How a son of the Crusades faces death: “It is our trade”

February 22, 2018

Chasseurs d’Afrique

The next day was the feast of All Saints; and while at breakfast with his officers, M. de Montalembert was seized with cholera. The dismay was great; but both officers fell in the arms of God.

Colonel de Montalembert¹, like his brother, was a true son of the Crusades. On the 29th, feeling the premonitory symptoms of the fatal malady, he wrote an order of the day to his men, to raise their courage by the higher views of faith, hope and charity, with which he was himself animated. We will give this his last will and testament in full, for it was also his farewell to his troops.

To the 1st Regiment of the Chasseurs d’Afrique

Order of the day October 29, 1859

My brave Chasseurs,

We are severely tried by God, but have confidence in Him and pray. He will not abandon the 1st Chasseurs d’Afrique. Let us put all our confidence in Him; and if some amongst you are to fall, let them not forget that in dying they fulfill a mission, that they are martyrs, and will go to Heaven. If your Colonel were to be among the number, do not forget that he will pray for you. In the meantime, let us brave death; it is our trade, and we must not allow ourselves to be discouraged. God always does well whatever He does; and we must not forget that we are His children.

Your Colonel,

De Montalembert

¹ Colonel Arthur de Montalember (wife: Mademoiselle Rochechouart. They had 5 children.)

General de Sonis by Msgr. Baunard translated by Lady Herbert, London: Art and Book Co. 1891, p. 80

Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 614

 

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