26 Oct

On the 22nd September a Beatification Mass took place to give the Church her newest Blessed. Blessed Louis Brisson was born in 1817 in Plancy, Champagne-Ardenne Region, France. He was an only child and his primary education took place mainly at home by his parents and with the local priest.

While being schooled Blessed Louis was particularly interested in the natural sciences. Later he desired to be a priest and after his training he was ordained on 18th December, 1840, in Troyes. Within the first year of his ordination, he became spiritual director of the monastery of the Visitation in Troyes. He did this at the request of the Superior of the monastery, Mother Marie de Sales Chappuis, who was convinced that Blessed Louis would be the priest to establish a religious community of men in the spirit of St Francis de Sales.

She eventually convinced Blessed Louis to establish this priestly order, though he was not exactly enthusiastic about it. In addition to his priestly activities, Blessed Louis served as a teacher in the nearby junior seminary and continued his early interest in science, constructing an astronomical clock used in the Motherhouse Convent of the Oblates of St Francis de Sales in Troyes.

Concerned with the welfare of working class girls in the textile mills, Blessed Louis established shelters where they could keep their dignity and become women of conscience and faith. In 1866 he co-founded the Oblate Sisters of St Francis de Sales to provide for their education and then in 1872 an order for priests and brothers performing similar apostolic work.

During the last thirty years of his life, Blessed Louis saw his religious community flourish and spread throughout Europe, Africa, South America, Central America and North America.

The law on the Separation of the Churches and State and the secularisation of France at the beginning of the 20th century began with the secularisation of the religious houses, which included exiling their occupants. The oblates of St Francis de Sales transferred their General House to Rome, however, Blessed Louis retired to his birthplace in Plancy. He died on 2nd February 1908. During the time of revolution and persecution Blessed Louis’ faith remained unwavering. “If everything seems lost,” he said, “and everyone has already surrendered his hope, the Lord will show His might and His influence. Then it will become clear to all that the decision lies only in His hands and we are capable of nothing.”
– from: “Spiritual Thought from Fr Chris”


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