Section Five

Fr. Chevalier’s Way of Living

A Devotion to the Sacred Heart

In the next two sections we will briefly introduce Fr. Chevalier and his way of living a “Devotion to the Sacred Heart”.

Fr. Jules Chevalier’s Spirituality has been shaped by this Devotion, and has certainly been enriched by the way the Saints, who lived before him, practiced this Devotion. Also his contact with some Jesuits has clearly inspired Chevalier. Even so, he lived the Devotion to the Sacred Heart in his own way.

From the beginning, Fr. Chevalier understood the Devotion to the Sacred Heart in a broad sense. He lived it not as a devotional practice, but as a spirituality that comprised all aspects of faith, religion and daily life – social life as well as personal life.

For him the Devotion to the Sacred Heart was not only a Devotion, in the narrow sense of the word. He did not practice this Devotion only by performing some specific, spiritual exercises such as the Holy Hour, Adoration or the Prayer of Reparation on First Fridays of the month. Even if he did not neglect these devotional practices, his way of practicing a Devotion to the Sacred Heart included his whole life and work.

Fr. Hériault MSC, for many years his confrere and assistant priest in St. Cyr parish of Issoudun, notes that Fr. Chevalier did not have “a demonstrative piety” and that his piety above all consisted in “carrying out his obligations”.

Fr. Piperon MSC, another companion, describes Fr. Chevalier as ‘a worker’ who never lost time, but who in the midst of all his occupations, always found time to attend to the gatherings of the MSC community, several times a day: during the prayer services, the meals and the time of recreation. (Fr. Hans Kwakman MSC)

A reflective moment

“We can try new ways

to find peace of heart

and a little tranquility

by doing simple, practical things:

cooking, cleaning the house,

visiting a friend, writing a letter,

taking a walk, listening to gentle music,

visiting a church,

praying in silence or playing with children.

In the midst of all our weakness and pain,

we can experience

moments of peace and joy.”

Jean Vanier