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Anniversary of Blessed Eustaquio's Religious Profession (Brs)

On 23 September 1913, Eustaquio van Lieshout enthusiastically began his novitiate in Belgium. It was an international group of Dutch, Belgian, German and French, with a German priest, Fr. Medardo Kaiser as their novice master.

In early August 1914 the First World War started and German troops invaded Belgium. The Novice Master decided to flee with all members of the house. The novitiate was dispersed. Eustaquio went to his village, Aarle-Rixtel. Later the novitiate was allowed to be completed in Grave, Netherlands.

On January 27, 1915, Eustaquio and his companions made their vows in the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

A letter has been preserved, written by Eustaquio, addressed to his family, which gives a vivid description of that celebration of the profession during wartime:

"My dear parents, brothers and sisters, the beautiful day went by. It was a day that perhaps no other day can erase from my memory. I compare it to my first communion, the most beautiful day I have ever known up to now. But in a sense, this day is more beautiful still, because in this day we ‘gave’, while on the day of the first communion we ‘receive’ (...) From then on I have been wearing the medallion of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary on my chest. On this same day, I put on the scapular (part of the religious habit), and those black cinctures were replaced by white ones. we also received a large white cape, which we will use in certain religious occasions.

We entered the chapel with a lighted candle in hand, and singing the psalm. "What a joy when I said, we go to the house of the Lord! Now our feet are standing within your gates, O Jerusalem" Then the Father Superior (Fr. Sigismund) sang the Veni creator, and in full force, we sang "Come Holy Spirit creator".

What followed was a moving sermon, which encouraged us to do our holy sacrifice. Then there was a blessing of white cinctures, scapulars and large capes; then we put these things on. Next we put our hands on those of the representative of the Reverend Father General, Father Sigismund, while uttering together our three votes. Then came the oath with our hands on the Gospels. You will understand with what joy we ended in singing the Te Deum (God, we give you thanks). "