Who Is Mary of the Incarnation?
Who is this Mary whose life and writings have inspired so many learned men and women from divers backgrounds and different nationalities? Biographies and studies are steadily adding to the lengthy bibliography of this french woman flourishing on Canadian soil? Who is this writer, wise spiritual councelor, and memory of the birth of the colony? Who is this woman in whom the poor, humble people craving to find a meaning to their lives found an attentive ear and a compassionate heart? Who is this so very active contemplative? In the Témoignage, written in 1654, specialists discover a new path of spirituality in the saga of her interior experience, whose depth equals that of Saint Theresa of Avila. First woman missionary in America, she ranks among the founders of the Canadian Church!
Why Is It that in France, Canada and Elsewhere, Institutions and Buildings Choose to Bear Her Name?
Her statue was placed in a niche of the Québec Parliament building facade, neighbouring the great of our history. Did not the renowned judgment of hers enlighten that of the Governors and notables of New France? Was she not a pillar on which the first Québecois families could rely? This cloistered nun mastered four of the spoken languages in Quebec, endeavoured to civilize the little Amerindians and win over the trust of their parents. In our Church and Society so many vestiges of her commitment keep her alive and exhilarating! In Quebec, Mary of the Incarnation was a leader and an inspiration for all her sisters. Together, in 1639, they founded a monastery and a house for education, prayer, culture. Neither the hardships of fire and seasons, nor the wear and tear of centuries could menace this foundation established on Cap Diamant and the rock of faith. From this stronghold, some Ursulines ventured out to found convents in Trois-Rivières, 1697, Rimouski, 1906, as well as in other regions of Québec, then Japan, Peru and the Philippines.
Birth in Tours
In Tours, on October 28, 1599, Mary was born to Florent Guyart master-baker and his wife, Jeanne Michelet of the French gentry. The baby was the fourth of a family of eight. When admiring the babe in her crib, how could the parents possibly foresee the rich personality of their daughter promised to such a glorious future? With time, were revealed her generous heart, deep penetrating intellect, and strength of character were remarkable. Her spiritual and mystic life rooted first in her family and the surrounding poor people, extended daringly to overseas commitments.
To begin with, at the age of seven, the child saw the heavens open and Jesus come to her and kiss her. "Will you be all mine? " " Yes! " A question and an answer which from her childhood, revealed the path upon which she would trod unerringly, true to her given word. As a young girl her dream turned out to be a bent to do good, a calling to union with God and an opening to others.
Mary had already entered the Ursulines since 1631, when, during the Christmas Octave 1634, a second dream deeply puzzled her. On a hilly narrow road cluttered with obstacles, Mary was advancing holding the hand of an unknown lady. They arrived at a vast space. There, a man, also unknown, showed them the way to be followed. Soon, the dreamer saw a wide country, filled with fog and mists, a little church, the only light in the surrounding darkness. Seated at the summit of the church, the Virgin was holding her son in her arms. Three times in a row, the Holy Mother spoke to her son, and then kissed Mary who held out her arms. On awakening, the Ursuline was sure that the exchanges between the Mother and Child were about a plan concerning her. Soon, the Lord confirmed her intuition: "I want you to go to Canada and build a house to Jesus and Mary."
From that moment on, with the strength of the Holy Spirit, her prayer and zeal opened the frontiers and helped her accompany the missionaries: ?in spirit, she travelled through the whole world where souls could be found and saved by the blood of Our Lord.' In 1639, the way that led her into this ?pitiful and terrifying country' resembled strangely the rugged path she had trod the night of her dream.
A Challenged Wish and an Accepted Marriage
Mary Guyart, at the age of fourteen, confided her secret ? that of entering the convent ? to her mother. Although Mrs. Guyart did not object openly, nevertheless, Mary felt that her mother could not really visualize her daughter in a convent. Then, - as usual in those days, a woman was either married or cloistered ? the parents wedded their daughter to a silk dealer.
The couple experienced the joy of having a son called Claude. The early death of the spouse left Mary a sorrowful widow at nineteen, with a six-month old child. Unfortunately then, she inherited a bankrupt business and lawsuits. Highly talented business, she settled the financial problems and lawsuits. She then gladly accepted her father's invitation to come back home, to retire into a life of prayer and solitude. For year, in order to earn their living and see to the needs of her son, she did embroidery work at which she excelled. The vow of chastity which she had made at that time put an abrupt end to any marriage proposals.
