One of our priests just died at Aix in the odor of sanctity. The manifestations of public devotion were so immediate and universal that we had to give up his soutane to save the vestments and even some parts of his body that the crowd’s affection would not have spared.

Letter to Bishop Philibert de Bruillard of Grenoble, 21 July 1828, EO VII n 30

Eugene is referring to Victor Arnoux, of whom Yvon Beaudoin and Hippolyte Courtes speak:

At Aix, where he arrived along with the novices at the end of 1822, Victor carried out the duties of sacristan and, along with his confreres, went every day to follow courses in theology at the major seminary. He was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Fortuné de Mazenod on September 3, 1826. He exercised his priestly ministry for less than two years. Father Courtès wrote: “We are, no doubt, sorry that the chronic state of ill health and the sufferings of our saint and the too brief duration of his life did not allow him to carry out all the works of mercy and charity his priestly heart devised. But, he, at least, did everything he was able to do and beyond. And his zeal did not remain without fruit. Testimony is unanimous concerning the effectiveness of Father Arnoux work. They entrusted to him the direction of the novices and he made them fervent. He was sent to evangelize the rural population and sinners were brought to conversion at the sound of his voice. If he gave a talk in an educational institution, the youth listened to him attentively, with respect, with edification, convinced as they were that they were listening to and seeing a saint in action. At the college in Aix, where it was his special duty to hear the confessions of the children who had not yet received their First Holy Communion, he won the respect of the students and of the teachers. And the college principal, Mr. Marius Tupin, communicated to the superior of the mission his most genuine satisfaction with the choice of a co-worker who was an angel in piety and gentleness. In the hospitals, no sick person was able to resist the charm of his words…”

His illness (tuberculosis) drained his strength more and more. He was sent to Fuveau for a period of time because the air was healthier at Fuveau. He returned to Aix to die on July 13, 1828 with his mother at his bedside, accompanied by the entire community to recite the rosary for him.”

Yvon Beaudoin, “Arnoux, Victor Antoine” in the Oblate Historical Dictionary,



“Character in a saint means the disposition of Jesus Christ persistently manifested.”   Oswald Chambers

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Imagine to have it written about you that you had the disposition of Jesus and that you persistently manifested that. Wow – I am thinking that is the kind of person I should like to be. Fr. Arnoux seemed to do do a lot of small ordinary things – he brought a depth of passion and life and he did it without rancour. He seemed to be able to live out obedience, to the level that it was not grudging in any way but showing us how it was a grace and a freedom. There was a tremendous amount of giving of his self, of dying to his self and I daresay it was done without fuss and quietly. So quietly that the whole of earth heard when he spoke and listened.

    It is incredibly appealing and inviting – much more so than something loud or boisterous and I find myself wishing, wanting to be like that. But with no idea of how to get there. I sense that there is nothing that I can ‘do’ to make myself like that.

    At the moment there is but a struggle within – wanting to be ‘big’ while living the ‘little’ and the quiet. I have a long way to go to get the disposition of goodness let alone that of Jesus.

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