In our chronological journey through the writings of Saint Eugene, we had reached the 1st of November 1818, the day that the Missionaries of Provence made vows in accordance with their new Rule of Life. Then for several weeks, we have been exploring some of the main contents of this basic Rule. Now we pick up the story again and follow their “normal” activities: preaching missions, the ever-growing Youth Congregation, the daily permanent mission based in the Mission Church of Aix, and the preparations to expand by establishing a community at the sanctuary of Notre Dame du Laus.
Three “growth highlights” of this day:
On November 1 the Missionaries made their oblation. It was a celebration of life and of a new direction in this 3 -year old Society.
All Saints’ Day has arrived: from three in the morning, those who made up the Chapter are awake; before four o’clock they are all in the chapel praying in front of the altar, preparing themselves for the most beautiful, the most consoling of all the sacrifices.
Mémoires of Suzanne and Moreau cited by Rambert, I, 290-291.
On the same day, the Feast of All Saints, the Youth Congregation met and Eugene noted:
As M. Marcou, a zealot of the third section, has entered the clerical state, Master Leblanc has been named to replace him. He will begin to exercise his functions today with that zeal and piety that have so long distinguished him in the Congregation as one of its most exemplary members.
Diary of the Youth Congregation, 1 November 1818, O.W. XVI
Significant, because Jacques Marcou, at the age of 14, had been one of the founding members of Eugene’s Youth Congregation in 1813. Five years later, the Congregation had helped him to discern his vocation and he went to the minor seminary before beginning his formation as a Missionary. Leblanc, too, would serve the Church as a diocesan priest.
Today, too, was the day when the Missionaries made their final preparations and then set out for a challenging and important parish mission in the larger town of Barjols.
A memorable day – a celebration of growth…
“Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.” Brian Tracy