Maid and Manager
"In order to give a helping hand "she accepted to answer the call for help of her sister and brother-in-law, Paul Buisson.The latter had an important water and land transportation business. As was the custom those days, he gave room and board to his numerous workers. With some helpers, Mary first took care of the kitchen, the rooms and the sick or victims of accidents. Her genuine talent for business was amply exploited by her brother-in-law. "I would spend whole days in a stable used as a store, and sometimes it was midnight and I was still loading or unloading goods. My usual company was that of dockers, drivers, and even 50 to 60 horses of which I had care."
Amidst this hustle and bustle and the coming and going of employees and clients, Mary tended seriously to the education of her son. Though overloaded with work, Mary found time for prayer and daily mass. The Lord answered her request by favouring her with numerous spiritual experiences. Finally, one day, He told her that it was time for her to enter the convent.
Hearing the Call, but a Contested Answer
Twice, Mary's motherly love was highly challenged: to leave her son to enter the convent, and leave him to go to Canada. Mary had her religious and missionary vocation clearly discerned; her sister and brother-in-law, her employers, had promised to take care of Claude as their own son. In spite of having taken every possible precaution, Mary experienced deep suffering.
Relatives and neighbours plotted to have the young widow give up her vocation as it seemed to them quite strange and totally irrational. Easily winning over Claude's opinion, they thwarted his mother's project. Even after her entrance in the Ursulines, these people attempted again to have her leave. They succeeded in no way to disturb her or have her banished from the convent. Claude attended the College run by the Jesuits who counselled his mother as well as the Buisson family and assured his education and studies
At the Monastery, along with her novitiate companions, Mary of the Incarnation completed the stages of her formation and shared convent life and work. She was first asked to do embroidery for the chapel altar; later she was put in charge of the boarders, young girls. Just after a few years of religious profession, she was given as charge to assist the sister responsible for the novices.
New and Perilous Negotiations
On February 19, 1639, accompanied by Mr. de Bernières, her administrator, Mme de la Peltrie arrived at the convent. Wishing to leave for Canada, she had heard in Paris about an Ursuline from Tours who also had the same aspiration. Greatly astonished, Mary of the Incarnation recognized the lady she had already seen in her dream of 1634! Surprise also at the monastery of the Ursulines when hearing about such a project for women, more so to imagine one of theirs going to an almost unknown country. Obstacles disappeared, ties were woven and financial aid assured thanks to Mme de la Peltrie's generosity. Another Sister had to be assigned to accompany Sister Mary of the Incarnation.
Pleading prayers soon answered, the discernment fell upon Sister Marie-de-Saint-Joseph, twenty-two years of age. On February 28, 1639, permissions granted, the two sisters were invited to travel in Mme de la Peltrie's carriage, accompanied by Monsieur de Bernières. The group had to stop in Paris, to prepare the near departure. They also had to sign a contract with the Compagnie des Cent-Associés which ruled over New France, as well as make agreements with the Jesuits responsible for the''Eglise Canadienne''. Meanwhile, Mme de la Peltrie had to see to settling the heritage her husband had left her at his death. Despite the fierce opposition of her relatives, Mme de la Peltrie gave a large share of her heritage to the Ursulines for the foundation of an Ursuline Monastery in Québec and its education project.
Everything being settled, according to the circumstances, a new development in their trip headed them for Dieppe. There, they had to wait for a favourable wind to sail. In the meantime, they enjoyed the hospitality of the Ursulines of the city. To Mary of the Incarnation's deep joy, one of them, Sister Cécile de Sainte-Croix, accepted to join them. The boat set sail on May 4, 1639.
The journey aboard the Saint-Joseph lasted three months. Shortly after the departure from Dieppe the water becoming contaminated, the passengers suffered the throes of thirst as well as of seasickness with the prolonged and fierce storms that battered the ship. Worse still, all thought their last hour had come when a huge iceberg slid in their direction. Mary of the Incarnation, steadfast in her faith, remained undisturbed: since the Lord had her build a house in honour of Jesus and Mary, He would surely not leave them perish at sea!
August first, 1639, after a short stop at Tadoussac and Ile d'Orléans to change boats, at last Québec, safe and sound! Forests as far as eye could see a foggy country and stony abrupt path, "the 1634 dream" surfaced in Mary of the Incarnation's memory.
