Venerable Vital Grandin
Vital Grandin was born on February 8, 1829 at Saint-Pierre-sur-Orthe, in Mayenne, France. He was brought into the world by very poor parents. His parents’ unique pride was in having healthy children.
At the age of seven, God had already instilled a great desire in Vital to become a priest. With the help of many benefactors his dream was indeed to become a reality.
In 1846, he entered the Précigné Seminary, and in 1850 continued on to the Grand Seminary of Le Mans.
Being anxious to work in the Foreign Missions, and having a eat desire to die a martyr, he entered the order of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate on December 28, 1851.
Three years later, on April 23rd, 1854 he was ordained a priest by Bishop de Mazenod, the Founder of the Oblates,. Shortly after, he left for the distant missions of Western Canada. During hall a century, he devoted himself entirely to the conversion of the Indian peoples and to the aid of the prairie settlers.
He was only 28 years old, when on December 11, 1857 he was appointed Bishop of Satala and co-adjutor of Saint Boniface. His motto: Infirma mundi elegit Deus (God chooses the weak of this world). His coat of arms. A bent reed and a cross.
Through hardships and dangers, ha travelled incessantly aver the vast prairie regions in an endeavour to save souls. He endured his crosses with true courage, and with a genuine love far ha fellow men.
On September 22nd, 1871, he was named Bishop of Saint Albert (Alberta), His apostolic field at the time consisted of a few scattered, poverty stricken missions.
With constant work and devotion, he is known to have left to his successors a well-organized and flourishing diocese.
He died a saintly death at Saint Albert on June 3rd, 1902. The cause of his beatification was introduced at Rome on February 24th, 1937.
On December l5th, 1966 Pope Paul VI promulgated the official decree of the heroic virtues of Venerable Bishop Grandin, 0Ml.
Bishop Grandin speaks...
THE SOULS - I had the sorrow of witnessing many souls go astray because of the lack of missionaries, arid of other indispensable means.
VOCATIONS - I owe my vocation to God, and after Him to my mother. I am convinced that a call to a religious or ecclesiastical vocation cornea directly from God, who uses prudent, Christian parents as instruments by which He makes His will known.
SUFFERING - We are here on earth to suffer, but we do not have the courage to sacrifice ourselves as we should. Divine Providence takes care in sowing seeds of tribulations amidst our joys. We should not ha sad, for we know only too well that the road to heaven is one covered with many crosses.
OUR HOLY MOTHER - Our blessed mother in heaven loves us more ardently than our earthly mother. Pray often to her, for you are in great need of her help. Love her as your mother and may she protect and guide you.
HEAVEN – I hope to see you again in heaven. For this to be possible, I am counting less on our own sacrifices, than on God’s. We will have a chance to reach heaven by different means. We will attain this goal by doing our duty.
LOVE - Your hearts make you suffer, if it were not for this, you would be inclined Io believe that complete happiness can have had here on earth. Look not on earth for happiness, but in heaven with God.
DEATH - I die on my travels, I wish that after my death the mystery of the redemption shall continue to be preached, that a cross be planted where I die, and that no transportation expenses be made in carrying my corpse, but that I be left there at the foot of the cross.
“I will continue with affection lo devote myself to you and to your works. And I even hope to continue after my death. If the good Lord, in his Mercy, allows me to his Paradise, He will also show me to continue this ministry of love and prayer.” (Bishop Vital Grandin)
O God who by the grace of Thy Holy Spirit tempered the soul of Bishop Grandin with fortitude and humility and gent him as bearer of Thy life-giving Word to the peoples of the western plains, grant us grace to be strong in Thy faith, humbly confident in Thine aid and tireless in doing good. And bestow upon us, we humbly pray, through the intercession of this pioneer missionary the special grace which we seek from Thy sovereign goodness in the name of Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to God.
Kindly notify an Oblate in your vicinity, or the Reverend Father Postulator (290, Via Aurelia, Rome: C.P. 9061, 00100 Roma Aurelio, Italy) of any favour obtained.