In the morning before going to Mass, I said to Father: “Oh! What you need Father, is our Lord. I will write to the Bishop for permission for one of the resident priests of La Mure to come to say Mass for you”. He smiled but signaled no. Perhaps he foresaw the arrival of Fr. Chanuet.
Father got up again to make his bed. He wanted to change his clothes by himself and to do this stayed standing on his mat. I couldn’t leave him like that, I was afraid he would fall. So he changed himself and as I threw him a quick glance to see whether he was calling for help, I got visual proof of his bloody mortifications.
In the early morning, Father was more alert. He spoke a little more easily. We sat to table. He signaled to us to put his cover and his armchair in his place, and while we were eating he arrived bravely, sat down, and ate a little fish and some grape. He smiled at us as we ate. He remained at table a quarter of an hour or so. He had taken a piece of bread and had eaten a little of it. The rest was still in his hand. His sister wanted to take it from him. He refused and let me take it. That’s the last time the child received bread from the hand of the Father of the family.
The rest of the day was calm. Father was able to deal with some matters. I read him some letters, he told me the response in a few words.
Nemours returns to pursue him. He also received a painful letter from f… But he says there’s nothing can be done.
Thus the tribulation attacked him again on his death-bed. He received a despatch from Fr. De Cuers asking if he should come. No replied Father, twice. Others, in the following days, asked the same question and received the same response. Father wanted to die simply and to do this task with the simplicity of an act of Eucharistic service like the others.
In the evening Father was more agitated. Fr. Chanuet arrived with Mademoiselle Thomas who cared for Father without ceasing and received his last sigh.
Father was too tired to speak. He did not speak to Fr. Chanuet until the next day.
I sat with Father until one o’clock. The night was very trying. One moment Father was ranting in a terrifying way, and more terrifying to me. His chest was heaving noisily. He struggled to breathe in fits and starts. He was stretched on his back, pale as death. His nostrils were pinched and contracted. His mouth was tightly closed. Perspiration ran down his face, this lasted for over half an hour (I think). I drew near. I didn’t know what to do, I prayed. Eventually, the noise stopped and Father remained quiet until the time when I left to go to bed.
This text is transcribed from a copy preserved in the Archives of the French Province in Paris. The Punctuation has been slightly adjusted for ease of reading.
The copy from the Paris archive has as its title, in Fr. J. Lavigne’s writing, “Notes of very Rev. Fr. Tesniere (Bro. Albert) on the last days of Blessed Peter Julian Eymard”.