Newspaper Page Text
gJlPyyWifjIftP'Hg"' "yl TWWWPMMpipP.
,4 The Indian Advocate. 299 he was created Monsignor by the Pope, at the request of Archbishop Gross. In his eightieth year, yielding to the ear nest solicitations of his nephew, Mgr. Desiree Mercier, a pro fessor in the great University of Louvain, he retired to Bel gium to receive that care and attention which his weight of years and labors made so necessary. Mgr. Croquet breathed his last in his native home; but his heart remained to the end in Oregon, although for forty long years he never knew anything there but labor, poverty and privation. In his letter to the Sentinel, Father Van der Heyden, who attended Mgr. Croquet's funeral, spoke of the honors paid to the humble American missionary, adding: "How great his devotion to the red-skinned parishioners of the Grand Ronde reservation was, they and his colleages of the Western mis sion know best. In that devotion he never faltered; for, not more than six weeks ago, his nephew, Mgr. Mercier, the dis tinguished professor at the Louvain University and president of Pope Leo's College of Thomistic Philosophy, told me that whenever a visitor would ask his uncle about the Western missions and artlessly refer to the Indians as savages, quick as a flash would come the indignant reply: 'The Oregon In dians are not savages; they are civilized, as much so as any one around here.' " Many stories are told of his goodness and asceticism in the place which felt for so long the benediction of his presence, and where his name was the synonym for sanctity. An inci dent was related in Dr. Mulhane's article of two brother priests who, desiring to know something of Father Croquet's private life, made their way to his window at a late hour of the night, and by the light of a candle discovered him kneel ing upon the bare ground, without fire or comforts of any kind in the large room; and, notwithstanding it was the dead of winter, his bed was a bundle of straw upon the ground, and his pillow a rock. Entering, they demanded that Father