On the anniversary of Father Marcou’s death, Eugene’s reminiscences led him to recall the origins of Fr Marcou’s Oblate vocation journey.
After several years in the youth congregation and the practice of virtue, he entered the seminary. His piety became well known. He brought to that community the spirit which he had learned in the youth congregation, a holy zeal for spreading good. He succeeded in gathering around him a little group of fervent seminarians.
Beginning in 1812, I had introduced to this seminary where I made my annual retreat, the zealous association which I had known in the seminary in Paris. The association was continued in the house in Aix. Marcou was too fervent not become a member. He performed intelligently and successfully the task which is imposed on each member of the association. He achieved greater results than all the others put together. Several seminarians told me that it was due to his resourceful charity that they did well in the seminary.
The Lord rewarded his zeal by strengthening the resolve which he already had when entering the seminary to be associated with the work of the Missionaries whom I had united in the society while he was still only a member of the youth congregation. He had always kept his intention to do so hidden from me. I got to know about it only on the day when he came to ask me insistently to accept him as a member of our society. Convinced of the excellence of this vocation, he had persuaded one his fellow students whose good qualities he admired, to follow the same road to perfection. [ed. Father Jacques Jeancard – later to be Eugene’s auxiliary bishop in Marseille]. It was after having made this conquest that he came to see me and he was ever so pleased to see my surprise and the happiness which I experienced.
He did his novitiate in the spirit which one would expect from a soul such as his.
Diary of 20 August 1838, E.O. XIX
“I think the only kind of acceptable evangelization is the evangelization of good example.” Andrew Greeley