Saturday, 30 May 2009

Rev. Fr Theodore Runner, C.SS.R. (1853 - 1937)

Rev. Fr. Runner died in the Monastery of Echternach, Luxemburg, at the age of 84. He was a son of Alsace, where he was born on 9 November, 1853 in the village of Westhalten (Haut-Rhin), however, he laboured in Spain. He was professed on 31 March 1872 and ordained to the priesthood on 14 July, 1878. Filled with zeal for souls as a young priest, he crossed the Pyrenees in 1881 and became the co-founder of the Spanish Redemptorists.

At first a zealous Missioner, he soon became Rector of the Monastery during the difficult years of foundation. He built the Monastery Church of Madrid with its enormous altar of Our Mother of Perpetual Succour, and at the same time built the spiritual edifice of the greatest "Supplica" movement - the perpetual veneration of Our Blessed Mother - in the world.

Eventually he became the first Provincial of the Spanish Redemptorists. He gave 30 years of labour to sunny Spain, but at the age of 60 his strength was spent and he returned to Alsace. Here he would live another 24 years and - a prisoner of inactivity - he devoted that time to prayer and pious reading. For the last year of his life he could no longer say Mass but received Holy Communion every day. He died thus on 26 April, 1937 shortly after finishing his Thanksgiving. †

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