Saint Eugene will be back online on Wednesday. With apologies for the silence but I have been away where I did not have easy access to internet. In the meantime I re-publish something that Father Fr. Jack Lau, OMI wrote today:
Today is the 200 Anniversary of the great sickness of Eugene while visiting the prisoners of war and the response by the Association of Christian Youth (April 25, 1813 foundation date). The reading is found on p. 139-141. Diary 1791-1821.
As I reflected upon this I was think and praying for all the young people who are supporting (Fr.) Jimmy Erving, (OMI) with their prayers and the countless others that continually prayer for those Oblate who are infirm or struggling at this time.
“He was confined to his bed on March 10, 1814, having had a fever for some days; on the 14th he received holy viaticum and extreme unction.”
“Dear Children! Allow me also to set down in this register, which must serve for the instruction of those who have the happiness of following in your footsteps, the feelings of love, esteem, gratitude, admiration that you have inspired me with by your behavior toward me. How could I fail to have a father’s heart for you after you have proved that you love me as if you were my children? It is true that I loved you first, but isn’t it a merit at your age to be able to appreciate a feeling that was chiefly aimed at your souls for whose salvation I would gladly have contributed with the price of all my blood. As soon as I had arranged for the sacraments to be brought me that I believed would be the last I would received in my life, the news was communicated to the college. At once all the congregants spontaneously asked if they might leave their classes and hurried to the church of St. John whence Holy Viaticum was to be brought me. They were given candles…….and they lined up two by two immediately in front of the priests. The whole town has told me that one could read on their faces what was passing in their hearts at the moment when they realized they were in danger of losing the best and dearest of their friends….The state in which they saw me, the difficulty I had in saying a few words before receiving the body of Our Lord Jesus Christ, hurt them greatly. They were all the more sensible of my situation as in the few words I was able to utter my concern was all for them, but their unease reached its heights when they were informed that I had lost consciousness two or three hour after receiving the sacraments……They addressed themselves then to the supreme Moderator of everything, and relying on the powerful intercession of the B.V.M and great St. Joseph and the other saints…..And how could the goodness of God have failed to be touched by the fervour, trust, perseverance with which these young people prayed to the Lord to give them back their Father. All who witnessed it were in tears…….We were in the month of March, the time when the rigor of the cold makes itself most felt. Dear Children! if only you could read my heart as I write these lines!!! Well! …..they go up before dawn, and went in early morning notwithstanding the frost to the Church where each day the assisted at the Sacrifice……In the evening after classes they gathered again in the Church of the Madeleine……Finally, the Lord having given me back at the wishes of these dear young people, I was soon able to go in person to thank Gods at the foot of those same altars where he had been invoked n my behalf with so much fervour.