Jean-Pierre Dickès wanted to become a priest. His book, La Blessure (Clovis, 1988), reveals his state of mind at the age of 20, this thirst for the traditional priesthood. To his surprise, he experienced the spoiled nature of Catholic seminary life at that time, which ended the possibility of him becoming a priest. Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre had not yet opened his seminary in Écône. And so Jean-Pierre turned to medicine.
The following is a reflection offered by Fr. Daniel Couture.
And so, as a physician, he was invited to come to a priestly session in Manila in 2006 to train our young priests in questions of contemporary medical ethics. It was an opportunity, after the session, thanks to our contacts in the medical and academic worlds, to go and give lectures through some of the 7,107 islands of this great archipelago. It was Iloilo, then “Gen San” (General Santos City), then a few other universities. In all, from memory, it seems to me that there were seven. Sometimes there were 100-200 students and teachers to listen to him summarize, in his English “à la Dickès,” his book, L'Homme artificial [Artificial Man] (Paris Editions 2007).
Back in Manila after this first “Tour of the Philippines,” on the eve of departure for France, Dr. Dickès was invited to participate in a very small one afternoon medical mission in Tanay, near Antipolo, east of Manila. For several years now, the Society of Saint Pius X has invited local doctors to one-day missions around the priory. This was sometimes done on a small street, blocked off for the occasion, sometimes in a school. The record for a Sunday was 22 medical staff and 900 patients.
Jean-Pierre, excited by these few hours of mission, launched the idea of a one-week mission. He would find a few volunteers in France, and dear Yolly Gamutan, our dedicated nurse, would take care of logistics, pharmacy, and local volunteers. And so the first Rosa Mystica Medical Mission was launched, which took place in a school in “Gen San,” across the street in front of our little chapel dedicated to St. James. It was a great success, with more than 3,000 patients. The fire had caught. Then it was Sarangani, New Manila, Tanay, Iloilo, Maasin, Tacloban, and Pulomolok, to name a few.
Since the first in 2007, all the Cahiers Saint-Raphaël - journal of the Catholic Association of Nurses and Doctors chaired by Dr. Dickès - have spoken of these Rosa Mystica Missions; the doctor who has become a missionary wants to spread his happiness in being able to do good for the poorest, to show that Tradition goes beyond simple assistance at Holy Mass, that it includes all the corporeal and spiritual works of mercy. It also appeals to the generosity of its readers, because a mission costs money!
Thanks, Jean-Pierre! The flame of your enthusiasm has spread and ignited many! The hundreds of volunteers from all over the world who have tasted these “practical medical retreats” are infinitely grateful to you. Tens of thousands of Filipinos owe you a great debt of gratitude.
The Good Lord has given you five talents, you have made them fruitful. “Enter - as quickly as possible - into the joy of your Master!” You deserve it! Thanks, Jean-Pierre!