Virtues of Blessed Basil Moreau

Basil Moreau was a man of steadfastness, evident in the growth of his vocation in the ways of God. This same characteristic is seen in the great trials of his life, in his temptations to despair, in abandoning everything to Divine Providence, in his rejection by his brothers in Holy Cross and finally by the liquidation of all Holy Cross assets in Le Mans. As always his union with his Divine Master is manifest in his expressions of complete trust, “My God, I consent to this provided the Congregation be saved and that you be glorified.” Basil Moreau was a man of urgency. In his early life we find several indications of this aspect. In him there is a deep realization of the presence of God, of God’s love and of God’s call to him personally. He lived this out in his vocation as a priest and in his great adventure and responsibility as a Founder. To the call of this God who was his everything, he answered with love and gratitude which he expressed in one of his sermons, “He alone merits the homage of my mind and the affection of my heart. I want to live but for him and to breathe but for His glory.”
Basil Moreau was a man of untiring effort. It was in the livery of service that he lived and struggled. Inspired by the needs of the day, he consistently moved toward whatever would change or shape the future. He was a man of active vigilance, prompt to answer the Master. In his meditation on the workers sent into the vineyard, he wrote, “If today you hear the voice of the Lord to the care of his vineyard – harden not your hearts – but go at once.” Basil Moreau’s highest ambition was to cooperate with God. One striking point was his constant effort to cooperate with the grace of his calling. As a young priest he imposed rigorous discipline on himself. Throughout his life he struggled ” to become a saint”. In the rule of Holy Cross he wrote, “Each one will try his best, with the help of grace, to augment his love until it fills his whole mind, his whole heart, until it exhausts his strength.” Basil Moreau was a director of souls and an educator. In his ministry we find him practicing patience, gentleness, faith in the transforming power of grace, forgiveness in making new beginnings possible – “You ask me, my friend, to forget the past and forgive you – how easy it is for me to do that.” He insists on Jesus as educator of his disciples, “He taught them patiently, correcting them gently and firmly.” His own advice was, “Avoid hasty zeal; join a just firmness with wise delay.” Basil Moreau was a man zealous for the mission. “I hope still to be able, even though I am 73 years old, to preach during the coming Lent.” This was written November 19, 1872. When Lent arrived, he was already in eternity. Basil Moreau was aware of the needs of the Church of his day. These needs included the lack of priests, lack of Christian educators, lack of assistance to the poor and rejects of society. A world in need of salvation inspired in Basil the desire to commit himself personally and then with others to meet needs. The desire began to take shape. First Moreau grouped together the auxiliary priests to preach and minister in parishes. With Fr. Dujarié he entered into the field of education in the direction of the brothers of St. Joseph. Then he founded the sisters to assist in the work of education at Holy Cross College. The field for his zeal opened when his first collaborators arrived. With the formation of his apostles would come Holy Cross. Father Moreau entered into God’s plan with absolute confidence, when by providential events, God showed him that He wanted the foundation of Holy Cross. “I shall have no fears for the Congregation, and even if all of you had abandoned me on learning of our catastrophes, I would have begun all over again, as soon as I could have, so convinced am I that God wanted what I undertook.” Moreau saw God’s hand in the creation of a “religious family”. He drafted the plan for the first association of Holy Cross, gave it its first statutes, its first rules that he repeatedly touched up and modified over a period of twenty years. Finally Holy Cross became an “officially recognized body in the Church”. In fidelity to the totality of his call, Fr. Moreau had also “to create means of evangelization”. This would be education in its broadest sense:
  1. Through preaching in parishes – religious education
  2. On different levels and with different groups
  3. With young people in Christian formation activities.
Moreau believed with all his soul in:
  1. His mission
  2. The Movement of Providence
  3. Vigilance and Response to God’s Will
  4. Faith in the Acts of Divine Providence
  5. Confidence in the Work Born of Inspiration
  6. Faith in Impulses Coming from God

Founder of the Brothers, Priests, and Sisters of Holy Cross

for the canonization of Fr. Moreau and to obtain a favor through his intercession.

Lord Jesus, Source of all that is good, you inspired Basil Moreau to found the religious family of Holy Cross to continue your mission among the People of God. May he be for us a model of the apostolic life, an example of fidelity and an inspiration as we strive to be followers of Jesus.

May the Church be moved to proclaim his saintliness for the good of all people. Lord Jesus, you said ”Ask and you shall receive.” I dare to come to you to ask that you hear my prayer. It is through the intercession of Father Basil Moreau that I ask…

May I learn to imitate his holiness and service and look to him confidently in times of need.

For further information or to report any favor received through Fr. Moreau’s intercession, please contact:

Via Framura, 85, 00168 Rome, Italy.

Notre histoire commence au milieu du 19ème siècle, au Mans, en France, avec un prêtre diocésain, Basile Antoine Moreau. Malgré l’agitation, l’insécurité et les dangers auxquels l’Eglise catholique faisait face au lendemain de la Révolution, l’abbé Moreau rêvait d’établir une famille religieuse constituée de trois groupes autonomes et distincts (pères, frères et soeurs) mais unis dans l’esprit et le travail poour servir. En suivant le modèle de la Sainte Famille, chaque branche de la nouvelle famille religieuse fut consacrée à Jésus, Marie ou Joseph.

Le père Moreau assuma la direction des Frères de Saint Joseph quand leur fondateur, le père Jacques Dujarié, devint trop malade pour continuer sa responsabilité. Le père Moreau ajouta à ce groupe sa propre société de prêtres consacrés au Sacré Coeur de Jésus.

En 1838, il proposa une règle de vie à un groupe de femmes dévouées. Tout d’abord, elles aidèrent les prêtres et les frères dans les tâches domestiques. Plus tard, pour répondre à de nombreux appels elles reçurent la formation nécessaire pour pouvoir enseigner et prendre soin des malades. Elles prirent le nom de Marianites de Sainte Croix et en 1841, elles

reçurent un habit religieux qui ressemblait à ce que portaient les paysannes françaises de l’époque. Les Marianites furent consacrées à Marie, et plus particulièrement à Notre-Dame des Sept Douleurs. La première responsable de ce groupe reçut le nom de Mère Marie des Sept Douleurs. Son nom de famille était : Léocadie Gascoin.

Basile Antoine Moreau

  • 1799 Né le 11 Février à Laigné en Belin, un petit village situé à quelques kilomètres du Mans. Il était le 9ème enfant d’une famille de 14. Son père était négociant en vin.
  • 1814 Il entre au séminaire diocésain
  • 1821 Il est ordonné prêtre
  • 1835 Il prend la direction des Frères de Saint Joseph fondés par le père Jacques Dujarié Il fonde les prêtres auxiliaires
  • 1837 Il réunit les frères et les prêtres dans la Congrégation de Sainte Croix
  • 1840 Il fait les voeux de pauvreté, chasteté et obéissance avec quatre autres prêtres.
  • 1843 Il reçoit les voeux des deux premières Marianites
  • 1844 Il reçoit les voeux de Léocadie Gascoin et de trois Marianites.
  • 1872 Il célèbre son Jubilé d’or
  • 1873 Il meurt le 20 Janvier à l’âge de 73 ans.