Life and Spirituality of Félix de Jesús Rougier

Risking the Future
Life and Spirituality of the
Venerable Félix de Jesús Rougier, M.Sp.S
by Ricardo Zimbrón L., M.Sp.S.



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One day young Félix raised his hand in the schoolyard to indicate he wished to become a missionary. Since that time, God accepted his gift of himself. Félix was 19. 

Then on February 4, 1903, God showed him new horizons and invited him to follow Jesus more closely, carrying His Cross, on the way to Calvary, to fulfill the will of the Father and save his brothers and sisters. And Father Félix decided to follow Christ, Priest and Victim. 

After a year which he considered to be "his novitiate" on the new path of the Works of the Cross, he asked his superiors for permission to establish the missionaries of the Holy Spirit because the Lord had asked him to do so. 

They made fun of him. They considered him deluded. They denied him the permission. They sent him to beg and teach children... 

For ten years, he obeyed, suffered and trusted in God. For ten years, he surrendered to the will of God without reservation. He was willing to do whatever God decided: to establish the new Congregation or to do nothing. 

In 1914, he obtained the desired permission, but only for two years. He returned to Mexico at age 53 and found it in the worst moment of its history. Without wasting a day, he started to struggle to fulfill the task that the Lord had entrusted to him. But the temporary permissions expired, three times for two years and once for five. And each time, the humble founder was ready to obey, to leave everything if that was God's will, "and go to the remotest island in the Oceania missions." 

Finally, after eleven years of anguish over deadlines, he was granted the final permission: he was now a missionary of the Holy Spirit forever. But just then, the religious persecution hit him with all its violence. They closed his churches, confiscated his houses, and persecuted him with the intention of killing him. Moreover, he accepted everything because "God permits it and He is above all our Father". And he encouraged the depressed and consoled the downtrodden and prayed for his enemies, and yearned to give his life for his Lord. 

Since 1903, Jesus had invited him to climb His Cross. And he remained there for 33 years: five in Barcelona, five in Saint Chamond and twenty-three in Mexico during the revolution. What perseverance! What fortitude! 

Martyrdom would have been easier. But God wanted Father Félix to be the model for those who accept the Cross of Christ by remaining nailed to it every day with unalterable tenacity until the Cross of illness breaks the Cross of this life and the glorious light of Easter appears. 

If we want to study the spirituality of the Cross, let us read the writings of Conchita Cabrera and Archbishop Luis Martínez. However, if we need an accessible model who encourages us to live it, let us pay attention to the life of Father Félix. 

Here is a hero who does not blind us with the glory of his exploits. He was a simple man who knew how to carry his daily cross faithfully, and who knew how to lighten the load, with love for the Father and for a community of brothers. 

Because Father Félix was not one of those solitary heroes. He helped many to walk along carrying their cross and always let others help him carry his. He always sought life in community; he loved his friends and his brothers and accepted their love of him without reservation. 

Father Félix is a good model for common, ordinary people. It is easy to walk alongside him because his path is simple: to do the will of God who is Love.

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