Madame de Mazenod, Eugene’s mother, had a strong personality too, so it is easy to imagine that sparks flew from time to time between son and mother. In his retreat resolutions Eugene wrote:
Less severity towards my mother, more consideration to do everything I can not to upset her – provided that order, regularity, and the spirit of mortification do not suffer.
Seemingly she was concerned about Eugene’s hectic lifestyle and was convinced that he was determined to wipe himself out through overwork:
I must try to dissuade her from the idea that I want to kill myself.
Summary of retreat resolutions, May 1818, O.W. XV, n. 146
Uncle Fortuné de Mazenod described how Madame de Mazenod was involved in organizing her son’s life:
I found your wife at the mission house all busy preparing the luggage of your son and what was required for the journey …
Letter of Fortuné de Mazenod to Eugene’s father, 7 April 1818, OMI General Archives F.B. V, 1-7
Fortuné took a more passive approach to Eugene’s mother – as he wrote to his brother:
I have decided, following your example, to leave your wife to say all that she wants without interrupting nor contradicting her. I say “Amen” to all her ideas and to all her projects, this is my insignificant response. By this means we get on well and I never change from this useful approach. By the grace of God, I do not worry about anything and I thank God every day for giving me the gift of patience which I so often need to use.
Letter of Fortuné de Mazenod to Eugene’s father, 2 May 1818,
OMI General Archives F.B. V, 1-7
“Patience is the companion of wisdom.” Saint Augustine