“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

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    These days are such an opportunity to look at my relationship with Mary, not in a measuring comparing way to Eugene, but rather to see how his devotion to Mary has all been very much a part of his giving his all to God. I have been struck by the sheer immensity of it all and how Eugene responded with such great love – a heart as big as the world. As I have looked there has been the temptation to measure and of course then I would find myself coming up short and so have tried not to give into that (because if I do I will then have to either spend my time puffing myself up to be at least as good as or another – or spend my time discounting myself and the gifts that God has given me). I have found myself a little in awe of Eugene, his steadfastness and how he explored every avenue to give himself to God, to respond to the great love he received. Certainly no half measures.

    Having read Casimir Lubowicki’s account of Mary in the life of Eugene and the community of the Oblates, how it is practised and lived out has opened a whole new view of possibilities. I knew of the Oblate’s consecration to Mary Immaculate, but am learning more about Oblate life – how they do it, how to keep God before us, to keep ourselves safe within the bosom of Mary our Mother’s love. I find myself excited at the possibility of sharing this with my fellow Associates. Even to learn the words this morning of the prayer of Saint Stanislaus which translated from Latin mean “True Mother of the Savior, Adoptive Mother of the sinner, Enfold me in the bosom of your maternal devotion.”

    I feel this morning how much God is forming me, us and this is all so much part of it. I feel as if I am being groomed, prepared and the image is of a bride. God is showing me who I am in his eyes. I am filled with gratitude and my heart sings. “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord and my spirit exalts in God my savior…”

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