A Community, a Monastery
The tiny colony welcomed the new recruits with honours. The three Ursulines and Mme de la Peltrie were shown to their home a few steps away from the port. Two big enough rooms, a cellar and an attic; right above, the store of the Cent-Associés. "They could admire the stars shining through the cracks in the roof planks''.
Hardly had they arrived and settled down that the French and Amerindians flocked to the Monastery to introduce their daughters to be educated. In spite of the lack of space, the community was organizing and school functioning. Despite the promiscuity of the first three years in the country, however, all slept and followed the rule: Divine Office and Mass, cooking, courses, the study of languages, "scrubbing..'' of the little girls of the forest, and the fight to exterminate the bugs ... Moreover, in a kind of improvised parlour, the sisters could receive their relatives, the people of the colony, the Jesuits, and the Governor.
It became urgent to build a Monastery and a school, in order to answer the ?raison d'être' of the Ursulines in New France. Mary of the Incarnation, despite arduous discussions with the Governor, obtained the authorization to erect a building far from the threat of the Iroquois. The Ursulines prepared the plans and estimates, hired workers, and supervised the construction closely and even climbed the scafoldings to help out.
In spite the careful planning, the foundress saw the debts heaping up. However, as a short time before, the Ursulines had solemnly recognized the Blessed Mother as "their first and principal Superior", Mary of the Incarnation so fully relied on her, that the Blessed Virgin favored Mary with her presence from the beginning to the very end of the enterprise:"She was continually by my side".
As soon as it was possible, the community moved happily to the Monastery! It did not take long for the boarding school to be overflowing with children. With time, different convents in France sent other Ursulines to give a helping hand to this exceptional work of education in New France.
An Accidental Fire: Rebuilding Courageously
As usual, some embers had been left in the dough trough to keep the dough from freezing. Unfortunately, as the young novice had forgot ten to remove the coals, fire broke out and raged through the entire Monastery. The sisters and students had a narrow escape. Meanwhile however, Mary of the Incarnation was throwing out the windows the important archives of the Monastery, as well as the fewobjects and documents she could. Finally, fire forced her to run out and join the sisters and students. Standing barefooted in the snow, all were poorly clad except those who had kept their shoes on to sleep. That night, December 31, 1650, bowed down in the presence of God who had allowed this trial to happen, all the Ursulines sang the Magnificat.
The whole colony, bringing blankets and clothes, rushed to help out the Ursulines. Though as poor as the people around, the Augustine Sisters offered shelter, clothing and food for three weeks following the disaster. Later on, the Ursulines "suffering from the lack of space and food", moved to the tiny house built by Mme de la Peltrie near the Ursuline Monastery.
The religious and the civil authorities, as well as the colonists, thought inevitable that the community should leave, reduced as it was to begging. Mary of the Incarnation and her Sisters did not share this opinion: they had come to stay!
As debts of the first Monastery were far from being paid, rebuilding on the foundations required a great act of faith in the Divine Providence and a necessary recourse to financial aid. Since the French and Amerindian parents kept insisting, and strongly rooted in their faith in God, the Ursulines, encouraged, decided to stay in their new country. When summer came, the sailors who returned to France were asked to bring the mail which contained the news of the Ursulines' deep trial. If help came, it would be only the following year, all the while waiting for an urgent need.
As soon as the heavy snow melted and the soil unfroze, daringly, Mary of the Incarnation accepted to direct the re-building. The Monastery was thus able to recover from its ashes under vigilant care. The Ursulines did not wait for the interior installation to be completed, as attested by a letter of September 26, 1652: " Our buildings are forging ahead and we are beginning to occupy them."
What a workload Mary of the Incarnation was able to assume! She shouldered responsibilities, alternating as Superior or Assistant-Superior, bursar of the community and formator of the novices. She succeeded in mastering four native languages, wrote dictionaries, took part in the education of children and adults as well, and shared in the housekeeping.
She corresponded for business and friendly relations with France in an excellent seventeenth century French. Committed to the life and affairs of the country, her descriptions and narratives of events to her penfriends in France are ample proof of it. Her letters, as well, built up precious information on the history of the first decades of the colony.
