Braga, 28 December 2021
Dear friend Jean Gailhac
Now that it is the Golden Jubilee of my relationship with the Institute of the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary, I come to express the most sincere and profound gratitude for the spiritual legacy you have entrusted to us. I acknowledge that I am privileged to have an affective/effective link with the Institute you founded. It is unquestionable, and irrefutable, that my spiritual identity is based on the charismatic spirituality that you bequeathed to your dear and much loved Institute. This is the great miracle, built from small miracles, throughout these fifty years of our relationship. In other words, the passion I feel for following and imitating Jesus Christ has been growing and consolidated in the relationship with so many religious women of the RSCM and with other collaborators who “drink” from the same Source.
Thank you very much for the very eloquent letters you have written; they are a great treasure! They are an excellent reinforcement of the Word of God, because they come from a genuine heart on fire with the Spirit of God.
I still remember well the first time I came in contact with your letters. It was a mixed feeling. On the one hand, I felt I was trustworthy; on the other, I felt I was “invading” the privacy of the Institute. As these feelings were calmed, I felt the desire to make known some pextracts of those same letters which clearly highlighted and challenged behaviour that is worthy and expected in those who, like you, my friend Gailhac, put their trust in the Trinity: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. I recognize that this is another miracle that God has worked in me through your mediation.
I recognize fully that this whole path has been and is decisive for nourishing in me the Gift of faith. As such, directly and indirectly, the miracle of my physical recovery happens thanks to this gift, with your direct intervention, and indirectly through the great chain of prayers and support in my favour, coming from so many sisters and collaborators of the Institute.
This miracle began as soon as I went into hospital, after the first complete paralysis of my lower limbs, together with partial paralysis of the urinary tract, following an inconclusive diagnosis of relapsing myelitis. As I did not show any sadness, resentment or anger, the doctor who attended me was perplexed, to the point of including in the report that it was pertinent to have psychological follow-up. It was necessary for another doctor friend to intervene. At that time, I was a youth catechism teacher at the Sacred Heart Centre. The doctor reversed the situation after a testimonial in which he said that that was just the way I was: “a man of faith”.
After the second paralysing event, when I spent another two months in hospital, I gradually recovered my gait, enabling me to do everything on my own, including driving, contrary to the medical prediction that I would be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of my life, as I left hospital. God’s grace, my trust in Him, prayers and the support, mostly of the people who work at the Institute, have contributed to my permanently feeling the hand of God.
On my behalf and on behalf of the people who daily turn to you my friend Jean Gailhac, to intercede for my rehabilitation, I thank you for the transformation that has taken place.
While I am with you, I insist on your intercession for the miraculous cure of my urinary tract.
Once again, my sincere thanks for these small/big miracles which I have been graced with by God, the fruit of your direct and indirect intervention.
fraternal embrace and friend.