Risking the Future,
Life and Spirituality
Félix de Jesús Rougier, M.Sp.S.
by Ricardo Zimbrón, M.Sp.S.
The Venerable Fr. Felix de Jesús Rougier was born in
Meilhaud, France, on December 17, 1859. He was ordained
a priest, in the Society of Mary, at the age of 27. He
was a human being with limitations and failings. He
was, however, a man who single-mindedly pursued his
lifetime goal: To do the will of the Heavenly Father.
He pursued his ideal amid internal and external
strife, in the darkness of a faith put to the test,
hoping against all odds, suffering from the
misunderstandings of many of his brethren. At the same
time, he earned the love of many by his gentleness and
He came to Mexico in 1902 after six years of
missionary work in Colombia. It was here where he had a
providential encounter with Conchita on February 4,
1903. Through her the Lord made him discover his
vocation to the
Works of the Cross
and his mission as
Founder of the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit.
Ten years would go by before he could get the
permission of his superiors to found the Congregation,
but with the restriction that he not leave the
Society of Mary. He founded the Congregation of the
Missionaries of the Holy Spirit in the Chapel of the
Roses, in the Basilica of our Lady of Guadalupe, in
Mexico City, on December 25, 1914. After many years of
patient longing to be a Missionary of the Holy Spirit,
finally, in 1926, his superiors granted him permission
to become a member of the Congregation he founded.
The latter part of Fr. Felix's life was taken up
largely with his labors to establish the Works of the
Cross in cooperation with
Conchita, a widow and mystic.
In the midst of the revolutionary turmoil in Mexico he
founded the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit, a
congregation devoted to Jesus Christ, as Priest and
Victim. Fr. Felix was also instrumental in having Mexico
consecrated to the Holy Spirit (October 12, 1924).
Besides the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit, Fr.
Felix founded three other congregations for women: The
Daughters of the Holy Spirit (1924), The Guadalupan
Missionaries of the Holy Spirit (1930), and the Oblate
Sisters of Jesus Priest (1937).
On February 15, 2000, the heroic virtues of Fr. Felix
were approved by the Vatican and on July 1st John Paul
II declares him Venerable. His process of canonization
gets closer to being fulfilled.
The following are excerpts
from the book
Risking the Future
Life and Spirituality of the
Venerable Félix de Jesús Rougier, M.Sp.S. by Ricardo Zimbrón L., M.Sp.S.
Permission granted by Fr. Domenico Di Raimondo,
Attention to God
Father Félix summarized prayer outside the chapel as paying LOVING
ATTENTION TO GOD, and he explained it thus:
- Do you know the sunflower?
- Well, just as the flower follows the sun from morning till night,
so our heart can be looking for God all day, and this the LOVING
"Loving attention consists of gazing on God our Father. But when we look at Him,
He also looks at us; and today I would like lo write something for you about this gaze of the Father:
"This gaze has been on me forever, because it is the gaze of God and it will be over me for all eternity. That gaze fills
me with joy, fortitude and confidence, it gives me strength and sustains me. It tells
me: Love! Come! Climb to where I am and talk to me, because you are my beloved son! Other times it tells
me: Silence! Be quiet! Listen to me! Other times it says: Be humble, be little in my sight. And it invites me, and accompanies me and never leaves
me alone. That gaze is my heaven on earth: it warms me, it refreshes me, it gives
me life, it kills me and resurrects me at the same time. It is the gaze of God Himself, who takes me from this world and attracts my soul to follow in His wake. And if I yield to small temptations, that gaze pricks me like a thorn and purifies and cleanses me, because it is LOVE. And my soul
remains closer than before to the heart of God, who wants it all for
Himself. Oh, gaze of the Father, gaze of love, do not turn from me
and my brothers! Make us pure, loving, happy and saintly!
"Being LOVINGLY ATTENTIVE TO GOD, is being in love with God; it
is a strong passion, which consists of not being able to forget
either the Father, or Jesus or the Holy Spirit."
tells us that if we wish to be his disciples we have to follow him
carrying 'our cross every day.' So, without a cross, we cannot
follow Jesus. But this daily cross does not consist of doing
penance, but rather of offering God with love everything that is
difficult for us: religious observance, patience with the rest, the
faithful fulfillment of our duties, prayer when we find ourselves in
a time of spiritual aridity, overcoming the temptations to fulfill
the commandments... All of this is "the daily cross.'
"To be self-sacrificing is to say many times during the day:
"Nothing for me, all for Jesus."
"The most perfect advice I can give you regarding this point is what
our spirituality points out: To be victims in union with Jesus who
always offered Himself to the Father, moved by the great love that
the Holy Spirit had poured out on Him.
