Generalate – Brother Solomon Leclercq

Generalate – Brother Solomon Leclercq

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Brother Solomon (Guillaume Nicolas Louis Leclercq) was born in Boulogne-sur-Mer (in the Diocese of Arras) on the 14th of November 1745. His father was a merchant operating in the port area of the town. In contrast to his four brothers, Nicolas attended the local commercial school run by the Brothers. This fact, combined with the Christian upbringing in his family, prepared the ground for his future vocation.

His father’s idea was to prepare his son to succeed him in the business. Indeed, as soon as Nicolas finished school he was employed by a merchant in the vicinity of Boulogne. After that he was sent to Paris to another of his father’s merchant friends. Nicolas did not like the atmosphere in Paris, so he returned to Boulogne and told his father about his dissatisfaction and his desire to follow the example of his school teachers.

He entered the novitiate in Saint-Yon, Rouen, on March 25, 1767, made vows in 1769 and was sent to teach in Maréville in September 1770. He made Perpetual Profession in 1772.

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In the year that he made Perpetual Profession, he was appointed as assistant to Brother Lothaire, Director of Novices in Maréville and one year later he became the Director. In 1777, he was appointed as “procurator” of that major house, but he spent only three years in the post until 1780, when he was called to teach mathematics in the the newly opened scholasticate in Melun. Having completed the 15 years of final profession required by Rule, he took part in the General Chapter of 1787. He was appointed as Secretary to the Chapter and after the Chapter he was asked to fulfill the same role in relation to the Superior General.

Then came the violent and troubled years of the Revolution. In 1791, when the Brothers, including the Superior General, were obliged to leave the premises in the Rue Neuve, he remained behind to guard the house on his own, hoping that the storm would pass by. Although he adopted civil dress, he could not go unobserved, perhaps because he attended the church where non-juror priests said Mass.

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On the 15th of August, 1792, the revolutionaries invaded the house in the Rue Neuve. They arrested Brother Solomon and took him to the Carmelite convent. On September 2, he was killed in the garden which was the scene of one of the most awful excesses committed during those terrible years. 166 priests and religious had been imprisoned for refusing to take the oath of the Civil Constitution of the clergy. They were massacred without any trial and their bodies were thrown into the well or buried in mass graves in the garden. A few days before his death, Brother Solomon wrote in a letter to one of his sisters “We bear with joy and thanksgiving the crosses and afflictions visited upon us. For my part, I am not worthy to suffer for Him and up to now I have had no bad experiences, whereas so many others who confess the faith are having difficulties.”

The Ordinary Process of Information concerning the “Martyrs of the Carmelite Convent”, Ioannis-Mariae du Lau d’Alleman, archiepiscopus … et CXL Sociorum, in odium fidei Parisiis mense Septembris 1792 interemptorum, was initiated in Paris on March 14, 1901, and finished on February 5, 1906. Transferred to Rome, it was not concluded until the 4th of October 1926.

The beatification of this group of martyrs took place on the 17th of October 1926.

The “miracle”

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María Alejandra Hernández, was born on the 19th of June, 2002. Because of her mother’s drug addiction, she was taken into care, together with her two siblings, in the “Maria Goretti” home founded by Mons. Rafael Febres-Cordero, which is situated in the rural area of Sabaneta di El Hatillo in the mountains of north-central Venezuela and a few miles from Caracas. In 2007, when she was 5 years old, while playing with other children, she was bitten in the foot by some unidentified thing. At the time, no great importance was attached to it, because they thought it was the bite of a large insect (the bachaco trinitario which is common in the area). The next day, the bruising had spread and the child was bleeding from gums and nose. She was taken to the emergerncy unit in the Santa Sofia Clinic in Caracas. They suspected it was a bite from a venemous snake of the bothrops genus common in the locality. They administered the maximum dose possible of the antidote in order to limit the permanent damage. This is the only possibile treatment, but its effectiveness depends on the timing, and it was administered 52 hours after the incident. They were getting ready to amputate the leg to avoid further, more serious complications. Meanwhile in the little church of Sabaneta, the Sisters, the children and the parishioners began to pray before the statue of Blessed Brother Solomon, who is venerated in the area. Suddenly things changed for the better quite unexpectedly. Body readings returned to normal, and the amputation was not necessary. In fact on September 11, the child was discharged from the hospital completely cured. Later checks showed that her physical condition was quite normal and the leg was restored to full functionality.

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The diocesan process in Caracas started January 19, 2011, and finished on September 29.

On March3, 2016, the Consulta medica declared the case to be scientifically unexplainable.

On April 5, the theologians expressed a positive judgement.

On May 3, the Cardinals and Bishops gave their judgement.

On May 10, Pope Francis proclaimed the DECREE for canonisation

On June 20, the ususal Consistory prior to canonisation will take place.

On October 16, (date to be confirmed by the Consistory) the canonisation will take place in San Pietro (or the Piazza), along with that of other Beati.

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