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- Memoir - 7/7 -


hope of bringing me back, or of returning with another priest. All were agreed to pay the passage of the missionary who should come to them, as well as to undertake to supply all that might be necessary for food or raiment while he should be with them. One man named Dominique Phillippar, born in Paris, and a resident of Pomquett for about thirty years, was chosen for an important errand. He was to accompany me to France, and to entreat the Reverend Father Abbot, my Superior, that I or some other member of our Order might return with him. In case that could not be managed, we were by his recommendation and through his instrumentality to address ourselves to the Bishop, asking for some zealous priests who were willing to consecrate themselves to the North American missions, and to minister to people who had no spiritual help. His place was secured in the ship that took me to France, but as he had not arrived from his parish when we set sail, he lost his passage, the ship having sailed a day earlier than was expected. Doubtless the good man experienced poignant regret. He was ready to journey almost two thousand leagues (including going and coming) in order to get a priest. This fact illustrates the faith and zeal for religion existing in the Catholics of these countries. I hope that God who is often satisfied with our good will and who permitted this event, will inspire some good ecclesiastics with the desire of going to the aid of these poor souls who so well deserve assistance.

When we arrived in America we found most Catholics well disposed. Their religion was obscured, but they seemed to be impressed with the first invitations or instructions that we gave them; of this they gave exterior proof, such as building churches, erecting crosses on the roadside, establishing Calvaries, and making the way of the cross, a devotion which touches the heart and bears excellent fruit. I, myself, have often been witness of the good effect produced by the Stations, and it is not long since one of my parishoners who was given over to drunkenness was completely converted after assisting at this devotion. He threw himself at my feet dissolved in tears, made his confession, and since that time he has always been extremely sober and filled with the fear of God. I often make the Stations in the different places where I go to hold missions, and as I have remarked a change for the better in the manners and in the amusements, the dancing, vanities, &c, of the people, I attribute it to the grace attached to the devotion of the way of the cross.

Those who have resolved to go over to those countries will do well to procure the faculty for establishing this precious devotion everywhere.

_Ut in nomine Jesu omne genu flectatur caelestium, terrestrium et infernorum. Ad Philippenses, 2 10_.

"At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, whether in heaven, or on earth, or in hell."

[Footnote: The Procession of the most Holy Sacrament made by the Indians of Cape Breton and the Bras d'Or has not been mentioned in these pages, as it took place since this narrative was written.]

* * * * *

TRANSLATOR'S NOTE.

The foregoing very imperfect translation of Father Vincent de Paul's quaint narrative, is published at the request of the leading clergy of Antigonish County, that section of Eastern Nova Scotia in which the holy Trappist so long lived and labored.

The original from which the translation was made, was printed in France in the year 1824, and, as far as is known, is the only copy in Canada. It was for many years lying _perdu_ in the old convent of the Trappistine Sisters, in Tracadie, Nova Scotia, where it was discovered in the autumn of 1883. It is interspersed with corrections and footnotes in the pious monk's own handwriting and was printed at a private press, in the Trappist Monastery at Bellefontaine, France.

Father Vincent's labors were, generally speaking, confined to the district over which he presided, but occasionally in cases of urgent need, he would be sent for to administer the Sacraments to the dying in Prince Edward Island. Old Catholic residents along the northern and eastern shores of King's County, will tell how, with Father Vincent seated in the prow, the smallest boat would ride safely over an angry sea.

His apostolic zeal it was that kept the Faith alive in Eastern Nova Scotia, in the days when, with the exception of a few French missions, it lived only in the hearts of the poor Micmac Indians. Before his death, however, he had the happiness of seeing the Catholic religion firmly rooted in the land he so loved, by the arrival and establishment there of the loyal Highlanders, who by their energy and perseverance have changed the desert through which Father Vincent made his perilous journeys into a beautiful and fertile country.

To the Right Rev. Dr. Cameron for his kindness in writing the preface, to the Rev. Clergy for their liberal patronage, and to the Trappistine Sisters for the loan of the original copy of Father Vincent's book, are due the most grateful thanks of

THE TRANSLATOR.

Charlottetown, P.E. Island, 18th June, 1886.

[Transcriber's Note: The words "mattrass," "preceeded," "shreded," "tractible," and "transparancy" appear thus in our print copy; also, "Pomquet" is variously spelled as "Pomquet," "Pomquett," and "Pomquete"; we have retained these spellings as they appeared in the published work.]


Memoir - 7/7

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