In consequence, receive with delight this code of our Rules that I joyfully send you. Keep these Rules with the most scrupulous care; they have been judged by the Sovereign Pontiff as very appropriate to bring souls to perfection; may the peace of God which surpasses all sentiment keep your hearts in Christ Jesus, and may the Lord grant that you increase, as faithful stewards, and render you rich in charity for each other and towards all. Amen.
Given at Rome, the year of the Lord 1826, on the day of the Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, March 25th.
C. J. Eugene de Mazenod, superior general.
Letter to all the Oblates, 25 March 1826, EO VII n 232
For two hundred years the Superiors General, successors of Eugene have hammered the same message. Father Louis Lougen echoed these very sentiments of Eugene when he introduced the recently revised version of our Constitutions and Rules:
In the “Preface” written in 1825, Saint Eugene de Mazenod stated that in order for the Congregation to achieve its goal of working more effectively for the salvation of souls and for our sanctification, “certain rules of life [are] absolutely necessary for unity of thought and action among its members. Such unity is a body’s strength, keeping up its fervor and insuring that it lasts.”
Let us receive these Constitutions and Rules anew, with fresh enthusiasm, so that our Congregation will be united, strong and zealous in the mission to preach the Gospel to the poor and most abandoned.
“If there are flaws they are in ourselves, and our task therefore must be one not of redesign but of renewal and reaffirmation, especially of the standards in which all of us believe.” Elliot Richardson