To this end, I invoke the intercession of the Most Holy and Immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of God, daring to remind her in all humility, but with consolation, of the filial devotion of my whole life, and of the desire I have always had to make her known and loved, and to spread her devotion everywhere through the ministry of those whom the Church has given to me as children, who have had the same desire as myself…
Eugene de Mazenod’s will, 1 August 1854, E.O. XV n. 191
Eugene’s sentiments are continued by his successor, Fr. Louis Lougen, today:
Happy feast day! On this, our patroness’ solemnity, we gather as a family to express our love for Mary Immaculate. One of her titles special to the heart of Saint Eugene was the Mother of Mercy. How appropriate as the Church begins this “Year of Mercy” that we remember our Oblate connection to this title of Mary. We ask Saint Eugene to intercede so that we will experience joy because we believe the Father of mercies is among us, deep in the heart of the world, offering grace and salvation in the face of ever crueler poverty, more abandoned sisters and brothers and an increased need for the Gospel. Celebrating the beauty and wonder of the Father’s mercy in the Immaculate Conception of Mary, we renew our faith in the Spirit, always at work in our lives and in the world, manifesting God’s merciful love through all generations.
On this feast, Eugene charges us:
Let us renew ourselves especially in devotion to the most holy Virgin and render ourselves worthy to be Oblates of the Immaculate Mary.
But this is a passport to heaven!
…. So let us rejoice to bear her name and her uniform.
Letter to Henri Tempier, 22 December 1825, EO VI n 213