St. Augustine Province of Africa

Hospitaller Order of Saint John of God

Bro. Emmanuele Lengue

emanuelI was born on 22/01/1985 in Lomé. After my baptism and confirmation I joined the Legion of Mary one of whose activities was to visit the sick. The feeling that I derived from our visits to the sick made me wish to give more and more of myself. One evening, on my return home, I met a friend who wanted to join the Hospitaller Brothers of Saint John of God. He had arranged a meeting with the Brother responsible for vocations that very evening. He invited me  to go with him. After the meeting the Brother asked me whether I would like to experience living in one of their communities. At first, I did not accept the invitation, but sometime later my friend asked me once again to go with him, and this time the Brother suggested that we visit one of their hospitals. After a short time for reflection I decided to go with my friend to visit the hospital.

When I arrived there, I was taken aback by the sufferings of the sick, particularly the poorest ones. This was the first time I had seen a hospital full of sick people, most of them poor. I was also surprised to see how the Brothers worked there: their way of working and their approach to the sick left a deep impression on me. Subsequently the Brother asked me in the course of conversation whether I had enjoyed that experience. He then proposed that I should join his Religious family so that I could also help the sick. But I always refused. Yet from the moment I returned home I continued to turn that experience over and over in my mind. After a few months of reflection, I decided to speak to my parents about my decision to become a Hospitaller Brother of Saint John of God. They were against the idea in the beginning, but then they agreed and gave me their blessing. I therefore went back to see the Brother and told him of my decision to enter the monastery. He congratulated me, and a few days later the formalities were all in place for me to begin my Postulancy.