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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The Holy Spirit is also essential to the spirituality of Father Felix, not only because He is the third Person of the Most Holy Trinity, inseparable from the Father and the Son, but also because His action in us is indispensable to follow Jesus as Son of the Father, as Priest-Victim, and as the Anointed by the Spirit of God.  

We have seen how much Father Felix insisted on imitating or copying Jesus in all things, but especially in His filial love to the Father. According to Revelation, He who pours into our hearts that filial feeling is the Holy Spirit: "To show us that we are His children, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, and it is this Spirit who makes us cry: Abba Father!" (Gal. 4:6). 

And regarding our love for Jesus and our union with Him, we would not have the least possibility if the Holy Spirit were not working in us: "Therefore, I tell you that nobody speaking by the spirit of God says, "Jesus be accursed." And no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit" (1 Cor. 12:3). This means that we cannot even have faith in Christ or recognize Him as Lord, without the action of the Holy Spirit in us. Much less could we understand the mystery of His priesthood, of His sacrifice, of His love, of His Cross... That is why when Jesus bid farewell to His disciples, a few hours before His Passion, He told them these words: "I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth” (Jn 16:12).  

Father Felix often explained why the symbol of the Holy Spirit (the dove) is over the cross and over 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 to the Hebrews: "Through the Holy Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a blameless sacrifice" (Heb. 9:14).

If the Scriptures show us a Jesus always moved by the Holy Spirit, how much more was He so moved at that peak moment of His redemptive mission, of His obedience to the Father, of His priestly sacrifice...

And so we too, only under the impulse of the Holy Spirit will have the love and the light necessary to live as offerings of holocaust in union with Jesus, Priest and Victim.

And lastly, let us consider that we would be very far from reproducing Christ, if we were not full of the Holy Spirit; because Jesus was that, the Anointed by the Spirit: "I saw the Spirit descend as a dove from heaven, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him; but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’” (Jn 1:32-33).

“Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days” (Lk 4:1). And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee. And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up; and he went to the synagogue, as his custom was, on the Sabbath day. And he stood up to read; and there was given to him the book of the prophet Isaiah. He opened the book and found the place where it was written, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor” … he began to say to them, "Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing." (Lk. 4:16-21).

“At that very moment he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, "I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will” (Lk. 10:21-22).  

“For the one whom God sent speaks the words of God. He does not ration his gift of the Spirit” (Jn 3:34). 

Let us remember that Jesus asserted that He cured and performed miracles by the power of the Holy Spirit, in such a way that those who said that they worked by the power of Satan were blaspheming against the Holy Spirit (Mat. 12:31).

When we read these texts we have a clear vision that Jesus was a man full of the Holy Spirit, anointed by the Holy Spirit, moved by the Holy Spirit, and destined to "baptize us with the Holy Spirit," that is to say, to share His ANOINTING with us all. Even the names we give Him remind us of this fundamental and often forgotten fact: CHRIST means "The Anointed". And when we say: JESUS CHRIST, we are saying, JESUS THE ANOINTED. And Jesus received from His Father no other anointing but that of the Holy Spirit.

The essential mission of Jesus now and forever is to give us His Spirit as Revelation tells us. The day of Pentecost, Peter explained to the surprised multitude what had just happened: 

“God raised this Jesus; of this we are all witnesses. Exalted at the right hand of God, he received the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father and poured it forth, as you (both) see and hear” (Acts 2:32-33).  

Now, if we are not men and women full of the Spirit of God, moved by the Spirit of God, and capable of communicating the Spirit as instruments of Christ, then, how do we relate to the Anointed, or in what do we resemble Him? How right St. Paul was when he said: "He who has not the Spirit of Christ, is not of Christ." (Rom. 8:9).  

We can see clearly, then, why the devotion to the Holy Spirit is not something superimposed on the spirituality of Father Felix, but is someone whose presence is absolutely essential.

Let us now see some selected texts written by our founder in which he speaks to us about the Holy Spirit:

"The words of St. Paul 'The Holy Spirit makes us cry out to God: My Father!' (Gal. 4:6), mean that it is the Holy Spirit who takes us to the Father in the same way that love casts the child into the arms of its mother with shouts of joy. In other words, the Spirit of the Son teaches us to deal with God as our Father. Only He can inflame us with the love of the Divine Father." (1)

"St. Paul tells us: 'Those who are moved by the Holy Spirit, they are the sons of God.' (Rom. 8:14). We are called to be sons of God. But, who really are sons of God? Those whom the Holy Spirit strengthens so they can follow the way of God, after having given them light to know Him. What else can we wish for in this world than to be directed by the Holy Spirit to be more and more sons of God! Everyone who seeks the Holy Spirit obtains the grace of being strengthened and guided by Him." (2)  

"What was the essence of the life of Jesus? To be docile to the Holy Spirit in order to obey the will of the Divine Father in everything."  

