After a few days of illness, Eugene’s father, President Charles Antoine de Mazenod died on the 10 October 1820. The biographer Rey recounts that “Father de Mazenod showed an admirable filial piety. He devoted himself with an infinite dedication to relieve his father in his bodily infirmities and provided him with spiritual help in religious matters.” (Rey I p 256 – 257). Eugene himself wrote:
How touched I have been, my dear friends, by the concern that you have manifested for me in the sorrowful circumstance of the death of my venerable father… His was a most edifying death. Please God I can hope to terminate my life in such beautiful sentiments.
What consolations religion brings in this supreme moment to the man who lives by faith! It is quite evidently beyond nature. What peace, what holy security, what sweet confidence, but also what avidity to hear words about God, what gratitude for his benefactions, what humility! It was beautiful and heart-breaking at one and the same time. He is asleep in the Lord who will take into account his many virtues.
Letter to the young oblates and novices at Laus, 24 October 1820,
O.W. VI n.55
“In this crazy world, there’s an enormous distinction between good times and bad, between sorrow and joy. But in the eyes of God, they’re never separated. Where there is pain, there is healing. Where there is mourning, there is dancing. Where there is poverty, there is the kingdom.” Henri J. M. Nouwen