Loving mother, she wrote interesting letters to her son, who had become a Benedictine monk. How wisely she answered his requests for advice and answered his questions as theologian. In 1654 on Claude's insistent plea, she wrote the account of God's graces bestowed upon her, since the first copy had perished in the 1650 fire. Between these two, maternal and filial experiences were closely linked by such a faithful correspondence. A mother and a son, separated by an ocean, were kept nevertheless intimitaly close by their mutual love of the Lord.
Only when the light of the sun was no longer present, could Mary find time to sit down and write. Far into the night, the tallow candles, smoky and smelly, were blown out but only when her hand could no longer hold the pen. After a few hours conceded to sleep, early dawn, Mary of the Incarnation was up to join the community celebrating Holy Office, contemplation and Mass. Then, intimitaly united to Jesus, she would work with her sisters taking her share of the yoke: building a Church in Canada.
Where did Mary of the Incarnation find the means to clothe and feed the little Amerindian boarders, pay the workers, the building material, and shoulder such heavy debts? Whereas the founder gave all the glory to God and the Blessed Virgin Mary, her contemporary friends would exclaim "Miracle"! seeing the huge amount of work accomplished by the Ursulines! Because of the friendship which united both communities the same cry of admiration: "Miracle " " Miracle", could well apply to the Augustine Sisters with whom the Usulines had such strong ties. Who less than poorly equipped, nursed wholeheartedly their Amerindians and French alike. Two cloistered communities, each with its specific charism, built the foundation of a Church and a country. The 400th anniversary of the foundation of the City of Québec could well sing to bothe communities Gilles Vigneault's popular song: " C'est à ton tour de te laisser parler d'amour".
Illness and Aging
Serious liver trouble brought Mary of the Incarnation to the brink of eternity in 1645. After enjoying a short recovery, she felt the effects of the illness which was insidiously wreaking havoc in her organism, she wrote to her son : "The seriousness of the ailment which I suffered convinced me more and more to work solely for God, and to practise virtue when one is well, but especially to keep one's conscience pure and clean." Though her incomparable courage kept her so active during the last years of her life, she suffered continually from her first illness from which she had never really recovered.
Death of Mary of the Incarnation
Up to the last hour of her life she showed great tenderness towards the Amerindians whom she called: "the delights of her heart." Fully conscious, she received the sacrament of the sick, begged the pardon of her sisters, thanked them for their help and love, and encouraged them to remain faithful to their missionary vocation. She left her son definitively, he whom she had beloved the most in this world, the one she had entrusted to the Blessed Mother of God. On April 30, 1672, fully abandoned to God, and surrounded by her Sisters she had loved and served, she left this vale of tears to live with the Holy Trinity, to whom she had been intimately united since the special grace of 1625.
In the necrology sent to the Ursulines of France, one can read: "The numerous and specific virtues and excellent qualities which shone through this dear deceased, make us firmly believe that she enjoys a high status in God's glory." And from the Benedictine abbey where he was superior, Claude wrote: "God did not wish that love alone should separate her body from her soul; He added suffering, in the imitation of her Spouse ."
On June 22, 1980, Holy Father the Pope John-Paul 11, declared Mary of the Incarnation "Blessed".
To Know more?
Praying with Mary of the Incarnation
Mary of the Incarnation Centre
Her Name was Given?
Thoughts on the Eucharist
Recipe of Sagamité
Mary of the Incarnation?s Letters to her Son
Letter 49 From Québec to her son. September 10, 1640.
Marie exhorts her son to would out of his difficulties by himself and to continue to live adevout life. The love and the life of Jesus be your heritage.
Letter 56 From Québec to her son. September 4, 1641.
Her joy that God has called him to the Religious Life. She exhorts him to persevere. Her zeal for martyrdom. Fidelity in the service of God is white martyrdom. The progress of the faith in Canada. The zeal of the Jesuits. Her assiduity and that of her sisters in learning the languages.
Jesus, Mary, Joseph.The love and the life of Jesus be your heritage.
Letter 73 From Québec to her son. September 30, 1643.
Foundation of the Church of Miscou. Progress of those in Tadoussac and among the Hurons. Conversion of a leading sorcerer. Iroquois persecution: torments of Fr. Jogues. French put to death.
Letter 75 From Québec to her son. 1643 (?)
The heroism and the difficulties of the life of the Missionaries.
