Lanteri and the Eucharist

The following is an excerpt from an account of the last days of Venerable Lanteri written by Fr. Michele Valmino, O.M.V. in 1838, eight years after the death of the Founder. Fr. Valmino, a soldier and an atheist, underwent a profound conversion after attending a mission preached by the Oblates in Carignano in 1817. He eventually joined the Oblates, professing his vows in 1829, one year before the death of Fr. Lanteri. His words here have special value in that they are recollections of his personal sharing with Fr. Lanteri in the last months of the Founder’s life. Translated from Positio, 626.

 

The Reverend Fr. Lanteri was very devoted to the Blessed Sacrament, and so always wanted it kept in the internal chapel of our house in Pinerolo, which was next to his own room. And in order to adore the Blessed Sacrament more frequently, he had a small window made from his room looking onto the altar of this chapel, and through it was in almost continual adoration during his last illness, since this window was situated directly in front of the bed where he lay. As long as he was able during this last illness he received Communion daily, with great consolation.

He celebrated holy Mass very devoutly every day, and I cannot remember that he ever failed to celebrate it except when he was gravely ill. In fact, one morning a short while before his final illness, even though he was barely able to stand because of his poor health, he wanted nonetheless to celebrate Mass. When he reached the Epistle his energy failed him, and it was necessary assist him out of the vestments and to help him back to his room.

He was very pleased when others would speak to him about this adorable Mystery. In this regard I remember that once when I was seated at the desk in his room, he had me read to him a certain passage from St. Thomas concerning this Mystery. After I had read for some time I turned toward where he was seated to ask him something, and I saw the joy in his face, lit up with a lively color, and it made a deep impression upon me because before then I had never seen him like this.