Eugene describes the contents of his interview with Pope Leo:

I handed him with respect the letter from my uncle which he placed before him on his desk. Then began our interview, which ran on several subjects, and lasted nearly three quarters of an hour…
I explained the principal purpose of my journey, but many were the episodes that entered into this narration; even the miracles of Blessed Alphonse Marie de Liguori entered into it.
You should have seen with what interest he listened to the succinct narration which I made to him of the good operated by our missionaries.
I took care not to forget to tell him what you had just written to me: “At this moment the two youngest missionaries of the Society are working marvels, etc. One of them, Most Holy Father, is not yet old enough to become priest [ed. Hippolyte Guibert]; he was ordained in August with the dispensation of sixteen months that your Holiness deigned to grant to us; and yet the good God has used them to convert Protestants, etc.”

Eugene’s enthusiasm was obviously contagious and convincing, as we see from the reaction of the Pope:

You would have been touched, my dear friend, to see, while I spoke, how this holy Pontiff raised his eyes towards heaven, then joined his hands and bowed his head on them clasped together, glowing with gratitude and thanking God with all his heart.

Letter to Henri Tempier, 22 December 1825, EO VI n 213


“Men create real miracles when they use their God-given courage and intelligence.”   Jean Anouilh

This entry was posted in LETTERS and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    To sit and be in the presence of…. This is what I am reminded of this morning. Eugene in the presence of the Pope and the Pope in the presence of Eugene. I wonder what it was like to listen to Eugene speak. I have read his writings and have heard others speak his words. I sometimes wonder if perhaps my heart has listened more attentively than my body; and in the writings and with his spirit if my heart has not heard his voice. The pope, and I imagine the others in the room, could not help but to be moved and to join in the Pope in giving thanks to God for the presence and life of Eugene and those early Oblates.

    We are the same I believe, jut not always consciously. We go to an event, be it at Church, a workshop, a meeting, a party, a retreat. And there we listen to the story of one person, listen to that person speak and share the story of who they are, share their experiences in life, of God. We find that unconsciously we open ourselves to that person and allow ourselves to be touched, to be connected. And we thank God for bringing that person into our presence at that moment, we thank God for what they have done, how they have done it. We find ourselves saying a small or big ‘yes’ inside our hearts. We might be strongly attracted to that person or persons, enough to hear a call and follow him or her, to imitate them and take on their particular spirit and way of living. We may simply be content with thanking God for the opportunity to be in their presence at that moment in time.

    I imagine that is what it was like for those who heard Jesus speak, it certainly worked for me! And for those who heard Eugene speak and see how he lived, and for those who caught his spirit and joined with him. I look at the company I keep these days; I look at the persons that I can only call friends for they have a special place in my heart; I read what they have written, listen to their words spoken; I join up with them in prayer and in spirit; I work with them and I praise God with them. I am in their presence in a very real sense and can only thank God for the gift of them.

    Today Lord I give you thanks for the gift of others in my life. Through them you touch me, inspire me, guide me and walk with me. I am never alone, always you are present to me. Let my life be one of presence to others, let that be my song of thanks and praise as I start yet another day with you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *