January was declared “The Month of Blessed Basile Moreau” at the International Shrine dedicated in his honor at Notre-Dame de Sainte-Croix Church in Le Mans, France.
The commemorative days began with a novena for families from January 11-19. Regretfully, because of the pandemic restrictions, the pilgrimages to Notre-Dame de L’Habit, where Blessed Moreau entrusted his new Congregation to the intercession of Our Lady, and Laigné-en-Belin, the founder’s birthplace, were canceled.
On January 17-18, Fr. Paul-Elie Cadet, C.S.C., Rector of the Shrine and Pastor of Notre-Dame de Sainte-Croix, and Fr. Joseph Gonsalvez, C.S.C., Assistant Pastor, and Mrs. Tiphaine Hamerel, Administrative Assistant, welcomed three classes from Sainte-Anne Sainte-Croix School for guided tours of the Shrine and a brief talk on the life of Blessed Moreau and the Congregation of Holy Cross. The students listened attentively and especially enjoyed the slide presentation.
On January 20, Blessed Moreau’s feast day, Fr. Paul Valentin, C.S.C., Superior of the Vicariate of France, celebrated the first Mass in the newly renovated Christ the King Chapel. Concelebrating were Fr. Cadet, Fr. Gonsalvez, and Fr. Edmond Samson, a diocesan priest. Later in the afternoon, parishioners attended a presentation on the Founder and a Vespers service, where his relics were venerated.
The following day the Stations of the Cross were held at the Solitude of Our Savior, home of the Marianite Sisters. On Saturday evening, there was a Vigil of Prayer at the Shrine, which included the recitation of the Chaplet of the Seven Sorrows.
Finally, the culmination of the festivities was Sunday’s Solemn Mass at the Shrine celebrated by Fr. Marc Valentin, Assistant Superior of the Vicariate of France. Present for the Mass were religious from the Vicariate and several students from our Holy Cross schools. The Eucharist ended with prayers around the tomb of the Founder.
The staff and the faithful of the parish and Shrine continue to promote the holiness of Blessed Basile Moreau.