Robert Cardinal Sarah dedicated his book God or Nothing to a Msgr. Louis Barry and to "Brother Vincent, and to all those who take turns without a break at his bedside". Msgr. Barry was Cardinal Sarah's countryman from Guinea, who endured much for the Church during the dictatorship of Ahmed Sékou Touré and who died last year at the age of 93. (More on him here.) As for Brother Vincent -- Vincent Mary of the Resurrection -- he was a brother of the "Lagrasse Canons" or the Canons Regular of the Mother of God, one of the French monastic congregations dedicated to worshiping God exclusively through the Traditional Latin liturgy.
Cardinal Sarah's dedication gently alludes to Brother Vincent's battle with multiple sclerosis, which finally claimed his life at the age of 39 on April 10, Good Shepherd Sunday according to the traditional liturgical calendar. A few minutes before he died, his Abbot gave him the last sacraments in the presence of his mother, sister and fellow Canons.
|Cardinal Sarah by the bedside of Brother Vincent|
Brother Vincent took the habit on March 19, 2005. A short testimony to his edifying life mentions that he had been bedridden for the last 3 years of his life and unable to speak in his final months, but nevertheless impressed all who met him with his "deep and simple joy", even comforting his fellow patients and the doctors and nurses who cared for him. He was "an example of perpetual prayer and joyful abandonment in the hands of the Lord" and was never heard to complain. Cardinal Sarah entrusted to his prayers some "very particular intentions of the Church".
Brother Vincent's funeral Mass and burial took place in the Abbey of St. Mary of Lagrasse on Saturday, the 16th of April. Cardinal Sarah attended the Solemn Mass in choro and himself presided over the rite of absolution and burial. The website of the Abbey has two photo galleries of the Mass and funeral: 1ère série, 2ème série. Here are two of the photos:
Let us pray for the repose of the soul of Brother Vincent, even as we hope that he is already in the eternal bliss of Paradise.