Marius Suzanne described the ceremony thru which the Missionaries began what was to be an Oblate ministry that lasted for 161 years. The Calvaire became a place of permanent mission to the people of Marseille, continuing the evangelization that had begun during the city mission the year before.
Although the ceremony had been announced on the day, the crowd was enormous: a remarkable gathering of people from all walks of life filled the square and the surrounding area. It was a day of celebration for the people who acknowledged the Missionaries who had evangelized them.
The Superior’s speech was full of sensitivity, dignity and natural simplicity. He recalled the fruits of the mission, the general enthusiasm it had excited and said
“It was through weak men that God had worked such great things, but men who were animated and strengthened with the greatest courage because of the mission that the Bishop had entrusted them with when he had given them the cross, saying: Sumite signum, in hoc signo vincetis. Take this sign, it is by this sign that you will conquer.”
Then he turned to those who had persevered and to the sinners who had fallen, and he assured each one of the dedication of the ministry of the Missionaries. Finally, turning to the clergy, he said that the ceremony was performed as a covenant by which the missionaries and priests united and consecrated themselves together at the foot of the cross for the salvation of this generous people, to which they had been sent by the first Pastor of the Diocese, responding to the desires and wishes that had been expressed by his zealous cooperators.
“All were satisfied with this speech the people listened in silence: the voice of the Superior reverberated in the distance and was perfectly understood. Happiness was expressed on every face: it was like the renewal of the Mission. Since that day the Missionaries say Mass at the Calvaire, which is never empty. “
Memoires of M. Suzanne quoted in Rey I
“God took the worst thing that man could do to his Son, and transformed it into the best thing he could do for man. “ Anonymous