“The holy priest is dead!”

Posted October 27, 2021

Heritage and Spirituality Group.  
Sr. Marie France Correau RSCM

On November 1st the Church invites us to celebrate the feast of ALL SAINTS. It is the feast of all those who “have lived through the daily hardships of life, finding in the Lord the strength to continue on the path” *.

There are the saints whose names we bear, whose statues are in the churches, those who are canonized each year and those whom only we know and of whom we say in homage: “He was a holy man, a holy woman”. When Father Gailhac died, the town of Béziers resounded with: “The holy priest is dead”.

In the early 1950s, our religious congregation wished to introduce the cause for the beatification of our founder, Father Jean Gailhac, who was declared Venerable in June 1972 under the pontificate of Pope Paul VI. The absence of miracles recognized according to the criteria of the Church did not allow his process of beatification to proceed any further.

The Heritage and Spirituality group had a long discussion on this subject. Sharing the same enthusiasm to make the life of our founder known, we recognized the diversity and richness of our respective experiences in our personal encounter with him. This exchange led us to talk about our appreciation of the ‘miracles’ that we and many people we knew had experienced as a result of Venerable Jean Gailhac’s intervention. Miracles not officially recognized by the Church but experienced as true miracles by those who were recipients or witnesses.

We decided among ourselves to write “Letters to Father Gailhac” to thank him personally for these “miracles” in our lives. These letters were passed around in our group during the Summer. And we thought that other RSCMs, extended family members or anyone else who had “known” our founder might have the same desire to express to him how they had been “won over” by his life and spirituality and would want to thank him for the “miracles” obtained through his intercession.

We therefore extend this invitation to our readers: write to Father Gailhac! Send your letter to the member of the Heritage and Spirituality group in your geographical unit and we will publish some of them on the Institute website. Our own letters will be online there from 13 November.

*Pope François

**Articles produced by Mgr R. Fontenelle (postulator in the cause of beatification) 1948

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