POPE LEO XII
FOR FUTURE REMEMBRANCE OF THE MATTER
This Society has for its aim the following objects: its members, who are bound by simple but perpetual vows of poverty, chastity, obedience, and perseverance in the Institute itself, (from which vows they cannot be dispensed except by the Superior General or the Roman Pontiff), devote themselves principally to the work of preaching missions to the poorer classes in the common tongue, especially in places destitute of the aid of religion ; they give assistance to the clergy by providing them with suitable training in seminaries, and by being continually ready to assist parish priests and other pastors in the work of reforming the morals of the people through preaching and other spiritual exercises ; they generously bestow devoted care on the young, and they strive to withdraw this chosen portion of the Christian people from the seductions of the world by forming them into pious associations; lastly, they preach the divine word and administer the sacraments to those in prison, and accompany to the scaffold those condemned to death.
When, indeed, the great benefits flowing from this Society were perceived by all, its priests soon came to be spread far and wide, so that at this time they have four houses and a hospice, and their sacred ministry is exercised in six dioceses. They attend the hospitals of Aix, and likewise the prisons in that city and in Marseilles. At the present moment they have invitations to undertake the direction of several diocesan seminaries in various places.
…Given at Rome, at St. Peter’s, under the Fisherman’s Ring, on the twenty first day of March, 1826, in the third year of Our Pontificate.
Pope Leo XII
Apostolic Letter of Approbation, 21 March 1826, Missions O.M.I., n° 280 (1952), pp. 118, 138.
How happy and satisfied Eugene must have been to have seen the Church recognition of the missionary goals that the Oblates had been practicing for the 10 years of their existence:
We must lead men to act like human beings, first of all, and then like Christians, and, finally, we must help them to become saints.
Such are the great works of salvation that can crown the efforts of priests whom God has inspired with the desire to form themselves into a Society in order to work more effectively for the salvation of souls and for their own sanctification. To bring all this into being, they must carry out their duty worthily, faithfully fulfilling their splendid vocation.
Preface of the CC&RR
“Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do… but how much love we put in that action.” Mother Teresa