21 MAY 1861 – COMMEMORATING THE DEATH OF OUR FOUNDER

The day before his death Eugene entrusted this message to his Oblate family:

Be sure to tell them that I die happy… that I die happy that God was so good as to choose me to found the Congregation of the Oblates in the Church.

Then as the last wish in his heart:

Practice among yourselves charity
charity
charity
and outside, zeal for the salvation of souls.

Joseph Fabre (Eugene’s successor as Superior General), Circular letter of 1861

In 2011, the Oblate Congregation and the Archdiocese of Marseille gathered at St Eugene’s tomb to commemorate the 150th anniversary of his death. His present successor as Superior General recalled:

For us Oblates, Saint Eugene was a man on fire with a great love for Jesus Christ, for the Church and for the poor. He shared these gifts with the people of Marseille for 37 years, as Vicar General and then as Bishop.

At the same time, he was the Superior General of the Missionary Oblates and he guided this growing Congregation from the bishop’s house across the street.

It is from this same city that he sent us to preach the Gospel throughout the world… We Oblates are proud to continue following his inspiration in nearly 70 countries, with more than 4,000 missionaries and numerous lay associates.

Father Louis Lougen OMI

In his homily during the Mass, St Eugene’s present successor as Bishop of Marseille said:

Bishop de Mazenod was animated by a passion to proclaim the Gospel of Christ. It is the way to the encounter of the poorest that Christ came to him and tied it to Him. He made an untiring apostle

In this he is a model for us.

May the passion of the Gospel fill us! May it lead us to the poorest today in the church …“

Archbishop Georges Pontier

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One Response to 21 MAY 1861 – COMMEMORATING THE DEATH OF OUR FOUNDER

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    “Be sure to tell them that I die happy… that I die happy that God was so good as to choose me to found the Congregation of the Oblates in the Church.” I love these words of Eugene – he is dying and he knows it what is most important to him. That image – congregation and church – joined together, married.

    Not anything he just did on his own with his Oblates – but that he was chosen by God – here it is. Not something that just ‘happened’ to him, not something that he ‘happened to do all on his own’. What God had chosen for him – and for all who were to join him and follow – to walk in his footsteps.

    “He made an untiring apostle. In this he is a model for us. May the passion of the Gospel fill us! May it lead us to the poorest today in the church…” This was his life – to be like the apostles, to be an apostle – of Jesus, of the Church. As I write my heart is filled, as are my eyes. Not with sadness but more with gratitude and joy. That God should choose us – that God should choose me.

    My heart sings and dances. This is the day the Lord has made – let us rejoice and be glad. A most Happy Feast Day to each and all around the world who come to be a part of this family.

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