Faith, humility, and compassion for those who suffer while nurturing hope, are elements of the person whose life is a testimony of self-giving transforming the individuals lives he touched with a shining light of the Merciful Love of God. Pope Francis received in audience Angelo Cardinal Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and authorized his Department to promulgate the decree on the heroic virtues of the Venerable Br. William Gagnon, O.H., a Brother of St. John of God.
A native of the New Hampshire, who entered the Brothers in Canada was missioned to help with the founding of the Order in Vietnam. He dedicated his life to the poorest of the poor in Vietnam. He was a helpful presence to those doing good for others.
He closely followed the example of Jesus through the heroic practice of the virtue of hospitality. In his writings, he would encourage people by saying the good things that people need to hear. He would say, “Remember that all is easy for the person who loves, whereas all is heavy and difficult for the person whose heart knows not how to love. He becomes disgusted with what should be a source of joy and happiness.” Later on while leaving the former mission he observed that, “Our greatest problem is the loss of our beautiful Mission at Bùi-Chu and now that we are ministering at Hanoi, we must leave. From place to place, we must leave the little that we have.”
His trust was real and personal as we hear him say “Even if we lose the material things that we have, the good that we are able to do shall never be lost.” As of December 14th, 2015, Brother William Gagnon will be officially entitled “Venerable”, and may therefore be held up to us and all the faithful for veneration and imitation. He is on the path of becoming a saint.
The Brothers of the USA Province are blessed with this example of a Brother who in this era demonstrated that Hospitality is alive and well. We congratulate the Brothers in Montreal who along with the many hours of hard work and dedication faithfully represented the cause. We thank Mr. Denis Morin, an Associate and Vice Postulator for the Cause of the Servant of God William Gagnon, O.H.