Monday, April 03, 2017

Jacques Fesch, The Penitent

April 6, 1930-October 1, 1957

"It is only recently that I have come to understand the meaning of the cross. It is at once prodigious and atrocious: prodigious because it gives us life, and atrocious because if we do not accept to be crucified all life is denied us. This is a great mystery, and blessed are the persecuted." - Jacques Fesch

Thursday is his birthday.

He's a penitent.  He accidentally murdered a policeman.  He was near sighted and shot the policeman who was pursuing him - after a botched robbery.   I don't know if he had the intent to kill, but that's just my thought.
Jacques Fesch, a young French man, was a convicted murderer who was guillotined for his crime in 1957 at the age of twenty-seven. He killed a police officer while fleeing from the scene of an attempted armed robbery. He has left us a testimony in his letters, written while in prison, that can bring hope to even the most hardened of sinners. His letters show that he was successfully able to resist the terrible temptation of despair, and present a clear witness to the unconquerable strength of a God who is Love, and whose love no crime can overpower. The letters display a glowing testimony to the fact that Love is stronger than even the most horrible of deaths. On the last night of his life, Jacques Fesch, wrote, "I wait in the night and in peace... I wait for Love." - Read more at: Murderer, Convert, Contemplative, Mystic

Anyway, Father mentioned him in his homily yesterday.  I was happy he did so.   We have a really good priest for our pastor.  He loves being a priest.


Like Mary of Egypt - but not exactly - Jacques found a place to flee - although incarcerated and sentenced to death.  There, he experienced that profound sense of repentance and encounter with Christ's love.  If there was only a way for us to cut ourselves off from sin with such vehemence, and to truly encounter Christ in that exile.  To accept our lot as our penance, our participation in the saving passion of Christ.  The penitents demonstrate that Christ came to save sinners - even the most offensive and guilty.

"If we do not accept to be crucified all life is denied us."

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please comment with charity and avoid ad hominem attacks. I exercise the right to delete comments I find inappropriate. If you use your real name there is a better chance your comment will stay put.