On his way to spend some time with the community at Notre Dame du Laus, Eugene stopped at the town of Vitrolles. In this narrative we see how the missionary to the poor classes was equally at home with the noble class in their need for the Savior.

The Baron of Vitrolles, his wife and their saintly daughter have overwhelmed me with friendship. I knew that the Bishop of Gap ought to be there that day; the Marquis of Roussy, Prefect of the Department, was there also with his wife, a grand niece of St. Francis de Sales. Even if I had no such legitimate motives to authorize a visit which politeness demanded of me, I could not reproach myself for the time lost, for I employed almost all of it in church. It was the day of the Octave of the Sacred Heart.
The Bishop, with the help of my familiarity in the matter of ceremonies, performed the blessing of the chapel which the Baron had built in honor of the Sacred Heart in order to please the tender devotion of his daughter who herself has painted the tableau representing Our Lord crucified with the Holy Virgin, Saint John and Saint Magdalen at the foot of the Cross. This painting is delightful, one would want to pray before it all day.

Eugene then describes the ceremonies that he presided at (with some tongue-in-cheek comments abouit his dress and singing thrown in) for the dedication of the chapel. He had been asked since he was the one responsible for re-introducing devotion to the Sacred Heart in Aix after the Revolution.

The blessing over, I sang the High Mass dressed in fiocchi,[ed. literally in Italian, “with ribbons”- meaning colorfully decorated] with deacon and subdeacon, with the parish priests of the neighborhood as incense bearers and singers, and the Bishop assisting pontifically. It was truly a feast for the whole castle, and the Countess of Vitrolles, that is to say Mademoiselle de Vitrolles who, being a canoness, is addressed as Madame the Countess, took particular pleasure in thinking that he who had received her into the association, and who had contributed to spread this devotion throughout our regions, was to be found there precisely to offer the Holy Sacrifice for the first time on this altar and in this chapel built thanks to her.
Before leaving Vitrolles, I gave the benediction of the Blessed Sacrament and did all the singing which earned for my pleasant voice praise and homage that I would wish my soul deserved, for it went well and they had never heard a priest sing the preface, etc., so melodiously. It is true that the contrast with all the bawlers surrounding me brought out the difference quite a lot…

Letter to Henri Tempier, 21 June 1828, EO VII n 303


“When you focus on being a blessing, God makes sure that you are always blessed in abundance.”   Joel Osteen

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I am thinking of the many blessings which I have witnessed and experienced this past past week, of the many who have been blessings to all of us gathered here – blessings in their being with us, in their presence.

    There have been blessings in getting to know each other a little better, in eating and praying together, in sharing our fears and struggles and in celebrating. Each of us becoming blessings to the other. No ribbons or banners but and abundance of laughter and joy all around.

    It started with open hearts and that alone would have been a huge blessing. We leave – forever connected with bonds of shared love and faith, with full hearts, with passion and daring, with hope – all wrapped in gratitude. We are rich beyond belief.

    It is true – in being blessings we are blessed.

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