Eugene continues the narrative of his first meeting with Pope Leo XII:

When the Pope took trouble to explain at length to me the formalities which necessarily require much time, he said to me: “You will not leave so soon, will you? And we shall see one another again?”
I replied as I should on this matter. Before withdrawing, when I saw that he had glanced at the clock, which is the sign of dismissal, and note well that he considerately did so only when I had finished saying all I had to say to him, I asked him for certain faculties; and as on this subject he made some very wise reflections and especially certain applications which prove his humility as much as his knowledge, touched by what I was hearing and somewhat moved by fear of overstepping the bounds, I forgot to ask for the extension of these faculties as I had meant to do. I will return to that at my farewell audience.
I had him bless my crucifix and, again bowing deeply, though once more unable to kiss his feet, I asked him for his apostolic blessing and withdrew profoundly consoled by my long session, while thanking God, the holy Virgin, the angels and the saints and even the holy souls in purgatory for whom I had said Mass that day.

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


“When you focus on being a blessing, God makes sure that you are always blessed in abundance.”    Joel Osteen

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    “I had him bless my crucifix …. bowing deeply … asked him for his apostolic blessing …. withdrew profoundly consoled … thanking God…” Eugene’s heart must have singing as he left the presence of the Pope. He had come and done what he needed to, said the words, and more had discussed, shared. This was much more than simply a pro forma stamping of approval. It seemed that the Pope himself was guiding Eugene, it was personal. I see this happening only when there is true and open love. The thought “living Body of Christ” comes to mind somehow, one part being as vital as the next and so the Pope saying to Eugene (one part to another) here’s what I think God is telling you, living in you, here’s what works for me. And Eugene recognizing in the Pope, the wisdom and love of God. Two friends, each asking the other for prayers and blessings.

    Did he purposely stop on his way home, perhaps at a church – just so that he could stop and utter a ‘thank you’ to God? It wouldn’t surprise me. Just as it wouldn’t surprise me to hear that he was dead tired after his time with the Pope and once the adrenaline was gone that he felt absolutely spent. What an incredible gift this was for Eugene in a way, to receive this affirmation, not just from friends or like-minded peers, but from the very Vicar of Peter himself.

    It is good this morning simply to reflect on Eugene’s visit with the Pope, to find the goodness and joy that he writes about and to give thanks to God for all that transpired. I know this transpired almost 200 years ago and yet my heart wants only to give thanks to God. There is a connection in there somewhere. It is somewhat fitting for today, today I will go and meet with the other members of the BOC (Basic Oblate Community), and give thanks for being there with them. We will pray and share together, and give thanks for each other.

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