Monday, 1 June 2009

Rev Fr Franciscus Theunis, C.SS.R. (1821-1882)

Father was a Belgian, born on the 17th of February, 1821. He entered the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer when eighteen. He made his religious Profession on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception in 1840, and having completed his studies was ordained priest on the 7th November 1847. In the earlier years of his priesthood he was sent to Ireland and contributed much to the success of the first Missions in that country, which made such an indelible impression on the people.
A boy who had assisted at the great Mission given in Fermoy in 1855, many years afterwards described to a companion the effect produced by a sermon on Hell, preached by Father Theunis. "His English," he said, "was very imperfect, but the way in which he exposed the eternal misery of the dammed made such an impression on the congregation that when leaving the church no one spoke, but all went in silence to their homes full of the fear of the judgements of God."
Father Theunis was recalled to the Belgian province, and died at Roulers, in Flanders, on the 4th of March, 1882. †

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