"The same is essential in our life. You are truly religious if the day you 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 the strength of the Holy Spirit." (3)

"Holy Spirit, today I wish to renew my total consecration to You, because you are the One whom the Father and the Son have sent, you are the Paraclete Jesus promised us. I therefore consecrate to you all my being so that you can possess me completely and have absolute power over me, without limits or restrictions of any kind. I want you to be my Guide, my Light, my Strength, and all the love of my soul. I abandon myself without reservation to your divine will, and I ask for the incomparable grace of always being docile to your inspirations."

"I consecrate my soul so it will always be your temple; my memory so that you will always remind me of the words and actions of Jesus; my heart with all its emotions, so that captivated by the delights of divine love I will find in You interior peace, your consolations, gifts and fruits."  

"In short, I consecrate to you my body and all I have and I am, so that, fully possessed by you, Spirit of love, I can be your apostle and bring thousands of souls to love You."

"Love me more and more, and may your love sanctify me and all those I love. Amen." (4)

Father Felix wanted apostles of the Holy Spirit to multiply everywhere. To this end he founded an Association called "Family of the Holy Spirit" (on August 20, 1917). Its slogan was TO LOVE THE HOLY SPIRIT AND MAKE HIM LOVED. At one point it had more than 80,000 members throughout Mexico. In the manual which Father Felix wrote for them, he says:

"We want to love the Holy Spirit enthusiastically. We want to be His untiring apostles. We will not let one day pass without spreading this devotion which brings life, light, strength and love to the soul. Let us look for new ardent friends for the Holy Spirit. Let us make the Spirit of Love be loved; in Him who is Love, let us hope with great trust by this holy apostolate to receive the most precious graces and a special glory."

"The Holy Spirit is God!" We know it and believe it. But we must LIVE OUR FAITH with enthusiasm, and with ardent love. We are engaged in the most sublime of works: To fill the hearts of all Mexicans with the Holy Spirit. And then, what changes there will be in our beloved country! Family of the Holy Spirit, go forward!" (5) 

"Yes! Yes! Let everyone be consecrated to the Holy Spirit, the gentlest spirit of the Father and the Son, and let there not exist a single heart where Love, Union and Peace do not abide."

"We firmly believe that the reign of the Holy Spirit on earth will put an end to hatred, will sow fraternal love in our hearts, and unite all persons truly as brothers and sisters, bringing about the only true peace." (6)

"How many souls, desirous of perfection are stagnant because they do not invoke the Holy Spirit, they have forgotten him throughout their spiritual life. They wish to be saints without the Sanctifier!" 

"But we cannot ask the Holy Spirit to come and possess us if there are obstacles in us to an intimate union with Him. That is why the monks of old asked the following question of him who wanted to join the monastery: 'Brother, is your heart empty so that the Holy Spirit might fill it?'" 

"And it isn't just a matter of receiving the Holy Spirit. It is also necessary to make this treasure bear fruit. How many receive the Holy Spirit in Baptism and Confirmation, and how few are those who cultivate His gifts and friendship!" 

"And we, do we truly love Him, consult Him, speak to Him, and are attentive to His inspirations?"

"When we examine the passages in Scripture related to the Holy Spirit one by one, it is soon evident that the same idea recurs in varied forms: the idea of life."

"Today's talk will be about intimacy with Him whom we call Lord and Giver of Life, He who is the Soul of our soul." (7)

"St. Paul says that we were baptized to form only one body, whose soul is the same Spirit, of Whom we were all given to drink (1 Cor 12:13). That means that just like the body was submerged in the water of baptism, so our soul is submerged in the Holy Spirit, and in virtue of this immersion in the Spirit of God, we are united, purified, sanctified and justified, because when we are submerged in the Holy Spirit we become completely impregnated by Him. And a symbol of this abundance, in the language of Jesus Himself, is the reference to those rivers of living water which will flow eternally from the heart of all who believe in Him." (Jn 7:38) (8) 

"God has given us all the Holy Spirit as spiritual director. How wonderful it is to feel that we are not alone in the spiritual life! Men and women of prayer feel it. But often, although the Holy Spirit is with us always (1 Cor. 3:16 and 6:19), and abides in us as in His temple, we do not pay attention to Him, do not consult Him, we do not converse with Him. Prayer is the time when we talk and He answers. This is nothing extraordinary. This is what ought to happen." (9) 

"Although the Holy Spirit is omnipotent; He never destroys our freedom. We can therefore oppose His divine action, we can struggle against the Holy Spirit, and we can expel Him from our heart. That is why St. Paul tells the Ephesians not to make the Holy Spirit unhappy and not to extinguish His flame."

