« Christian life is based on sacrifice. »
Sacrifice has a great place in the life of Father JOËSSEL. In the image of the Lord, at the school of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, he wanted to offer everything and himself. He also encouraged sacrifice, even among children and young people. He was demanding with them, because he was demanding with himself first.
From a discussion with Father FOUQUES-DUPARC, one of Father Joëssel's close friends, on the value of sacrifices, François VEUILLOT retains: « The principal and most meritorious one, declared Daniel, is that which is imposed by God, accepted in union with him. »
This sacrifice was first of all spiritual, that is to say, of the heart. As early as 1932, when he was still in the seminary and 24 years old, Daniel noted during a retreat that he had apparently achieved his goal: « Complete sacrifice of the heart ».
Without doubt, the advice he provides gives an exact image, if not a complete one, of what Daniel JOËSSEL thinks of sacrifice and sacrifices : « Take advantage of every opportunity to offer yourself to the Lord and to repeat to him unceasingly that you fully want his will and not your own. Never forget that all holiness is there and I would especially like you to simplify your life as much as possible. All the little things in each of our days are providential opportunities for sacrifice, and the Good Lord asks us to respond fully "yes" to all his calls of love. » Letter of 5 December 1939.
To a YCW member: « But what is important, you see, to do as much as possible and as well as possible, is to pray and to offer ourselves. For us, this prayer must be an opportunity to rise higher; every trial, in fact, has its good side, that of making us see more clearly the value of
sacrifice. I hope, therefore, that you keep your life in contact with Christ and that every day your
friendship with Him takes a step forward. » 19 novembre 1939.
On 18 December 1939, he wrote to Pierre VEUILLOT: « I pray for you with all my heart. Sad Christmas spent far from the parish, far from those we love so much! Sacrifice is asked of us, let us offer it generously for those around us! »
And Pierre VEUILLOT said after the death of Father JOËSSEL : « He always understood his priesthood as a sacrifice of his life in the service of souls, and this from the beginning. »
This life of sacrifice went right to the end, right up to the time of his death, when he told the priest who was assisting him that he was happy to offer the sacrifice of his life. Father VEUILLOT continues in his notes:
« He made the sacrifice of his life. God accepted his sacrifice. His death was that of the
priest who gives his life for the souls entrusted to him in the image of Christ. ...] When asked if he was making the sacrifice of his life, he replied: 'With great joy'. And at the last minute he looked at the priest who was crying beside him with a broad smile. This sacrifice expressed a supernatural value.
So, sacrifice of his life, and sacrifice with joy. »
The sacrifice of his life was offered for the souls in his care, especially "his dear children"
and especially for priestly vocations:
« I would have liked to have died in the service of our only true Master, he wrote to him, barely removed from the parish. If the Good Lord judges to take me back tomorrow or later, I am ready to make the sacrifice of all that I have loved only here on earth, that is to say, of the souls entrusted to me, of my dear children, to whom you can say that I offer this sacrifice for them, so that they understand that our only happiness here on earth is to love the Good Lord with all our heart. »
« I offer this sacrifice above all so that there may be priests who replace me and who also try to bring souls to the true Kingdom of Charity. » François VEUILLOT, L’abbé Daniel JOËSSEL.
In fact, as many have said, sometimes after having benefited from it themselves, his sacrifice has indeed borne fruit and given birth to many priestly vocations.
This Crucifix belonged to Father JOËSSEL. Father FOUQUES-DUPARC kept it for a long time before returning it to Father JOËSSEL's family.