Responding to the euphoria of the Oblates at the approbation, Eugene reflects on our family name.
May we understand well what we are! I hope that the Lord will give us this grace, with the assistance and by the protection of our holy Mother, the Immaculate Mary, for whom we must have a great devotion in our Congregation. Does it not seem to you that it is a sign of predestination to bear the name of Oblates of Mary, that is, consecrated to God under the patronage of Mary, a name the Congregation bears as a family name held in common with the most holy and immaculate Mother of God?
It is enough to make others jealous; but it is the Church who has given us this beautiful name,
In fact, it was Eugene himself who had changed the name from “Missionaries of Provence” to “Oblates of Mary Immaculate” and then asked the Pope to approve the change. (cf. http://www.eugenedemazenod.net/?p=2298). It is in this sense that the Church “gave” us the name. The Church ratified the inspiration that Eugene had received regarding our name and the identity it gives us. In this sense, our name and our identity belong to the Church, and therefore:
we receive it with respect, love and gratitude, proud of our dignity and of the rights that it gives us to the protection of her who is All Powerful in God’s presence.
Letter to Henri Tempier, 20 March 1826, EO VII n 231
Today these sentiments continue as our Rule of Life shows: “Mary Immaculate is patroness of our Congregation. Open to the Spirit, she consecrated herself totally as lowly handmaid to the person and work of the Savior. She received Christ in order to share him with all the world, whose hope he is. In her, we recognize the model of the Church’s faith and of our own.” CC&RR Constitution 10
“When she was asked to become the mother of the Messiah, Mary’s faith enabled her to give a humble and generous response…. Mary’s faith was frequently tested during the public life of Jesus, especially when she witnessed the rejection of her son. At the foot of the cross, her pilgrimage of faith had its moment of most severe testing. Mary continued to believe that, because Jesus was the Son of God. His sacrifice would bring salvation to humanity.” Pope John Paul II