Valentines Appeal

Valentines Appeal

On St. Valentine's Day we hear many love stories. Recently, I received a letter from Fr. Fred Charpentier, O.M.I. who wanted me to share with you a love story at the nursing home he runs for the poor in Haiti.

Dear Fr. John and friends,

"Love is blind," they say. This came true recently for two of our residents, Ludger Cavaillon (age 78) and Acélia Joseph (age 80 and blind).

Ludger was a hired hand for years in other people's gardens. He was going on 76 years of age and exhausted, mainly because of a lingering ulcer on his foot. He never married, so he had nobody to care for him. One day, someone brought him to Les Cayes for treatment at the Missionaries of Charity and the Sisters gladly started to care for him. The sore would not go away so the Sisters referred him to us to see what we could do.

We took Ludger in just before Christmas 2014, and our infirmary staff immediately started the treatments for his foot. Our doctors also sent him to a specialist at the hospital. Ludger started getting better every day until his foot finally completely healed.

In April 2016, a new resident arrived here. Acélia Joseph, 80 years old and blind, had been dumped at a local hospital by strangers and abandoned. She suffered from neglect. A nurse caring for Acélia was a friend with our staff. She asked if we could take Acélia in. We took her in immediately, no questions asked. Gifted with a bubbly personality and good sense of humor, Acélia soon made friends with everyone. Within weeks she was back on her feet, but needed her wheelchair to get around. Ludger stepped in and offered to push her around. They soon became inseparable best friends.

The two love birds recently decided to share with us their "elopement" plans. They were having some resistance from Acélia's grandchildren. For Ludger there was no such resistance, since the last of his clan had disappeared in October's Hurricane Matthew. We assured them that they had every right to decide on their own to get married. They plan to get married as soon as their means make this possible.

God willing there will be a wedding soon. So "love is blind," and "love at first sight" truly happens! Believe me, it's never too late to say YES!

Don't you just love this story from Fr. Fred? Ludger and Acélia beautifully bring to life 1 Corinthians 13:4, "Love is patient, love is kind."

Today I ask that you share your love with family and friends, and with our less fortunate brothers and sister like Ludger and Acélia.


Your intentions will be remembered at Mass and placed in a capsule at the Shrine where the Oblates and Shrine pilgrims will pray for your needs for an entire year. Send me your prayer requests by February 9.

Include my St. Valentine's Day Petitions.

St. Valentine's Devotional Gifts


St. Valentine's Card


Votive Candle


Donation Amount

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