Writing from Loreto to Tempier in France:
Without being yet much closer to you, I am nevertheless at 172 miles from Rome which I left on Ascension Day at half past one in the cab of the stage coach. The journey was quite happy and punctual for I arrived yesterday at eleven in the morning.
Loreto is famous for having, what tradition identifies as, the house of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, transported from Nazareth. For Eugene, this was an important opportunity to meditate on the incarnation. In celebrating Mass in this house he was keenly aware of the presence of Jesus, this time in the Eucharist and in the same place where he had been physically present during his lifetime.
This morning I had the happiness to offer Mass in the revered house where the Son of God became incarnate; it is not a palace but nonetheless it inspires sentiments that one does not experience in the palaces of the earth’s great ones. When one celebrates in this holy place, one keenly welcomes the moment when our Lord comes again into the house in which he dwelt during his sojourn on this earth.
Letter to Henri Tempier, 7 May 1826, EO VII n 239
“What a person takes in by contemplation, that he pours out in love.” Meister Eckhart