Jean LEUDUGER, witness to Christ the Saviour: his word announced his Love: “this is the heart of the Gospel and the heart of the mission.” Jean LEUDUGER, a priest with a heart of fire who lived by the Charity of Christ: “he loved people deeply with the very love of God, he loved all those he met… fraternal love is the first tool of evangelisation“, Mgr Moutel continues.  Jean LEUDUGER diocesan priest, missionary.; this mystery of God’s love that Jesus revealed to the little ones, Jean LEUDUGER sought to transmit by addressing everyone, “beyond the educated or well-to-do world of his time. He spoke to everyone, giving them the best of the word of God and of the Christian life“. This mystery of love led him to travel the countryside… It also inspired the “house of Charity” of Le Légué and accompanied its founders, Marie Balavenne and Renée Burel.

Thus, we are sent back to our everyday, ordinary life, to “be witnesses of Christ, not by the example of our supposed virtues, but by the gift of the Spirit” which makes us enter into the merciful love of the Father; this extraordinary gift which makes us “close to others, the poorest first of all”, and makes us attentive “to the way of living the relationships and conflicts” of ordinary life. Thus, “the call to conversion” resounded that day under the vaults of Saint-Brieuc cathedral.

Bishop Moutel’s prayer echoed Sr Olga’s wish: “May Jean LEUDUGER obtain for us from heaven a missionary zeal full of fraternal love”, she said. Mgr Moutel takes up a moment of the prayer of St Teresa of Avilla: “Lord, what do you want from me? To evangelise my own heart, to live fully where you have planted me, Lord…”.

This extraordinary message, in contradiction with the slogans and advertisements propagated by most of today’s media, can be found in the “Bouquet de la Mission”, a collection of catecheses by Jean LEUDUGER to the people of the countryside in the 18th century, the main extracts of which have just been made available to the general public under the title of: Selected pages from the Bouquet of the Mission. 

Sister Armandine BAGOT. Community of Plérin, Le Légué. Published on 26 October 2022.