Letter 76 From Québec to her son. August 2, 1644.
Her joy that God has called him to the order of St. Benedict. The vocation of other relatives of hers. The Iroquois persecution. Capture of Fr. Brissani. Escape of Fr. Jogues.
Letter 80 From Québec to her son. August 26, 1644.
Fr. Isaac Jogues escapes from the Iroquois and returns to Quebec. The clothing and housing of Indians and French. The faith and piety of new converts. Jesus, Mary, Joseph.
Letter 81 From Québec to her son. August 30, 1644.
She gives him important advice for advancing in the way of perfection. Praise of the Order and Rule of St. Benedict. The Foundation in Canada and the Union of the two Congregations.
Jesus, Mary Joseph.
Letter 86 From Québec to her son. September 15, 1644.
Letter 88 From Québec. to her son. Summer 1644 [a fragment].
The cruelty of the Iroquois
Letter 89 From Québec to her son. 1644 [fragment].
Letter 92 From Québec to her son. September 14-27, 1645.
Peace between the French and the Iroquois and other nations of Canada. Indian method of making a treaty. Remarkable vision seen by an Indian and followed by many conversions.
Letter 94 From Québec to her son. October 3, 1645.
Her desire that all the congregations of Ursulines in France would unite as those of Tours and Paris have done in Canada. How the call of God must be answered. How we must lose ourselves in God when we cannot imitate His perfection.
Letter 97 From Québec to her son. August 29 - September 10, 1646.
Progress of the Faith in Canada. Confirmation of the peace treaty. Precious deaths of Frs. Noue and Massé, S. J. Virtues of some particular Indians.
Letter 100 From Québec to her son. October 11, 1646.
She speaks to him of notable changes in the congregation of St. Maur. The need for a Bull from Rome to confirm the Ursuline union in Canada. How to maintain a humble familiarity with God.
Letter 108 From Québec to her son. September 18, 1647.
She tells him that God wishes to lead him and her as well by way of privation and the Gospel Maxims.
Letter 109 From Québec to her son. Summer 1647.
She replies to his complaints that not only did she abandon him so young, but now refuses him the papers with her memoirs. She promises him that in the future she will hide nothing of her interior dispositions. She begins by telling him that God is leading her by a way of extreme familiarity with His Divine Majesty.
Letter 110 From Québec to her son. Summer 1647.
The Iroquois break the peace. Death of Fr. Jogues. Progress of the Gospel. Example of virtue given by some.
Letter 113 From Québec to her son. September 7, 1648.
Two principal points in the Spiritual life. Some maxims she has bound herself by vow to practise in order to conquer remaining imperfections. Perfection does not consist of thinking about virtues but of practising them. She promises to tell him of her interior dispositions.
Letter 123 From Québec to her son. October 22, 1649.
She answers some difficulties he had about preceding letters. Questions he asked about spiritual matters. Remarkable circumstances concerning the martyrdom of the Jesuit Fathers.
Letter 124 From Québec. To her son. October 23, 1649.
Sometimes abuses slip into the lives of spiritual people. The gift of perseverance is precious. All the treasures of grace and holiness flow from the Heart of Jesus Christ.
Letter 126 From Québec to her son. May 17, 1650.
New Iroquois hostilities. Hurons retire to Quebec. She studies their languages, Longs for eternity.
Letter 128 From Québec to Her Son. August 30, 1650.
Victories of the Iroquois. Perfect peace of heart founded on disengagement from creatures. Humility source of sanctify. This proved by the example of the Jesuit Fathers martyred by the Iroquois.
Letter 129 From Québec to her son. September 17, 1650.
Return of the Jesuit Fathers to France after defeat of the Hurons. Merits of Frs. Liomes and Jérome Lalemant.
Letter 130 From Québec to her son. September 19, 1650.
She recommends Fr. Bonnin.
Letter 131 From Québec to her son. October 30, 1650.
Eulogy of Fathers Bressani and Lalemant, SJ.
Letter 133 From Québec to her son. September 3, 1651.
She tells of the burning of the Monastery and the extreme poverty in which they have been reduced. She has been advised to rebuild the Monastery and is working at it.
Letter 134 From Québec to Mother Mary Beluche of the Nativity, Ursulines, Tours September 3, 1651.
Letter 135 From Québec to her son. September 13, 1651.
Destruction and rebuilding of her Monastery.
