Letter from Father Michel PLESSIS to Canon MULLER, parish priest of Asnières
Michel PLESSIS (11 November 1892 - 2 June 1982) was ordained a priest on 29 June 1922 in Paris. Vicar at St-Geneviève d'Asnières in 1940, he was the director of conscience of the future Archbishop of Paris, Cardinal Pierre VEUILLOT, who was then a young priest (Information provided by the Historical Archives of the Archdiocese of Paris, HAAP).
House Saint - Joseph + 18 septembre 1940
Rue de Gérofosse, 6
Very Reverend Sir
I received your letter a few moments ago: this very morning, during my thanksgiving, I was thinking of Father JOËSSEL, supposing him to have recovered, and I asked the good Lord that he should not suffer too much from his captivity!
Like all those who knew him, I had become attached to him and had made a friend of him; I had seen him closely enough, two years in a row in the summer camps, to understand the treasures hidden in his soul: you were better placed than anyone to appreciate the depth of his action, on children and young people in particular, and yet I am sure that for a long time to come we will have proof of this action more and more clearly before our eyes.
It was a soul full of light, kindness and delicacy, whose joy never disappeared for long in the face of difficulty or momentary failure, because the enthusiasm was never extinguished or even stopped.
I don't need to tell you how much he loved you, you were in a position to know and feel that better than others; but I can tell you in what terms of affectionate admiration he spoke to me of "his parish priest". He had a real cult for you, I don't think I can express better what he told me he felt towards you. I also know well how you returned it to him and how much this second sacrifice that the good Lord is imposing on you weighs heavily on your soul; I only lived with you for two months, but it did not take me that long to feel what supernatural tenderness of affection your heart is capable of; so I know that it is at this moment as if crushed by pain. I pray for you with all my heart, I pray to Father JOËSSEL who loved you so much to support you himself in the bitterness that his loss leaves you; for I am so convinced that he has immediately received the reward for the act of perfect charity that he did in dying, and which was in short only the logical outcome of his life, which was all for God and souls!
I myself am more grieved than I can tell you about the loss of such a precious friend.
Please accept, dear Father, the expression of my very sad feelings of faithful gratitude and affectionate respect.