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The Indian advocate. ([Sacred Heart, Okla.]) 1???-1910, October 01, 1902, Image 11

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/45043535/1902-10-01/ed-1/seq-11/

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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

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