114th Anniversary of

the Death of the Servant of God, Fr Jules Chevalier

By Sr Merieti Riiki FDNSC

published, 25th October, 2021

We are gathered here today as the Chevalier family, to celebrate the 114th Death Anniversary of our Founder, Jules Chevalier. We are here also to look back and to reflect on the life of Jules Chevalier, on a life that gives an important message from his own time.

Fr Tamati Sefo MSC, Provincial Superior led the Eucharistic celebration of the 114th Anniversary of the Death of Jules Chevalier at MSC Formation Chapel, Wailoku. Photo: Br Fetaraisa

There are so many things that Jules Chevalier has done in his life, that we should be grateful for. Something that has inspired You and Me, that is why I became an MSC, DOLSH and a member of the Chevalier Family. But let us remember that what Jules Chevalier has done in the past does not mean living as he lived, thinking as he thought, and acting as he acted.

Jules Chevalier was shaped by his own culture and context, but he remained faithful to the end. He was the Heart of Christ on earth till the end of his life. What does this mean for us today?

If Jules Chevalier were here, it would be a completely different time from his.

What would you think Jules Chevalier would say to each one of us?

We have learnt a lot about this man, Jules Chevalier.

That he is

A man of prayer

A man with vision and hope

A man with a Mission

A man with great love for the Sacred Heart and for Our Lady of the Sacred Heart.

And we can go on and on about this man.

Jules Chevalier had a very special song that he loved to sing. And of course, We all love to sing this song as well. So, let us sing together.

May the Sacred Heart of Jesus be everywhere loved – Forever

Our Lady of the Sacred Heart – Pray for us

This is our song – And our Joy

This is our Life – And our Hope

This is our Prayer

May the Sacred Heart of Jesus be loved – Be everywhere Loved!

What a beautiful song to sing every day of our lives. And to say or to sing with a Joyful heart. Knowing that – This is our Life. This is our Hope and This is our Prayer.

Our Motto as we just sang. “May the Sacred Heart of Jesus be everywhere loved”

Expresses our desire to glorify the Heart of Jesus,

To be Apostles of His Love,

And to dedicate to this Mission our whole life and strength.

Our Charism, Spirituality and Mission is that You and Me are called in the Church to share the Faith Vision of our Founder, Jules Chevalier. Like him, we find in the Heart of Jesus the revelation of the infinite tenderness of the love of God, our Father, and a sure way of helping others to realize how much God loves them.

We are reminded here, that being called to Mission is a gift and a privilege, not a burden. So, let us be joyful in our Mission of being the Heart of Jesus in a world, where more and more people are crying out for compassion, justice and love.

Mother Marie Louise Hartzer wrote in her letter after the death of Fr Jules Chevalier, she said:

Our beloved Father, has left us his counsels, his memory, his example. Let us be humble, very humble as he was. Like him, let us be kind and gracious towards everyone, and become all things to all people in order to win them all to Jesus Christ.

Again, we are reminded that WE should be witnessing that love of the Sacred Heart in our daily lives by our Actions, words, thoughts and work.

In the Acts of the Apostles 2:32 “God has raised this JESUS to life, and we are all WITNESSES of it”. “We are witnesses” means offering an experience of a “Christ who is alive” on whom it is still possible to contact, to talk to

So, let us once more look back and see some of the life of Jules Chevalier, that we have learnt and something that We think it will help us in our journey as sons and daughters of Jules Chevalier.

Jules Chevalier came from a poor family, but a happy Christian Family. When Jules Chevalier finished his primary education, he told his parents that he wanted to enter the minor seminary, but because they are poor his mother told him that they were not in a position to support him, so as a good mother, she advised him to take up a trade, assuring him that if God wanted him to be a priest, HE could make it possible for him one day.

According to the Gospel of St. Luke one of his main themes throughout the Gospel is that “NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE TO GOD”

So, Jules Chevalier chose to be a boot maker. God has his own plans for Jules, that he placed him with an honest Christian Employer. Thank God, he was able to spend his free time completing his education.

According to Jeremiah 29:11

“For I know the plans. I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and future”.

Jules Chevalier had a very good relationship with his mother. His mother taught him to be a good Christian. She often gave him a taste for the practice of his religion. Jules Chevalier gives witness to this fact in a poem that he wrote in later days. And this is what he wrote.

“Heart of Jesus, I was still very young when my childish voice learned to say your name; I had barely reached the age of reason. When I learnt to bless and love you. My good and tender mother said to me: My child, let the Heart of Jesus always be Your support, Your treasure, You light. Then often she loved to take me to your Temple”

Here we learnt of how Jules Chevalier and his mother have a good relationship. And that is why it is very easy for Jules Chevalier to turn to his Mother Mary, and to ask her for help, even from the very beginning of our Congregation.

Jules Chevalier promised Our Lady that, if She helped him with the finance and housing necessary to found his little society (the MSC), he would cause her to be honored in a special way.

Mary did help him, and in his turn kept his promise to Mary. He gave her a new name, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart.

We are reminded here to remember that WE are not alone in this journey especially in the Mission God has entrusted to YOU and to ME. WE have a wonderful companion, Our Mother, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, who leads us close to the Heart of her Son.

The cutting of the anniversary cake: Br Sosefo Leleivai MSC, Mr Etuate Ro Vere (Laity), Sr Meri Ebanrerei FDNSC and Br Warren Perrotto MSC.

Fr Cuskelly msc in his book “Jules Chevalier: A man with a Mission”

Jules Chevalier was regarded as a very good seminarian, virtuous, sincere and hardworking. It is interesting to read the different reports about him. They all point out that although he might not be the most brilliant students, but he worked extremely hard and had very fine qualities of character.

Fr Cuskelly quotes “Excellent in Piety, Average in intelligence”

Here it really shows that Jules Chevalier is a man of piety and determination. He really persevere to the end. A man of study and prayer.

It is a challenge to all of us, especially our young brothers and sisters here, who are doing their studies. The message from Jules Chevalier “Be serious with your study” and remember “study and prayer go together".

As I said in the beginning I can go on and on about this man. However, what I have learnt in my Reflection is that

· His seriousness with study

· His love for the Sacred Heart and Our Lady of the Sacred Heart.

· His commitment to Mission really are his marks

And in all of these, Jules Chevalier never gave up, even in front of the most difficult challenges because for him, obstacles are means.

Sr Merieti Riiki belongs to the Congregation of

The Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (FDNSC).

The Congregation of the Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart is a religious institute founded on the 30 August 1874 by the Servant of God Jules Chevalier, the Founder of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart. From the Latin form of its name, Filiae Dominae Nostrae Sacro Corde, it takes the abbreviation FDNSC. The order has an orientation towards missionary work. It is one of the members of the Chevalier Family group.