The highly affective Eugene’s pain and concern over the illness of Marius Suzanne is obvious in this passage. The deep friendship between Lazarus and Jesus was an inspiration to Eugene and a model for his own loving relationship with Jesus. It becomes the theme of his prayer for the seriously ill young Oblate.
The health of our dear Suzanne seems so precious a thing to me that we must raise a holy tumult with our Lord. At Mass yesterday and today, I have pushed my pleas almost to the point of profanation, if indeed a Master so good can find it amiss that I let myself go in my trust and uttered boldly: “ecce quem amas infirmatur” [ed. John 11, 3: “Lord, he whom you love is ill”]. I said it more than thirty times during Communion. Magdalene was not more close to him when she asked him, together with her sister, for the cure of Lazarus.
As for us [who] cannot count on resurrection, we ought to insist that he be restored. I think I am raving. Adieu. I embrace you and my poor Suzanne. I pine away. Adieu.
Letter to Hippolyte Courtès, 16 February 1827, EO VII n 262
“Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.” John 11:5