Bordeaux, April 1862
I am a spirit who has been forgotten for many centuries; I lived upon the Earth in poverty and opprobrium. I toiled unremittingly to earn, each day, a morsel of bread for my family; but I loved Him whom I regarded as my veritable Master, and when my load of suffering was added to by him who was my master upon the Earth, I used to say, “My God, give me the strength to bear up under this load without complaining!” I was thus expiating an evil past; but, when I came forth from this great trial, my true Master received me into His peace; and now my most earnest desire is to say to you all: “Humanity, my sisters and brothers! Whatever price you have to pay for your purification, the happiness that awaits you will amply overpay it!”
I had no regular trade. I was one of a numerous family of children, and I was at the service of anyone who could help me to get my livelihood. Born at a period in which all servants were hardly and cruelly treated, I endured all the injustice, all the enforced labor, all the grinding and robbing, that the subalterns of my owner chose to inflict upon me. I saw my wife outraged, my daughters carried away and then cast off, without being able to utter a complaint; I saw my sons torn from me and forced to fight in wars for pillage and for every crime, and hung for offenses they had not committed! Ah, Friends! If you only knew what I had to endure in that long and wretched life! But I was sustained by the hope of a happiness not of the Earth; and my hope was fulfilled. I have a right to say to you, “Brothers and sisters! Courage, patience, resignation!”
My child (to the medium), preserve what I have written; it is a practical teaching. Those who preach are much more attentively listened to when they can say: – “I have borne more than you have to bear; and I have borne without complaining!”
Q. At what period did you live down here?
A. From 1400 to 1460.
Q. Have you had another earthly existence since then?
A. Yes, I have lived among you as a missionary, a missionary of the faith; of the true and pure faith, of the faith that comes from God, not that which human beings have made for you.
Q. Have you, as a spirit, any occupations?
A. Can you imagine that spirits remain inactive? Inaction, uselessness, would be torture for them. My mission is to lead the workers of the great industrial centers to Spiritism. I inspire them with good thoughts and endeavor to neutralize those that backward spirits try to suggest to them. BERNARDIN