MY BEST AND OLD FRIEND, I EMBRACE YOU WITH ALL MY HEART, IN WHICH IS CONCENTRATED THE LITTLE STRENGTH THAT REMAINS IN ME
Eugene continues the narrative of the last moments of the life of his friend, Charles de Forbin Janson.
I wanted to go to Aygalades to see the bishop; someone came to disturb me. And behold today it has been too late. At the time of departure for going to the side of the good bishop, Abbé Sibour arrived to tell me that he just had an infirmity which had frightened him and that he had believed himself duty-bound to inform me about it. I left immediately, but, in the interval, the bishop had rendered his soul to God. I found him dead.
… It must be said that the poor bishop took very well what I said to him the day before yesterday and that he truly made the resolution to put order into his affairs, he even very warmly showed me his affection, when I was leaving him, in taking my hand and pressing it over his heart, which comes back to the expression which he used the day before while dictating to Abbé Janse these words which he addressed to me: “My best and old friend, I embrace you with all my heart, in which is concentrated the little strength that remains in me. Your old friend, Charles, bishop of Nancy.”(This was very likely his last signature, which I will keep in memory of our old friendship, which indeed goes back forty years.)
Eugene de Mazenod’s Diary, 11 July 1844, EO XXI
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