When news of the capture of Algiers arrived on July 9, public delirium reached its peak… The general enthusiasm gripped even the bishop’s palace. Writing to Father de Mazenod, Tempier informed him:

At two o’clock, all the church bells were rung, by order of His Excellency, the Bishop. The general had a twenty-five gun salute fired. As though by spontaneous action, the city was bedecked with flags. In the evening, Marseilles was brilliantly illuminated. Everyone, excepting the liberals, embraced one another in the streets. With cannon fire in the background, the bishop composed a pastoral letter; he missed your presence sorely. (Father Tempier to Father de Mazenod (July 10 or 11, 1830). Cited by Rey, I, 486.

Leflon 2 p 331- 332

It is you who have given me the splendid news about Algeria. I read your letter under a tree at Rambaud; I was moved by gratitude towards God, ecstatic with joy …. I admire the promptness of the resolutions of our very dear Bishop; he is always the first to make the right response.

Letter to Henri Tempier, 15 July 1830, EO VII n 348

It was the joy of a missionary who saw the horizons of evangelization opening up in the African continent.

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Perhaps the closest to the joy of Eugene is the joy I felt in hearing that sixteen men and women would become Oblate Associates in Kenya late last year. Or the joy in walking with another on their journey in becoming an Associate. Hearing that a couple of young men that I met when I visited the Czech Republic are studying to become Oblate priests and accompanying them in prayer as they are on their journey. Or in hearing that someone is asking to be baptised in our parish, another saying that they would like to become a member of our parish. Different ways of building and walking with those who are journeying in their lives and being a part of the kingdom of God (I can’t believe that I used that phrase for it not how I think and yet those were the words that came to me).

    There are certainly times when I experience levels of joy when I see the possibilities opening up for others. It never fails to amaze me that God has chosen me to live as I do, to walk with and share with the Oblates. It awes and humbles me that I heard so clearly St. Eugene’s invitation to share in his spirit even though I did not have an inkling of what that might look like. The joy that is given to me goes deeper than any ocean and is my very core. So different from Eugene’s joy yet still so similar that I can relate to his.

  2. David Morgan says:

    The degree of political clericalism – seeing the interests of the State and the Church as alligned – is something our generation never sees. This must have been quite a celebration for everyone except the liberals. The possibilities of missioning to Muslims in Algeria excited Eugene. He saw the poor now as being everywhere.

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