WHO IS SAINT EUGENE? MARTYR OF CHARITY

I encountered among these poor prisoners whom I helped spiritually and materially… only grateful souls, hearts full of affection who responded perfectly to the caring charity that I felt for them

Diary, 31 March, E.O. XX

I have all my life desired to die a victim of charity. You know that this crown was withheld from me right from the first days of my ministry. The Lord had his designs since He wanted to trust me to give a new family to His Church; but for me it would have been a greater value to have died of the blessed typhus which I had contracted while serving prisoners.

Letter to Henri Tempier, 12 September 1849, E.O. X n.1018

I have entirely got over an illness that brought me to death’s door and from which I recovered only through the countless and very fervent prayers that were made for me to the good God in every quarter of the town…
It was at the barracks where some 2000 Austrian prisoners were held that I contracted what they call jail fever. On the morning of St. Joseph’s feast day I was close to the end…

Letter to his father, 17 June 1814, E.O. XV n. 126

Final perseverance, and even martyrdom or at least death while tending victims of the plague, or any other kind of death for God’s glory or the salvation of souls.

One of the intention for which he offered his first Mass, E.O. XIV n.100

 

We must help men to be reasonable, then Christians, and then help them to become saints.

Préface

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One Response to WHO IS SAINT EUGENE? MARTYR OF CHARITY

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    “I have all my life desired to die a victim of charity. You know that this crown was withheld from me right from the first days of my ministry. The Lord had his designs since He wanted to trust me to give a new family to His Church; but for me it would have been a greater value to have died of the blessed typhus which I had contracted while serving prisoners.” Another glimpse in to Eugene’s heart.

    A while back a very dear friend was dying of cancer. I asked God to let me bear the pain for him – his pain was constant and unrelenting (a little like God’s love…). While my request was genuine there were a couple of times a few little niggles – what if God says yes to my request – oh boy am I going to be strong enough to carry that pain for my friend? How foolish of me and yet I could not and did not want to take back my secret small prayer to God. I did not think of it being a gift in any way, nor did I think of it being a triumph. And yet Eugne spoke of martyrdom as being a crown that was withheld from him. The fire of love. I think that he, like us, (or we like him) died many little deaths during his lifetime. He was a martyr to love as suggested by Frank. He did give a new family to the church.

    I am thinking of the long road that Eugene trod to receive papal approval of his ‘society’ and as he neared it goal, the end of a particular road it was only to move on to a new path, a new beginning to be lived out. From becoming reasonable (human) to Christian, and on to sainthood. A series of martyrdom, little deaths followed by new life. In a way his crown was not denied him, his life was his crown, much more magnificent than a mere headpiece to be worn.

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