Jacques Joseph Marcou was 14 years old when he attended the very first meeting of Eugene’s Youth Congregation in 1813. From that moment his life had been closely associated with Eugene, who had accompanied him in his spiritual and Christian development. As he grew into adulthood, Marcou had close contact with the Missionaries of Provence and discerned a vocation to become one of them. In December 1821, at the age of 21, he began his novitiate at ND du Laus.
It is with fatherly joy that Eugene wrote to encourage him as he prepared to become one of the Missionaries.
I have never lost sight of you and have silently regarded with satisfaction the direction that the Spirit of God inspired you to take;
Eugene had stood back so as to have given freedom to the vocational discernment of this young man
nevertheless, whatever consolation I might have permitted myself to feel in directing your first steps towards the sanctuary, just as I had directed you as a youth in the paths of virtue, I purposely wished to stand aside
so as not to risk being an obstacle to divine inspirations in the choice you had to make
by revealing to you my desires which might have influenced in perhaps too human a manner the decision that you ought to take.
Letter to Jacques Marcou, November-December 1821, EO VI n 78
“We have… unbroken fellowship with Him. A father never sends his child away with the thought that he does not care about his child knowing that he loves him. The father longs to have his child believe that he has the light of his father’s countenance upon him all the day – that, if he sends the child away to school, or anywhere that necessity compels, it is with a sense of sacrifice of parental feelings. If it be so with an earthly father, what think you of God?” Andrew Murray