The ideas presented here come from the dialogues Bro Marcel Van had with the Lord Jesus, with the Blessed Mother, and with St Therese of the Child Jesus (it is indicated who is speaking or sending the message) with whom he enjoyed spiritual conversations. Brother Marcel’s holy life did not rest on these conversations but rather on his deep love for God, his obedience to his will, and his commitment and service to others. He died as a “confessor of the faith” – one who lived his faith heroically in the midst of trials – in a North Vietnamese Communist prison where he strived to bring joy and faith to his companions, Catholic or not.

                  b. simplicity in daily life

Marcel: Little Jesus, you call me ignorant, but maybe you are even more so than me. Indeed, you do not know how to sew, you only know the job of carpenter.

Jesus: Who told you that? Ask Mary to see if in the past I did not know how to knit clothes with her. It was only after growing up that I was a carpenter; but when I was a child, I sometimes wove wool for Mary to knit clothes and Mary also taught me how to knit it myself; she loved me a lot.

Marcel: But at that time there was no sewing machine; that’s why I say you do not know how to sew at the machine!

Jesus: And yet, Marcel, if I were not there to put my hand on it, you would cry again; and boasting of knowing how to sew, are not you afraid that your sister Therese will make fun of you?

Marcel: I never cried as you say, or if I did, I completely forgot about it.

Jesus: It’s true, little Marcel, you have not cried a lot, but you have at least become all red, and I, seeing you in this state, I wanted to laugh. However, I did not dare to let it see, for fear of grieving you more.

Marcel: I do not worry at all. If you let your work fail, all the damage is for you alone; because it is you and not me who bears all the responsibility. Later in heaven, I will tell Mary. However, I will also ask her not to punish you, because I love you very much, little Jesus.

Jesus: What you gave me is mine; I will use it for priests.

Marcel: But little Jesus, you give me nothing in return? After all that I have given you, you must be grateful.

Jesus: Little brother, what do you want? That I give you a kiss.

Marcel: No.

Jesus: So what do you want? Come, tell me.

Marcel: First, I’ll think a little more. Little Jesus, I … want … to love you.

Jesus: Ah! What can be comparable! All right, I’ll give it to you

at once. And now, even if you do not want me to give you a kiss, I have to give you one anyway.

Marcel: Ah! Little Jesus, I forgot something. I want more a pair of new sandals.

Marcel’s poem (inspired by St. Therese)

O Jesus, I love you

O Jesus, I love you, I love you …

My Jesus, I love you, I love you.

Jesus, I love you with all my heart.

Jesus, I love you with all my mind.

Jesus is listening to my song:

I love you I love you I love you.

O Jesus laughs very well, does not he?

I’m crazy about love for you, Jesus.

Yes, Jesus, my heart is drunk with love,

He would like to shout endlessly: I love you, I love you;

Jesus, listen to me again:

I want to love you, to love you always.

Jesus, even if you gave me a thousand lives,

I would not stop shouting: I love you, I love you.

… But who’s the one I love, to love him so much?

He is someone truly worthy of being loved.

Come, Jesus, give me a kiss.

I keep saying, Jesus, I love you,

You have to give me a kiss.

I finished my song … drunk with love for you, Jesus. O Jesus, love of my heart,

Here ends my song, but not my love.

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