There will be a pause in these reflections during the month of December.

In the light of our forthcoming patronal feast on December 8, I would like to focus on Mary during these days of preparation.

During the day, I was busy preparing the petition to present to the Pope on the day he grants me an audience.

Roman Diary, 8 December 1825, EO XVII

This day was the feast of the Immaculate Conception and it was during the days of prayer in preparation for it that Eugene had had the intuition to change the name of the Oblates. In the last paragraph of the petition to the Pope we come across the use of this name for the very first time:

At the same time, we ask Your Holiness that, in the Brief of Approval which the Missionaries request, you give them the name of Oblates of the Most Holy and Immaculate Virgin Mary instead of Oblates of Saint Charles

Petition for approbation to Pope Leo XII, 8 December 1825, EO XIII n.48

“When we choose a patron of a group we spontaneously think of a person who incarnates the qualities and activities of the group in the best possible way.” Fernand Jetté OMI

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    What an unexpected gift this is, to prepare for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. I think of how we prepare for birthday celebrations, for weddings and the taking of vows; I think of our preparations for Christmas and Easter – all the external realities such as shopping and cleaning; and I think of the upcoming season of Advent and then later of Lent. So why not the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, of Mary who is our patron, our Mother.

    I think of the statue of the Immaculate Conception, and of how Eugene bought that statue, which now resides in the chapel of the General House in Rome; of his experience of Our Lady on her Feast Day as he sat in the chapel with her 200 years ago and how she is now called the Oblate Madonna.

    And I think, for perhaps the first time, how the times – then and now, were filled with confusion and anger, with self-righteousness and false power on both the local stage and world stage. Just as the times then and now, are filled with ‘crisis’ and opposition – so too they are filled with hope and new life, with joy and gratitude. This morning is but a small taste.

    So during the coming days I will try to think of how Mary Immaculate incarnates the qualities and activities of the Mazenodian Family.

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