Born in Texas about 1831
Took the habit: at the beginning of 1858
Perpetual vows: Brownsville, September 1858 (No. 43b)
Died in Brownsville on September 26, 1858
Marie-Joseph Garcia was born in Brownsville about 1831. Seven months after commencing his novitiate he became ill with yellow fever on September 22, 1958 and he died on the 26th of that month having made his perpetual oblation on his deathbed (Missions OMI, 5, 1856, p.668).
What we know of him comes from two letters addressed to Fr. Fabre in1858. In the first of these Fr. Parisot, on October 2, wrote: “Brownsville… It was September 22 that our brother took to his deathbed and on the 25th, at six o’clock in the evening, he gave up his soul to God, having received all the Sacraments with a lively faith and a burning charity. This good brother edified the community by his sincere humility and his blind obedience. He passed in our midst without reproach and by his great virtues he gave us to hope that he would become a worthy member of our Congregation, but God chose to reward his goodwill by crowning him with the first fruits of religious life. Our brother was only twenty-one years old”.
In the second letter, dated October 29, Fr. Augustin Gaudet added: “I do not believe that, during the seven months of his novitiate, he could be reproached with having omitted even the least of his exercises, uttered an unbecoming word during the times of silence, even though his duties as cook which he performed diligently, might have provided the occasion to do so quite often. Indeed, such a life, such a death, such perfect conformity to the will of God right up his last breath. I had discovered him in San Antonio on the occasion of my visit to that city. God had entrusted him to us so that he could perfect his sanctification. He was ripe for heaven. He will pray for us. May God’s will be done!”
The Brother had not been given an oblation number. On January 21, 1977, the future Cardinal Francis George, then Vicar General of the Congregation, authorized the General Archivist to allocate to him the number 463b.
Yvon Beaudoin, o.m.i.