"Do you understand the Spirituality of the Cross? It is to be
self-sacrificing, it is to carry one's cross together with
One day, a novice asked Father Félix:
- Why don't you write a book for us on
the devotion to the Father?
- That is not necessary, my son, that book is already written; it is
called the Gospel.
can we call ourselves disciples of Jesus if our love is not for the
Father? And really, do we need another book besides the Gospel to
learn this truth?
"Union with Jesus to
go to the Father under the impulse of the Spirit, is the center of
all of our spiritual life. But let us not lose sight of the fact
that it is the Father who first leads us to Jesus: 'No one comes to
me if my Father does not bring him.'
"Give thanks to the beloved Father for so many gifts. He sent
Jesus to us, and He sent us the Holy Spirit (Jn 14:24; 16). We owe
everything to the Father... He also gave us Mary, our Mother. And He
gave us the gift of our vocation, and with it so many other favors.
"I have no doubt that it is the Holy Spirit who leads me more
and more towards the Divine Father, because the Holy Spirit is who
makes each of us, little by little, a copy of Jesus."
"The union with Jesus to go to the Father, under the
inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is the center of all our spiritual
we do not attain an intimate union with Christ, we will not carry
out the will of God. Our life, beloved children, even to our last
breath, must be nothing else than to continue the work of Jesus,
under his loving impulse.
copy Jesus, to be transformed into Him, this is the ideal of ideals;
the rest is not important.
Félix told the following to four young men who took the habit of
missionaries of the Holy Spirit:
habit says a lot, because it has the inscriptions: JHS, which means
JESUS, SAVIOR OF MEN. That indicates your mission and your ideal.
You are destined by God to save thousands and thousands of souls.
And I have told you not what they are, but what the missionaries of
the Holy Spirit aspire to be. You are called to be what Jesus was,
for the glory of the Father. When one is another Jesus, he is truly
a savior...So you must say frequently: I want to be another Jesus,
whatever the cost. That is why you have come here, to work to be
way is Jesus crucified. Be like a host consecrated to Jesus: full of
Jesus, our Teacher and model. A missionary of the Holy Spirit ought
to be a voluntary martyr, accepting every cross for the love of
Jesus, martyr to his duty even to death, martyr to his apostolate
until he receives the crown. This is to be a copy of Jesus.
God, God!... I have repeated it thousands of times and now I also
say often: Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!... And when I say JESUS, I see
everything that He has done for us... For love of each of us, He
gave up everything... Is it not fitting that we give ourselves to
Him and that we love Him without measure?
Tabernacle, my sons, more Tabernacle every day!
Spirituality is one of love for the Eucharist Jesus. Let us keep our
heart in the Tabernacle, next to the Heart of Jesus which is on
fire, so that He will kindle in us His fire and His love."
Fr. Félix often explained why the symbol of the Holy Spirit (the
dove) is over the Cross and the Heart of Christ
in the symbol of the Works of the Cross, and when he explained
it, he always referred to the text of the Letter of the Hebrews:
"Through the Holy Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a
blameless sacrifice." (Heb. 9:14).
was the essence of the life of Jesus? To be docile to the Holy
Spirit in order to do the will of the Divine Father in everything.
same is essential in your life. You are truly religious if the day
your die you can truthfully say: Father, since I entered the
novitiate I never wanted to do my will, but always yours, with the
light and strength of the Holy Spirit.
sons, consider your sublime vocation and give of yourselves so that
the Holy Spirit abide in your souls and possess them fully.
the impulse of the Holy Spirit we will imitate Jesus, in His
obedient love of his Father and in His humble love of men.
that only the Holy Spirit can transform us into Christ, we will
consecrate ourselves to Him and will be docile to His inspirations.
to reproduce the image of His Son, we will let ourselves be guided
by the Holy Spirit until we are transformed into Jesus crucified.
Only this Divine Spirit who abides in our hearts will transform us
into a permanent offering, together with Jesus, and will lead us to
the full knowledge of the mystery of God and of the Cross.
Therefore, our vocation consecrates us in a special way to the Holy
Spirit and asks us that we be most devoted to this Holy
"We search for the will of God. In the first
place, we must look for it in terms of love. And
what are we asked to do? To love Him with all
our heart, with all our soul, with all our
strength; but also to love His creatures,
especially those He loved the most. The first
place belongs to the Most Holy Mother of Jesus.
"When you participate in the Eucharist, take
your place very near the Mother of Jesus, there
at the foot of the Cross, where St. John was.
She will teach you to offer this holy sacrifice.
"Win in this life the place in the heart of Mary
that you wish to occupy in it for all eternity.
"Oh, Mary, my beloved Mother, I consecrate
myself to you with all the energy of my soul.
Today, tomorrow and all the days of my life I
want to be yours, I wish to unite intimately to
yours, and to try to imitate your love, your
purity, and your humility."