Henri Tempier, in Marseille, was worried about Eugene’s illness and insisted doctors be consulted. Eugene obeyed and humorously commented:

… Let us come to my own situation, since I must refer to it. Yesterday was not entirely good; I took flight when I saw the doctors arrive but did not escape, however, their charitable pursuit…

Still looking on the bright side, he reported that someone had obviously irritated him in conversation on which he gave his opinion:

… The day has been quite good for me, apart from a somewhat too animated conversation which agitated me and made me resolve to let the world go by on its own, if I can, even if they declare to me that bulls fly, although I would be more inclined to believe that asses talk.

Letter to Henri Tempier, 16 May 1829, EO VII n 331

Optimism aside, this was the last letter he was to write for several months as his illness took over.

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    My first reaction this morning was how am I supposed to reflect on this? There is nothing here – no richness or holiness, just a man who was sick with grief and who was unable or who did not want to let go of that grief – he was in no state to fight an illness for his spirit was depleted.

    Eugene was one of those persons who when he gave – he gave his all. He opened his heart fully and gave all that he could in love, leaving himself open to illness with very little in the way of being able to take care of himself or fight an illness of any sort. He was spent, he was grieving a huge loss (death of Marius S and illness of Fr Courtes). I doubt that he took proper care of himself when Marius was dying, not eating properly or getting the kind of exercise that his body was used to, not getting enough rest.

    When I love another and see them in the kind of state that Eugene was in do I understand why they seem to set themselves aside, do understand what they are experiencing. Illness is more than just the physical, it affects our psyche, our being. Do I remember that when I see them? Am I inclined to join them? Do I turn away from them totally, giving up on them? Or do I remain who I am and where I am in life, but being aware of their state, standing with them should they need me, ready to greet them when they are finally at a stage that they can and want to rejoin life?

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