THE POPE GIVES HIS PERSONAL GUIDANCE TO THE FAMILY WHOSE HEAD HE IS

In September 1831 Pope Gregory XVI had been elected and Eugene had sent him a message on behalf of the Oblates, whose head he was.

The Sovereign Pontiff has replied to the letter I wrote him from Fribourg, in the same moving and really paternal style as his predecessor; at the first opportunity I will have a copy of this document sent to you, precious as it is to our Congregation. Read it out to the community. I know you will be as moved as we were. The Pope saw fit to put his own signature to the brief, a signal mark of protection and a favour rarely accorded: I draw it to your attention for our consolation.

Eugene had always had a great respect for the person of the Pope as we have seen in earlier entries (cf http://www.eugenedemazenod.net/?p=2343 and http://www.eugenedemazenod.net/?p=3157 ) – thus the Pope’s letter meant  a lot to him.

I know none greater here below than to receive praise, approval and encouragement from the mouth of the Vicar of Jesus Christ, as he gives his personal guidance to the family whose head he is, as he is of the whole Church, laying down for it the road that it must follow and in a certain way placing the seal of infallibility on its existence and its works.

Letter to Hippolyte Courtés, 7 January 1832, EO VIII n 413

As a Congregation we have experienced “praise, approval and encouragement” from the Successors of Peter until our present day:

“As your religious family enters its third century of life, may the Lord allow you to write new pages that are as evangelically fruitful as those of your brothers who, over the past 200 years, have borne witness, some- times even with blood, to that great love for Christ and for the Church. You are Oblates of Mary Immaculate. May this name, which was defined by St. Eugene as “a passport to Heaven”, be for you a constant commitment to the mission. May Our Lady sustain your steps, especially in moments of trial. I ask you, please, to pray to her for me too. May my blessing, which I wholeheartedly impart to you and to your entire Congregation, accompany you always on your journey.”

Pope Francis to the Missionary Oblates, September 2016

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One Response to THE POPE GIVES HIS PERSONAL GUIDANCE TO THE FAMILY WHOSE HEAD HE IS

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I focus on “have borne witness […] to that great love for Christ and for the Church. You are Oblates of Mary Immaculate. May this name […] be for you a constant commitment to the mission.” I look at these words and recognize them, not so much the very words used but the content, the heart and spirit within them. This is the head of the Church and he has given his blessing.

    Eugene wrote: “he gives his personal guidance to the family whose head he is.” It is strange but it is as if the 200 years between Francis’s message and the early one of Pope Gregory did not exist – there is a continuum here outside of the bounds of time that I find hard to express.

    I wonder if I would have noticed this a year ago – doubtful – this comes from what I have been learning, from surrendering and from being open to it, to God. A grace.

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