Eugene also shared his reaction with Hippolyte Guibert. Bearing in mind his devotion to the Catholic understanding of the Eucharistic Presence of Jesus, he wrote

I also said Holy Mass in that city of Geneva, the thoroughfare of the heresy of Calvin, where a Catholic heart finds itself so ill at ease, so oppressed by all it sees and by all it meets. My first care was to go quickly to the church to adore Jesus Christ betrayed for so long a time and blasphemed in this den of apostasy.
I confess I experienced some consolation to find him in this hostile country and it seems to me that the homage I was inspired to give him was such that particularly elevated the soul and united it sweetly to God. I celebrated on the following day the holy mysteries in these sentiments and took pleasure in recognizing our divine Master as the sovereign Lord of all men, even those who rebel against his grace; but, no matter, it would be impossible for me to live in these regions where he is so generally disregarded

Letter to Hippolyte Guibert, 29 July 1830, EO VII n 350

“It has often been said that Bishop de Mazenod was a pastor more than an intellectual. This judgment must be qualified. Many of his pastoral letters and many other letters … show that to defend the faith of the Catholics he was able to express forcefully clear and elevated principles.

Despite his profound convictions about the Catholic Church, the only one who holds the truth, and what he considers the meanderings of Protestantism, Bishop de Mazenod is sympathetic to the needs of people without dwelling on their beliefs; In this he always remains himself, a sensitive man who lives “only by the heart.”

Yvon Beaudoin, “Mgr de Mazenod et les Protestants” in Vie Oblate Life 58 (1999), p 524

This entry was posted in WRITINGS. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I have three brothers who were raised in the Catholic Church and who received the sacraments when they were young. Yet for many reasons they no longer attend Church. God is not spoken about, does not seem to be focal point in their lives. They are all of them spiritual and good – I love them deeply. We are more similar than we are different but still there is a small sadness within me that they do not seem to have all that I have been given.

    A couple of years ago during our annual Community Days we invited a Imam to come and talk with us for two days about Islam and what it means to live as Muslims. It was wonderful as we learned about each other’s faith. We were none of us trying to change the other – I was able to learn of our many commonalities that we share. But as with my brothers there were small points of sadness within me that even with our common ancestors (Abraham) it seemed that there was something missing – that I had something extra.

    I can remember thinking how sad that they (my brothers and Muslims) do not have the sacraments, they do not know the Trinity in the same way I do. They do not seem to have hard Jesus say their names or experience His call to them.

    I looked up the word intellectual to find that it comes from the Latin word ‘intellegere’ – which means to understand. Synonyms are listed as clever, academic, educated, learned, knowledgeable, etc. Eugene understood with more than his learning and his great mind, he understood with his heart and lived out of that. It is this that he shares with us. Walking in his footsteps this is how I wish also to live – with and “by the heart”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *