On February 2, 2012, Spiritans celebrated the 160th Anniversary of the death of Fr. Francis Libermann.
In Rome, after a novena of prayer dedicated to the venerable Father Libermann and to the entire Congregation, this anniversary was marked by a conference and a Eucharistic Celebration given by two Spiritan Sisters who had come from Paris. Sisters Marie Bernadette DELPIERRE and Marie-Salome DEGRADOT recalled the history of the foundation of the Missionary Sisters of the Holy Spirit and the spirituality of Father Libermann.
“We are daughters of Libermann. We share his spirituality, as did our foundress, Eugénie CAPS”, said Sister Marie-Bernadette in the course of the conference. The Superior General praised the collaboration that has always existed with our Spiritan Sisters.
At the European Community in the Rue De Merode in Brussels, a group of 20 confreres gathered on February 2, 2012. The theme of their reflection and their prayer was “Libermann and his missionaries in the Congo.” Those present listened to Libermann’s words, reminding his missionaries of the virtues which contain within them special powers and graces, especially of living out the work for the blacks by placing at the very heart of their mission Libermann’s idea, “Become Blacks with the Black”. Twenty of our confreres experienced this at Kongolo on January 1st, 1962. Thus the Spiritans of Belgium celebrated not only the 160th Anniversary of the death of Libermann but also the 50th Anniversary of the “Kongolo Martyrs”. They emphasised that intercession would help them to put in place three missionary projects of being close to the migrants in three of Belgium’s important cities – Anvers, Brussels and Charleroi.