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.
…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
“The call that our Constitutions express is a gift from the Lord, and like any gift, we must ask for it, with the desire to transform it into action, with humility and a sense of responsibility. Prayer is essential for internalizing the Rule.
On the day of our perpetual oblation, when we receive the text of the Constitutions and Rules, we are told those words that contain a promise of life: “Do this and you will live!”. And Constitution 168 brings us back to that very moment when it reminds us that “with his oblation, each Oblate takes responsibility for the common heritage of the Congregation expressed in the Constitutions and Rules and in the family tradition”. The common heritage of the Congregation is a legacy that we must receive, cherish and pass on, together with the traditions of our family. Every Oblate is exhorted to “let himself be guided by these norms in creative fidelity to the legacy handed on by Saint Eugene de Mazenod”.
Fr. Louis Lougen OMI