"But our free will can also elect to give itself to the Holy Spirit and the fidelity with which we obey increases the rhythm of His action and His efficacy in us."  

"Let us make use of all the treasures which God has given us in our state of life, and let us not waste time with useless planning and wishing. Let us be well aware that in the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation we have received sufficient graces to become saints; therefore, instead of asking for more, let us be more faithful and let us apply ourselves to using the riches we already possess."

"We are rich with the riches of God Himself, and we cannot even imagine how great are the treasures which God has put in our hands for us to multiply, by means of a perfect correspondence to the motions of His Spirit." (10) 

"Dear daughter, love the Holy Spirit very much and be very attentive to His inspirations, which are very frequent. The Holy Spirit speaks to us internally and often; if we do not hear Him it is because there is a lot of noise in our soul which we ourselves make with our thoughts and imagination. Other times we do listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit, but we turn a deaf ear because He asks us to overcome some obstacle, or make some effort or sacrifice. And there is something which ought to make us very sad. When we say "no" to the Holy Spirit, that grace goes away..." (11) 

"All the gifts of the Holy Spirit are valuable and desirable; all are necessary; but perhaps the one we need the most is the gift of fortitude because we are weak, and we tend to have many ups and downs in our spiritual life. This is the reality for many Christians and even of many religious: ups and downs. But the life of a saint is a going up constantly and staying in the conquered heights, and to do that we need the gift of fortitude, to continue onward at all times, without tiring on the only road which goes upward which is Jesus crucified. But, can we perhaps follow this road counting on our own strength? God forbid that we should think so. We will only succeed if we let the Holy Spirit act in us. But letting the Holy Spirit act in us is not a passive attitude but rather an active love which opens its eyes well to follow the paths that the Divine Spirit points out."  

"Let us go forward, with the trust which is the product of a passionate love of God. This poor life is only an effort which God asks us to make so that He can follow it up with His grace: 'Not me, but the grace of God that is with me' (1 Cor 15:10). What consoling words!" 

"Let each one ask the Holy Spirit, for oneself and for others, the gift of fortitude to substitute our innate weakness." (12)

"Dear sons, consider your sublime vocation and give of yourselves so that the Holy Spirit abide in your souls and possess them fully." (13) 

"Study more and more, beloved sons, the theology of the Holy Spirit to give your piety a solid foundation, and to be able to truly love the Third Divine Person.” (14) 

"Since you are going to be spiritual directors, remember frequently that you are instruments of the Holy Spirit in the work of the sanctification of souls. Therefore, be very devoted to the Divine Spirit, and ask Him constantly for the grace to be men of prayer." (15) 

"Under the impulse of the Holy Spirit we will imitate Jesus, in His obedient love of his Father and in His humble love for men." 

"Aware that only the Holy Spirit can transform us into Christ, we will consecrate ourselves to Him and will be docile to His inspirations." (16) 

"Predestined 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 Spirit." (17) 

"Receive, Holy Spirit, the complete surrender of all my being, grant me the grace of being my Light, my Guide, and my Strength in each of my actions. I ask of You the grace to be faithful to all your inspirations, and that you make me a true image of Christ Jesus." (18) 

We could summarize the spirituality of Father Felix in the following formula: "To transform ourselves into Jesus, doing the will of the Father perfectly under the direction, the light and the strength of the Holy Spirit”.

In other writings, Father Félix insists that our following of Jesus ought to be principally as Priests of the Father, moved by the Holy Spirit. 


1.-     Talk to the novices. October 14, 1924.
2.-     Magazine “The Cross”. January, 1927.
3.-     Talk to students. October 12, 1932.
4.-     In a notebook. Undated
5.-     Periodical Pentecostés, April 1924.
6.-     Manual of the devotion to the Holy Spirit.
7.-     Retreat to the novices. 1929.
8.-     The Cross. November 1927.
9.-     Talk the group of priest. October 1931.
10.-   Notes for a talk. Undated.
11.-   To a religious woman. February 6, 1931.
12.-   To the students in Rome. July 1,1930.
13.-   Ibid. January 24,1931.
14.-   Ibid. April 8, 1934.
15.-   Constitutions. No. 202
16.-   Ibid. Art. 2.
17.-   Ibid. Art. 8.
18.-   Manual for the Family of the Holy Spirit.


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