In using his retreat to reflect on his ministry, Eugene used books to
seek advice to better realize the principles.
Blessed Liguori and Blessed Leonard of Port Maurice contributed most to these precious readings. I was consoled to go over again the principal traits of the latter’s life,
remembering that about eight or nine years ago the same reading moved me to abundant tears, and probably passed on to me without my perceiving it, the spirit that drew me on shortly afterwards, i.e., about three years, to follow the same career, at least to carry out the same ministry as him
Retreat notes, May 1824, EO XV n. 156
Both Alphonsus Liguori and Leonard of Port Maurice had been mission preachers of the Gospel to the poor in Italy and had become models for Eugene’s approach to preaching to the most abandoned.
Who are the persons who have inspired and transformed me to follow their example of service?
“That’s all a man can hope for during his lifetime – to set an example – and when he is dead, to be an inspiration for history.” William McKinley