Like all mothers, Eugene’s fussed over him. In this letter to his mother, Eugene responds and then refers to a specific situation where she was helping an Oblate. She was generous in using her time, her advice and her considerable wealth to help her son’s family of Oblates, who had become part of her extended family.
A short note, dear mother, will please you; so I am writing in haste, but to ask for news about you, for you have a cold and you are leaving early in the morning. Take care of yourself a little more than you are. Stop worrying about me; I am fine.
Your advice about Father Moreau has been promptly followed, but we are not any richer to furnish abundantly what each one needs.What can one do? They have made profession of poverty; they know how to be content with little.
In a footnote to this letter Yvon Beaudoin explains: “Several Fathers were sick from 1826 to 1829. We don’t know if it is a question here of taking care of Father Moreau or of obtaining clothes for him. He was finishing a long novitiate at that time and spent the autumn preaching in the Cadennes with Father Mie. During the crisis of 1823, Father Moreau left the Congregation for several months… We have his formula of oblation made on July 13, 1826, although he had made vows the first time on November 1, 1818.”
On a personal note, Madame de Mazenod was living at her Aix home in Rue Papassaudi with Eugene’s sister, Eugenie, and her children. The latter usually spent the summer at the Boisgelin summer home at St-Martin des-Pallières, so Eugene invited his mother to spend time in Marseille with him.
Now that you are alone at the house,you could come here to relax a little; we would at least see each other at meal times. Ask Father Courtès for the authentic document of your relic;I left it on the shelves of the library in my room.
Farewell, good mother. I hug you warmly.
Letter to his mother, 22 July 1826, EO XIII n 58
“The natural state of motherhood is unselfishness. When you become a mother, you are no longer the center of your own universe. You relinquish that position to your children.” Jessica Lange