THE DEATH OF THE FOUNDER
The celebration of his golden jubilee as a priest exhausted
Father Félix and two days later, he had to be taken to the
French Hospital because of an attack of anemia.
The second General Chapter of the missionaries of the Holy
Spirit was held from October 17th to 23rd. Every six years
members of the Congregation get together to name the
Superior General and his Counselors, evaluate the last six
years and plan for the next six. Father Félix attended all
the meetings, except on the morning of the 19th, when he did
not feel well.
The members of the Chapter voted unanimously to reelect
Father Félix Superior General. In this action, they were
moved more by their feelings than by their thoughts. He
could hardly celebrate Mass. He was 79 and only had two
months to live.
On December 31 of that year, he suffered an intestinal
hemorrhage which left him very weak. New Year’s Day, 1938,
he could not even go to communion. Brother Agustin Lira, who
nursed him until the day of his death, remembers that Father
Félix told him that day:
“I am in great pain. This is my New Year’s gift. Every day I
ask the Lord to participate in His Cross, and well, He has
listened to my request..."
On January 4, Brother Agustín told him:
"Father, they tell me that the intern is coming to give you
"For God's sake, no more, exclaimed the sick man, "Leave me
alone!.., and then he added:
"Well, all right... I promised the Blessed Virgin that I
would not complain and I would refuse nothing... Let the
On the 6th, Father Edmundo Iturbide gave him the Anointing
of the Sick. On the 8th, he suffered an intestinal paralysis
and on the 9th peritonitis set in, causing terrible stomach
pains. Father Edmundo tells that Father Félix sat up in bed
and started to perspire profusely. His whole body was
wracked by pain. He looked at Father Edmundo with great
anguish and asked him:
"My son, what shall I do? Tell me. I feel that the pain is
more than I can bear.... Pray for me!..."
They were able to get him to sleep under the influence of
strong sedatives. All houses of the missionaries of the Holy
Spirit were advised that Father Félix was very sick. That
afternoon a large group of missionaries gathered around his
sick bed. At 5:30, Father Félix woke up and asked:
-Have I stopped complaining?
Father Angel Oñate, Vicar General, answered in the name of
-Father, many of your sons are here representing the whole
Congregation. We ask your pardon for the times we caused you
-I have nothing to forgive, my dear sons.
-Would you like to give us some words of advice?
-Yes, that you love the Father in heaven a great deal, as
Jesus did. And that you be able to say with him: I ALWAYS DO
WHAT PLEASES MY FATHER.
-What virtue do you recommend the most?
-That you be humble.
After some minutes of silence, he added:
-I offer my life to the Lord so that you will always remain
-Until now we are all united, said Father Angel.
-I know, and it is a great consolation to me.
Another missionary asked:
"What about the Blessed Virgin Mary?
-Everything with her, nothing without her.
Father Oñate said:
-Father, we thank you for everything you have done for us.
-God has done everything… everything...
After a few moments of silence, he said:
-I am suffering a great deal, but I offer it to God...
Father Oñate asked him to bless them. Father Félix with much
effort raised his hand and blessed them in the name of the
Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. With tears in
their eyes, they approached to kiss his hand and he had a
word of goodbye for each one. Then they left so he could
On January 10, he was in agony. He had difficulty breathing.
He asked for some Lourdes water someone had given him and he
took a sip. Then he fixed his eyes on a painting of Mary
which one of the missionaries was holding. His breathing
became more and more labored and finally, at 10:27 he
surrendered his soul in the hands of the Eternal Father whom
he had loved so much.
In the Constitutions, Father Félix included the following
rule: "When a missionary of the Holy Spirit dies, those
present will sing hymns of thanksgiving because the work of
the missionary has ended and it is fitting that he leave
this world giving thanks to God in union with his
The hymns were sung and then they prepared Father Félix for
burial, dressing him in the habit of the missionaries of the
At 3:30 p.m., the body of Father Félix was taken to the
cemetery in Tepeyac and buried in the same tomb which 21
years before had received the body of Archbishop Ibarra, the
great protector of the Works of the Cross.
Currently, the mortal remains of Father Félix are found in
the Church of San Felipe de Jesús, in downtown Mexico City.
On his tombstone was engraved his name which summarizes his
life perfectly: FÉLIX DE JESÚS (Felix of Jesus).