Theophane Vénard was no ascetic saint, trembling at every manifestation of human or natural feeling. He was eminently a tender and dutiful son; a most devoted and loving brother; an equally devoted and attached friend. Neither did he consider these warm affections incompatible with the great work to which he had given his life. His devotion to his sister, whom he calls a part of his very life, shines through every page of this touching and beautiful correspondence. She is the first thought of his boyish years, she is his last thought in death.
Yet all this strong human love did not prevent his sacrificing everything to God leaving the home he loved so fondly, the sister he idolized, the family tie which bound him with what others might have considered iron links everything, in fact, which made life dear when the voice of the Master called him to go forth from his people and his country into a strange and distant land, to preach His word and do His work, and save the souls for whom He had died upon the Cross. This is the striking characteristic of the life before human love, surpassing all ordinary home affections, willingly and joyfully offered up on the altar of Our Lord for the salvation of the heathen who knew Him not.
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