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

This entry was posted in LETTERS and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I am thinking of Jesus who greatly loved Martha, Mary and Lazarus – a love so great but that did not lessen the love that he had for others. And Eugene who loved so greatly, each of his sons and especially around this time Marius Suzanne, he could be effusive and unrestrained in the way he lived and so would be the same in his prayer and wishes for Suzanne.

    I keep thinking of the events yesterday here in Ottawa. Being at my parish for a meeting which is only a few blocks from where everything was happening and being locked down, with others for 4 hours. Not so much scared but saddened immensely. God must have been besieged with thoughts and prayers for everyone affected – those still locked down when I went to bed last night, those who knew either both or neither of the 2 young men whose lives both ended so tragically. For sure they both had family who loved them and who may well have been pleading with God that it not be so. There does not seem to be anything that can give reason for all the fear and sorrow that occurred yesterday. Our minds yesterday (and today) may have been able to come up with all sorts of reasons that it took place and we may have thought of blaming a group or mental illness or on just plain evil but our hearts were most likely crying out to God with pleas for life and sanity and even some bit of understanding. Let us pray that as we continue to cry out to God today that it be in sadness and grief, but that we do not allow ourselves to grow that pain into life-destroying fear and anger – against God or ISIS or anyone else.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *