Eugene advises the community of the edifying manner of the death of Father Pons.
The Lord has just taken away our excellent Father Alexandre Marie Pons, at 28 years of age, in the 8th year since his call. He died as one predestined, yesterday at 8.00 p.m., assisted by all his brothers, who had nursed him with heroic charity throughout his illness, fearless of its malign and contagious nature. My presence and words were so much of a comfort to our poor sick confrere that I made it my personal duty to console him until the end came. Although for four hours he could no longer speak, he remained conscious and fervently followed every edifying suggestion made. Following our custom his confessor, Father Tempier, frequently repeated the act of absolution which he received with joy. I think he had received an interior light warning him that his end was near, for since the holidays he has devoted himself to every practice of perfection, living out such an exact regularity that the whole community was edified. His conversation was only of God, and he did all things for him.
It is thus that the Lord is pleased to form his elect in our midst, he shapes them, brings them to perfection and when they are ripe for heaven, he takes them from us although we are counting on them to help us in carrying the heavy load he has imposed on us. His will be done. I bless him for the good that he pledges to my children and I pray that he will hearken to the petitions they certainly make in heaven both for me and for us all and for the Congregation that has given birth to them, fed them and formed them for his glory.
Letter to Jean Baptiste Mille, 17 September 1836, EO VIII n 585
What will they say about us and our attitude to death as the door opening to our eternal life?