Now we have four in Heaven; this is already a nice community.
Eugene speaks of the first four Oblates to have died: Fathers J. A. Jourdan (+April, 1823). J. J. Marcou (+August 20, 1826), Brother P.P. Dumolard (+July 9, 1828) and Father V. A. Arnoux (+July 13, 1828).
The earthly community which was so close to Eugene’s heart, was not destroyed by the death of its members, but extended in an eternal way.
They are the first stones, the foundation stones of the building which must be constructed in the celestial Jerusalem; they are before God with the sign, the kind of character proper to our Society, the common vows of all her members, the practice of the same virtues. We are attached to them by the bonds of a particular charity, they are still our brothers, and we are theirs; they dwell in our mother house, our headquarters; their prayers, the love which they keep for us, will draw us one day to them so as to dwell with them in the place of our rest.
Letter to Hippolyte Courtès, 22 July 1828, EO VII n 307
What beautiful words about communion with our loved ones!
“The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living.” Marcus Tullius Cicero