TEILHARD’S FEAST DAY Easter fell on April 10 in 1955. That sunny day in New York City, Teilhard de Chardin arose, made his morning meditation, attended Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral with his friend Rhoda de Terra and her daughter, went with them to Central Park in the afternoon, and eventually retired to Rhoda’s apartment for pre-dinner cocktails.
At about 6 o’clock that evening, gazing out the window with a drink in his hand, Teilhard collapsed to the floor unconscious. When he came around briefly he said to those gathered close to him, “This time it is terrible.” It was not the first time he had experienced a heart attack, and he recognized how serious this event was.
A doctor was called. His roommate, Fr. Emmanuel deBreuvery, SJ, was out of town so another Jesuit was called for last rites, which he administered although Teilhard was already dead.
Now, April 10, is the day Teilhard is venerated in the Episcopal liturgical calendar. The reading for the day in the Peoples’ Companion to the Breviary is taken from Teilhard’s own words from The Divine Milieu. Their selection is a worthy one, but we wish it had been the one that follows below, which we recall whenever the death of someone we love passes away.
PRAYER OF FINAL SURRENDER by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
Hymn of the Universe by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin