26 November 1892 -
Death of Cardinal Lavigerie
in his episcopal residence at St Eugène, Algiers
Founder of the Missionaries of Africa
Photo of Cardinal Lavigerie in1884
(The photos - unique, therefore copyright - and the text are taken
the Photo Library of the Generalate in Rome. All the photos can be enlarged.)
residence at Bouzareah, where Cardinal Lavigerie spent the summer
located beside the Mother House reserved for the Cardinal's visits
to the missionaries' community. Later, it became a sanatorium.
Episcopal residence at St Eugène, Algiers
where the Cardinal passed away.
26-27 November 1892 lying in state in the lounge of the episcopal residence
at St Eugène.
Seminarians from Kouba keep vigil over his mortal remains
* * *
On the 24 November, the Cardinal received Holy Communion in bed.
After his thanksgiving prayers were over, he tried to get up as usual
and called the two Brothers who were helping him to dress. He then
noticed that his paralysis had spread and he did not even have the
strength to stand. They therefore had to put him back to bed. He was
not to rise from it again.
The illness spread rapidly and speaking became increasingly difficult.
A quiet sleep followed the initial restlessness, and it was thought
for a moment that his strong constitution had once more overcome the
However, on the Friday morning around one o'clock, the symptoms of
a cerebral haemorrhage became more acute. He was given Extreme Unction,
which he received fully conscious, although he could no longer speak.
After receiving the Last Sacraments, he fell peacefully asleep and
a glimmer of hope again began to dawn. It did not last. Sleep changed
into a kind of lethargy that lasted the whole day on Friday and all
the attentive and devoted care of Doctor Rochet could not check the
advance of the illness. Around half-past ten in the evening, our Venerable
Father entered into his last agony.
Around his bed, plunged in sorrow, crowded Archbishop Dusserre, his
coadjutor in the Archdiocese of Algiers, Bishop Livinhac, his Assistant
for the Society of the Missionaries, Mgr Grussenmeyer and Mr Roffat,
his Vicars General and Rev. Fr. Buffet, Superior of the Jesuits, his
confessor; Canon Tyssier, his secretary and Rev. Fr. Michel, Superior
of the Apostolic School, Rev. Fr. Delattre, Archpriest of Carthage
Cathedral, and Fr. Bompard, secretary of Carthage Archdiocese. Mother
Salomé, Superior of the Sisters of Our Lady of Africa, and
the Bon Secours Sister who had cared for him with such dedication
during his illness, and all his episcopal household also attended.
Towards midnight, Archbishop Dusserre began the prayers for the dying.
Meantime, the life of the venerable patient slowly ebbed away in the
gentlest of agonies, his sighing becoming increasingly infrequent.
The end was near.
Archbishop Dusserre then rose and in a tear-filled voice said, 'My
friends, let us reverence one last time the hand that so often blessed
us.' The first to do so bowed low and reverently kissed the Cardinal's
right hand already chilled in death. In turn, all those present came
closer and tearfully fulfilled this last duty of filial piety.
A few moments later, His Eminence Cardinal Lavigerie gave up his soul
to God and went to receive the reward of his immense works accomplished
with so much zeal for the glory of God, for the exaltation of our
Holy Mother the Church that he loved with such passion and for the
salvation of Africans.
In this way our Venerated Father quietly passed away in the peace
of the Lord, at the age of 67 years and 26 days.
* * *
At 3 in the afternoon of Sunday 27 November 1892, the body of Cardinal
Lavigerie was borne to
the little chapel of St Joseph at Notre Dame d'Afrique, according to
the wishes of the venerable deceased.
The Missionaries of Africa formed the honour guard for their Founder.
On Tuesday 29 November at half-past eight, the coffin, drawn from St
Joseph's Chapel was carried in procession to the centre of the nave
of the Basilica. Regular and secular clergy, the seminaries, and the
Sisters' Congregations were summoned to recite the Solemn Office for
On Tuesday 29 November at 6 in the evening, the body of Cardinal Lavigerie
was borne from Notre Dame d'Afrique to the Cathedral of Algiers. His
Eminence's body lay in state for the veneration of the faithful until
the 3 December.
1. General View of Malakoff Square at the funeral
of Cardinal Lavigerie on the 3 December 1892. The cortège,
leading from the Cathedral and across the Square, proceeded down
the Rue du Divan, the west side of Government Square, Rue Bab-
Ayoun, Rue Littré, and Boulevard de la République,
to halt at Admiralty Quay, where the body of the Cardinal was
placed aboard ship for Carthage.
2. 3 December - The cortège was headed by a platoon
of mountain troops, then came the parishes of Algiers, the Maltese
congregation, the White Fathers, the diocesan clergy, the music
of the Zouaves and then the bishops. Six horses drew the hearse,
the prelates following. Archbishop Dusserre, Bishop Brincat,
Mgr Grussenmeier, Rev. Fr. Charmetant, Rev. Fr. Delattre, Rev.
Fr. Teyssier, and Madame Kiener were dressed in mourning.
3. The attached coffin cords were held by Mr. Duchamps, Secretary
General of the Government, Mr. Leys, President of the Tribunal,
General Bayard, Prefect, the Mayor of Algiers, and Rev. Fr.
Mr. Jules Cambon, Governor General, dressed in black decorated
with his ribbons, led the way alone, preceded by his aides-de-camp
and followed by his civic and military household.
|At quarter past eleven, the cortège arrived at the Admiralty,
the coffin placed under the large archway, with the bishops and
officiants taking their places on the right and Archbishop Dusserre,
Bishop Brincat and Madame Kiener-Lavigerie in their midst. The Governor
made way for them and delivered a final farewell to the one who
had been the great Primate of Africa. Then the Navy marines lifted
the coffin from the hearse and placed it on the catafalque set up
in the centre of the barge. Those in mourning dress took their places
around the coffin
From the Admiralty to the Cosmao, a warship sent from France
to convey the body of the Cardinal to Tunis. A tugboat piloted
the funeral party. Ahead, a large whaleboat also advanced by
tugboat transporting the bishops.