When one bears in mind the high mortality rate at the time of Eugene – where, for example, one in four persons died of tuberculosis – it is easy to understand his reminder to the young people of the possibility of an untimely death. It reflects the warning of Jesus: “Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come.” (Mark 13:33)
Art. 43. Death has often proved it does not respect age or position in life. How often has it brought devious execution to the youngest children and pitilessly removed them in the springtime of their lives. How many young people have been struck down and dragged into the horrors of the tomb just as they were assured of having the most successful and long-lasting future.
Eugene trained them to be aware of what to do if a serious illness affected them or other congregants.
Art. 44. It is therefore prudent to take precautions in the event that a congregant has an unexpected illness that threatens his life, so he will not be surprised by death without being well prepared.
Art. 45. Once a congregant is obliged to take to his bed, he will so inform the Director who will immediately go to visit him.
Statuts, § 3. Devoirs des congréganistes malades.
The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time. Mark Twain