The Youth Congregation was concerned with every aspect of the well-being of its members and was concerned with what made them happy or sad. The Rule for the young people had to be immediate and practical in order to appeal to them:

ART. 5. The Congregation watches over the well-being and the enjoyment of its members. It tries to provide them with relaxation according to their different ages and to do all in its power to be of help to them if unexpected misfortunes lead them to misery.

Statuts, Chapitre XIV – Devoirs de la Congrégation envers les congréganistes

This is the spirit that Eugene had learnt while he was a seminarian at St. Sulpice in Paris. While there he had formed part of a small group of seminarians, known as the “Association apostolique” – on which he based many aspects of the Youth Congregation. Its aim was to win people over to the love of Christ by a piety which the rule of the Aa described as being:

relaxed, open, from the heart, serene, constant, loving, filled with holy joy, kind, charitable, patient, gentle, which accommodates to everything, bends to suit each one and lends support to everyone.

Rule of the “Association Apostolique”, article 14 –
quoted by PIELORZ, The Spiritual Life, p. 305.

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