Eugene certainly drew the crowds through his style of preaching. Marius Suzanne, who was a novice in 1820 during the mission in Aix, described Eugene’s technique of communicating the Savior, and the reaction of his listeners:
The following Tuesday I attended the morning sermon at the Metropolitan Church of St. Sauveur. If I was astonished by the extraordinary crowd of people of all ages, both men and women, who had gathered since four thirty, I was even more so by the discourse that Fr. de Mazenod gave us.
You cannot imagine, my dear friend, the soft and flowing eloquence of this man of God. He does not seek to shock, to make sinners tremble and to terrify them. He works his way into the soul without effort, and awakens the most tender feelings there. Something pure and soft that flows from his heart fills you and refreshes you with that heavenly dew that the Prophet speaks about. You forget him entirely.
He was explaining in Provençal the first words of the Lord’s Prayer. He developed them with such facility, he expressed himself with a wealth of feelings so natural and so touching that we were moved to tears. They indeed flowed from all eyes, softly and quietly.
A great number of sinners were converted. Three courtesans [ed: prostitutes who attract wealthy clients], among others, made their confession that same evening.
SUZANNE M., Quelques lettres sur la mission d’Aix ,Chez Pontier,
Imprimeur-libraire, Aix, 1820, p. 6-7.
Being a Christian is more than just an instantaneous conversion – it is a daily process whereby you grow to be more and more like Christ. Billy Graham
(Note this entry was published in a different context above on 14 January 2011)