“How have we not thought of it sooner?” In the light of this exclamation, we recall that throughout his life, Eugene had had a devotion to Mary. The earliest existing written text comes from his adolescent years when he was in Venice. His mentor, Father Bartolo Zinelli, had helped him to draw up a rule of life for himself. We have only a part of this rule, and in it we see him asking Mary to help him in all that he did. Lubowicki, quoting Rey, says that this rule urged him to ask Mary to assist him in all his actions. Jesus was presented as one who had placed his entire confidence in Mary. Eugene was supposed to follow this example in union with the sentiments of his adorable heart. This rule does not present a cold piety. In it we read:
This will make up my morning exercise. Before leaving my bed room, I will turn toward the church and pray on bended knee, asking Jesus to bless me, saying to him: Jesus, Son of David, I will not let you go unless you bless me. I will also turn towards the image of Mary and I will humbly beg her maternal blessing in these words of Saint Stanislaus: True Mother of the Savior, Adoptive Mother of the sinner, Enfold me in the bosom of your maternal devotion.
Then, I will take some holy water; I will kiss my crucifix with respect in the place of the wounds and of the heart, and the hand of Mother Mary.
Rey I p. 25-26
Pielorz comments, “Taking into consideration Eugene’s age and temperament, these expressions filled with tenderness allowed him to engage his whole being in his spirituality. Indeed, they invited him to love Jesus and Mary with a genuine love, a sensitive, tender love capable of expressing itself even through external signs.” J. PIELORZ, The Spiritual Life of Bishop de Mazenod, 1782-1812, Selected Oblate Studies and Texts, Vol. II, Rome, 1998, p. p. 58 – 59; 61 – 62.
“Never be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin too much. You can never love her more than Jesus did.” Saint Maximilian Kolbe