The following presentation is based on the article A Fresh Look at Francis Clet by Thomas Davitt C.M.
A summary of this article from Depaul University Library’s Vincentian Heritage Collections states, “Francis Clet’s biographers often let his martyrdom overshadow or distort his humanity by endowing his life with the heroism seen at the end of it. Thomas Davitt quotes extensively from Clet’s letters to give a factual account of his life, which includes his personal characteristics, his preparations for the China mission, and the problems he faced there.”
Fr. Davitt writes, “It is factually accurate to state that Francis Clet was a confrere who was martyred in China, yet it can be misleading. This happens if emphasis is placed on the second element in the statement. Biographers and illustrators have tended to do this, trying to make his martyrdom illuminate the earlier part of his life. The emphasis should rightly be placed on the first element: Francis Clet was a confrere.”