The day before his death Eugene entrusted this message to his Oblate family:
Be sure to tell them that I die happy… that I die happy that God was so good as to choose me to found the Congregation of the Oblates in the Church.
Then as the last wish in his heart:
Practice among yourselves charity
and outside, zeal for the salvation of souls.
Joseph Fabre (Eugene’s successor as Superior General), Circular letter of 1861
Last year, the Oblate Congregation and the Archdiocese of Marseille gathered at St Eugene’s tomb to commemorate the 150th anniversary of his death. His present successor as Superior General recalled:
For us Oblates, Saint Eugene was a man on fire with a great love for Jesus Christ, for the Church and for the poor. He shared these gifts with the people of Marseille for 37 years, as Vicar General and then as Bishop.
At the same time, he was the Superior General of the Missionary Oblates and he guided this growing Congregation from the bishop’s house across the street.
It is from this same city that he sent us to preach the Gospel throughout the world… We Oblates are proud to continue following his inspiration in nearly 70 countries, with more than 4,000 missionaries and numerous lay associates.
Father Louis Lougen OMI
In his homily during the Mass, St Eugene’s present successor as Bishop of Marseille said:
Bishop de Mazenod was animated by a passion to proclaim the Gospel of Christ. It is the way to the encounter of the poorest that Christ came to him and tied it to Him. He made an untiring apostle
In this he is a model for us.
May the passion of the Gospel fill us! May it lead us to the poorest today in the church … “
Archbishop Georges Pontier