12 Work at Lévis Hospice

  • Post author:
  • Post category:BLOG

Then came Sister Florentin’s obedience as she was reassigned to care for elder patients at Lévis Hospice [This institution is known as the School of Industry Hospice of Saint-Joseph-of-the-Rescue in 1924 near the city of Levis].

It is at this good hospital that she spoke her last word, but with a voice that spoke very specifically.  She was engrossed in her job, without distractions.

“I do not have the same strong, loving feelings for these elderly that I had for my aged and much-loved grandmother”, she admitted.  “I will apply myself to the spirit of Our Savior which I see in these poor suffering people, and little by little, I discovered that my heart had grown.  Because we need to be informed to serve God. Otherwise, we would focus on our troubles, and ask too much of ourselves.  If we always believe in doing too much, we will restrain ourselves from asking for too much in our prayers.”

These words and similar others were part of the makeup of many young Sisters who loved to speak with Florence, to be instructed by listening  And this is how Florence became an expert in the art of living a good life, and we can add, in the art of dying well.  The elders, public benefactors of her maternal nurturing, would often share their confidences with her.  Next, parents and friends in a state of sadness, perhaps counting their troubles or pains, were counseled by “our Sister Florentin”, and they would say: “Go and see her, she will not just tell you that “it is God’s will.”  No, she has words that will reach the bottom of your heart, words that will instill you with courage and joy.”

Helping the dying, day and night, she could not be more pained.  Her entire life had passed in the service of God and in reaching towards God.  After feeling joy and happiness, giving and taking; after giving comfort and feeling strengthened by these words, she would wrap herself in solitude, she would not miss the least opportunity to pass without helping even in the last hour.  Oh, no.  Her tenderness for the departed often inspired her while she performed her “Way of the Cross” prayers at the crypt of the hospice for the comfort of the souls in Purgatory. She loved repeating, one could never calculate how often, a special oration (prayer) the most rich in indulgences: “Jésus, Marie, Joseph!”

Joyce

Joyce Derenas is a historical fiction author who writes stories based on the real lives of her French-Canadian ancestors of the Beauce Valley in Quebec.