On July 10, we celebrated François-Marie's birthday.
We were numerous to gather for "Brother": the eight boys of Orissa in formation "come and see", Nasim and Akash, the three French volunteers, Gaspard, Gustave and Marie-Françoise as well as the children of the station, the big kids and families from the train station.
Madan and his wife Sima came to spend some time with us.
After the delivery of a flower necklace to François-Marie, a song and speeches (attached at the end of the document the speech of Gaspard and Gustave), we celebrated Mass during which the boys of Orissa have mimed the gospel of the day, the Good Samaritan, considered as one of the evangelical passages at the foundation of the vocation of the Pilgrims of Charity.
Providence of God that this gospel falls on July 10!
Then came the birthday cake and the Indian way of offering it to the hero of the day! Then the gifts, among others a bronze cross to put on the altar.
Songs, dancing, cakes and drinks, not to mention the decorations of the brand new apartment, the party continued with a sketch developed by the boys of Orissa: we all laughed! And François Marie was not the last ... indeed, the sketch took again its different attitudes, mimics and usual words that the boys in formation had spotted during their days with their trainer. A moment of frank laughter that broke the fraternal joy!
After the picnic, we thank God for this moment of celebration by asking him to bless and keep this Brother so loved by all and especially the poor and the small in Kolkata.
Speech of Gustave et Gaspard to Brother François-Marie
Dear Brother Francis,
Today, people from very different origins are gathered to celebrate your birthday. 8 brothers from Orissa, French volunteers, people from Sealdah Station and of course, you.
Would you have even imagined it when you arrived at Kolkata 13 years ago? Certainly not!
But if we are all here today, it is absolutely not by chance.
Leaving your French comfort and inhabited by extremely strong determination, dynamism, bravour and more than anything the wish to help the poorest of the poors, you achieved an incredible mission, here, in Kolkata, with the Pilgrims of Charity.
Nobody is sure of your age, but if today were your 30th birthday, no one would really be surprised.
Brother is so wonderful.
And something tells us that it is far from being the end of your beautiful story.
Gustave and Gaspard.
Cher Frère François,
Aujourd'hui, des personnes de toutes origines sont heureuses de vous souhaiter votre anniversaire. 8 Frères de l'Orissa, des volontaires français, des gens de la gare de Sealdah et bien sûr, vous.
Auriez-vous imaginé cela quand vous êtes arrivé à Calcutta il y a 13 ans ? Certainement pas !
Si nous sommes tous ici aujourd'hui, ce n'est pas du tout par hasard.
Quittant votre confort français, habité par une détermination extrêmement solide, un dynamisme, une bravoure et par dessus tout par la volonté d'aider les plus pauvres d'entre les pauvres, vous menez une mission incroyable, ici à Calcutta, avec les Pèlerins de la Charité.
Personne ne connaît vraiment votre âge, mais aujourd'hui, si c'était votre 30ème anniversaire, personne ne serait surpris.
Frère, c'est si merveilleux.
Et quelque chose nous dit que nous sommes loin de la fin de cette belle histoire.
Gustave et Gaspard.