A moment of great family joy for Eugene as Alexandre Dupuy was ordained to the priesthood in Aix. It was a moment of joy for the family of the Missionaries of Provence as one of its members was ordained and began his ministry. It was a joyful occasion for the family of the Youth Congregation as they celebrated a milestone in the life of one of their members:
… the occasion of the ordination and the day of the first Mass of M. Alexandre Dupuy, priest of the Mission and a congregant for six years.
He was ordained on June 16 in the seminary church and said his first Mass the next day in that of the Mission at eight o’clock. The congregants made it a duty to be there on that day in the Congregation and they certainly got a lot from the graces which from the new priest were poured out on the whole assembly. After the High Mass all those officiating entered the choir where the new priest imposed hands first on the priests and then on the other clerics, then on all the congregants who came forward two by two…
This ceremony reawakened fervour in all hearts; one really could not see anything more moving and at the same time more impressive.
Diary of the Youth Congregation, 17 June 1821, EO XVI
There was another reason for family joy on this day because of Alexandre Dupuy’s closeness to Eugene and his mother. Yvon Beaudoin explains:
Alexandre Dupuy was born in Aix on November 29, 1798. His parents have not been identified. Madame Joannis, Eugene de Mazenod’s grandmother, paid for his upkeep and education until he entered the novitiate of the Missionaries of Provence on October 3, 1816.
His early years were spent in the care of a farmer’s wife on a farm in the demesne of Madame Joannis in the area of Banon near Aix. When he was seven years of age, he was baptized publicly in the Cathedral of St-Sauveur in Aix. His primary studies were made first with Roze-Joannis, the nephew of Madame Joannis, and then with the Frères Gris (Grey Brothers). For his secondary education he went to the minor seminary of Aix. Finally, he followed the formation given to the Oblate novices and scholastics at Aix and at Notre-Dame du Laus. He was ordained on June 16, 1821.
“Dupuy, Alexandre (1798-1880)”, in Oblate Historical Dictionary, Volume 1
We will come across Alexandre Dupuy regularly in our future explorations of Eugene’s life and writings because he remained very close to Eugene throughout his life.
“Come work for the Lord. The work is hard, the hours are long, and the pay is low, but the retirement benefits are out of this world.” Anonymous