Perturbed by the zealous frenetic activity of his missionary Oblates, Eugene writes to Fr Courtès, the superior of the Aix community, recommending that he watch over the health of those entrusted to his care in the community.
… Adieu, be wise all of you, that is to say, do not kill yourselves, for that’s the only sorrow you can give me, I mean to make yourselves ill, for the rest let us not speak of it, I cannot bear the thought of it. Lack of virtue you may say; I could well have something to reply to that without nevertheless wishing to pass for being virtuous, for that I am certainly not.
Eugene’s concern comes from his paternal love for his Oblates – a life-long characteristic of his relationship with his sons. It is this expansive paternal love that makes him so special for me – a love which continues for us today through the communion of saints.
Adieu once again. I embrace you with all the tenderness of a heart which cannot be outdone by anyone when it comes to loving.
Letter to Hippolyte Courtès, 15 October 1826, EO VII n 258
“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.” Jim Valvano