Letter 136 From Québec to her son. October - November 1651.
Account of her interior dispositions about the burning. Some reports against her and her nuns. Back in office for third term.
Letter 137 From Québec to her niece, October 23,1651.
Excuses herself for not returning to France after the burning. False reports against monastery. These, she charitably excuses.
Letter 138 From Québec to her son. October - November 1651.
Jesuits refuse to accept the Bishopric of New France.
Letter 141 From Québec to her son. 1652.
Death of Sr. St.Joseph.
Letter 142 From Québec to her son. September 1st, 1652.
She clears some false impressions. Economic affairs of the Convent and the country. Death of the Governor of Three Rivers some French men at the hands of Iroquois. Martyrdom of Fr. Buteux S. J.
Letter 143 From Québec To her son. September 9,1652.
She says with certainty that God willed the rebuilding of the monastery despite all reasons to the contrary. Trouble in France in a way that French soldiers are more feared than the Iroquois. Reasons for not asking for more religious from France. The Archbishop of Rouen declares himself Bishop of Canada and performs the functions.
Letter 148 From Québec to her son. Summer 1653.
Letter 156 From Québec to her son. August 11, 1654.
The Iroquois ambassadors in the Ursuline Parlour.
Letter 162 From Québec to her son. September 27, 1654.
Recommendations about the 1654 Relations
Letter 163 From Québec to her son. October 18, 1654.
The same subject: those who want to advance in the Spiritual life must be ready for trials and temptations. Treachery of one Iroquois nation and the acceptance of the Faith by all the others.
Letter 168 From Québec to her son. October 12, 1655.
The Iroquois continue their hostilities. They ask for peace which becomes general.
Letter 170 From Québec to her son. June 24,1656.
She blames him for not writing often and gives him important advice about prayer.
Letter 172 From Québec to her son. August 14,1656.
The establishment of the Faith in the Upper Iroquois Nations. Renewed hostilities of the Agnerognons Iroquois tribe.
Letter 173 From Québec to her son. September 2,1656.
The importance of a good vocation for those who wish to go to Canada. Virtue however excellent, courts disaster in the parlour.
Letter 174 From Québec to her son. July 27,1657.
She tells him of her desire for his perfection. God uses corporal afflictions to detach souls from creatures. She speaks of a mortal illness of which God has cured her.
Letter 175 From Québec to her son. October 15,1657.
Progress of the Faith among the Iroquois nations. Business about sisters coming from France to Canada.
Letter 176 From Québec to her son. October 15,1657.
She is satisfied with his answer to what she has been told about him. How much self-love is opposed to the spirit of grace and holiness.
Letter 183 From Québec to her son. September - October 1659.
Arrival of a Bishop in Québec. Notable growth of the Colony in MontreaL Iroquois continue their hostilities. Death of Fr. de Quen. S.J.
Letter 184 From Québec to her son. June 25,1660.
Iroquois designs on Quebec. Defeat of French and allies by these barbarians.
Letter 185 From Québec to her son. September 17,1660.
Short account of the state of the country. Her state as victim. Eulogy of Bishop de Laval and the Governor. Courage of Mother Mary of the Incarnation in fight against Iroquois.
Letter 242 From Québec to her son. October 12, 1668.
Though we must fear honourable appointments, we must let ourselves be guided by God?s orders.
Letter 243 From Québec to her son. October 16, 1668.
She speaks of her breathing prayer. Her fear of falling from grace however high she is in the ways of God. Blessed Virgin?s protection of Monastery and herself.
Letter 244 From Québec to her son. October 17, 1668.
Peace favours workers of the gospel. Like the Jesuits, diocesan priests work in the mission. The ordinary employments of the Indians. Difficult to refine and civilise them. Epidemics said to be caused by the comet.
Letter 246 From Québec to her son. October 1668.
M. Talon returns to France. People gathered and sent to Canada. Nature and quality of the fruits of this country. The praise of a good citizen of Quebec.
Letter 247 From Québec to her son. July 13, 1669.
Touching description of her vocation to the Religious state and God?s guidance of herself and her son.
Letter 248 From Québec to her son. Septembrer 1, 1669.
Spreading of Faith among Iroquois and other nations. Ingenuity of the Jesuits to attract Indians. Zeal of a young layman who has vowed himself to service of Mission.