17 FEBRUARY 1826: THE CHURCH RECOGNIZES THAT EUGENE’S FOUNDATION IS A GOD-GIVEN CHARISM FOR US TODAY

The following day, Eugene wrote this good news from Rome to his Oblate brothers in France:

My dear brothers, on February 17, 1826, yesterday evening, the Sovereign Pontiff Leo XII confirmed the decision of the congregation of Cardinals and specifically approved the Institute, the Rules and Constitutions of the Missionary Oblates of the Most Holy and Immaculate Virgin Mary, and accompanied this solemn act of his pontifical power, with most admiring words for those who happily form this Society from which the head of the Church indeed expects the greatest good.
Everyone is stupefied at this. Even those called upon to contribute with their votes to the execution of the very emphatic will of the Pope, are surprised by the unanimous agreement of views and especially with the imperturbable resolution of the Holy Father, whom nothing has been able to deter from the first thought with which the Holy Spirit inspired him on the first day that I knelt at his feet and presented to him the plan of this enterprise which now we can call divine…
The conclusion to be drawn from this, my dear friends and good brothers, is: we must work, with renewed ardour and still more total devotedness, to bring to God all the glory that stems from our efforts and, to the needy souls of our neighbours, salvation in all possible ways; we must attach ourselves heart and soul to our Rules and practice [more] exactly what they prescribe to us…
… In the name of God, let us be saints.

Letter to the Oblates, 18 February 1826, EO VII, n. 226

Today:

“On October 7, 2016, at the gathering of Chapter members with the Holy Father, the message he delivered and his presence with us created a holy encounter. We experienced an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Everyone was filled with immense love for the Congregation and with hope and joy for our future. That visit with Pope Francis made me relive the words our Founder penned on August 15, 1822 referring to “…our dear Society. It seemed to me that what I saw, what I could put my finger on, was that within her lies hidden the germ of very great virtues, and that she can achieve infinite good; I found her worthy, everything pleased me about her, I cherished her rules, her statutes; her ministry seemed sublime to me, as it is indeed. I found in her bosom sure means of salvation, even infallible, such is how they looked to me” (Selected Texts p. 119). These words of Saint Eugene bless us today.”

Father Louis Lougen OMI, Superior General

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One Response to 17 FEBRUARY 1826: THE CHURCH RECOGNIZES THAT EUGENE’S FOUNDATION IS A GOD-GIVEN CHARISM FOR US TODAY

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I have read Eugene’s words before and yet this morning I have reread them and I have drank them in as if I was parched dry until my being seems to sing and vibrate with the life they give to me. I find it hard to express with words that can capture the essence of my heart’s celebration.

    I have been reflecting this past year on the Constitutions and Rules with a dawning awareness of how they capture and share the very essence and spirit of St. Eugene and the Oblates, of all who share in this magnificent charism and way of being and living. They – just like the Holy Spirit, seem to dance and weave their way around and through my being. I start to hum their music and then sing the words as they become a part of me. Never have I been so drawn to something as I am to wanting to take them in so they are alive – except perhaps as I have with my passion to learn more and experience more in coming to know St. Eugene. There is no rhyme or reason except to say that with them I am invited to go deeper and find more life and love and being that I ever dreamed existed. No adornments are necessary for they are what call light to dress how I see and experience my daily life.

    So I dare to repeat the words of Louis Lougen. This morning here has “created a holy encounter. We experience an outpouring of the Holy Spirit and we are filled with immense love for the Congregation and with hope and joy for our future.” “These words of Saint Eugene [most surely] bless us today.”

    The words “through him and with him and in him” have been threads of my consciousness this morning weaving themselves as a setting to my being here. There are not words enough to express my heart’s fullness and joy. And so I will go to contemplate and greet you all in the presence of God.

    Blessings and joy on this great Feast Day!

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