After visiting Notre Dame du Laus, Eugene wrote this description of the place and of the evangelization that the Missionaries would undertake from there:

We have formed an establishment at Notre Dame du Laus thus bringing ourselves into direct relations with the dioceses of Gap, Digne, Embrun and Sisteron.
We have become the guardians of one of the most celebrated shrines of the Blessed Virgin where the good God is pleased to manifest the power that he has granted to this dear Mother of the Mission.

Letter to Pierre Mie, October 1818, EO VI n.31

At this moment the Missionaries did not have a specifically Marian identity, but working at Laus this started to be expressed as they came to understand that Marian shrines did form a part of their missionary outreach.

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I remember as a little girl I came home from school one day and walking into the kitchen there was a lady there that I did not know. Where is my mother I asked, feeling panicked. I was confused and lost and even though she said that my mother would be home soon I felt as if floor that I stood on had been yanked out from under my feet and that I was lost and falling. Mothers were supposed to be always there.

    Mary’s presence is not always ‘in your face’ and we do not always notice her standing there at the foot of the cross – only because our eyes focus on Jesus on the Cross. And yet she is there. We grow up and out when we walk with Mary – she is there beside us as we conquer our fears and dare to face our challenges. She is a part of our beloved Church. She does not lessen our love for God but rather takes our hand as we learn to walk in that love.

    When a dear friend of mine, an Oblate priest, was dying I would go to visit him. He’d had a stroke and could not hold his rosary or even speak of it – I would place it in his hand and hold it there as I said the rosary out loud with him so he could hear the words. And when he slipped into a coma I continued that practice, telling him that Our Lady was right there with us. I recognized her there in a most real way – a part of his life mission. And when I said my last goodbye I told him he could let go because Mary was there to take him home which she did a few hours later.

    It seemed to me that she took his arm as he journeyed on towards his final goal. Mary, the Mother of God had been there with my friend all of his life, as part of his mission and she was there as he approached the end of his. A visible and actual sign of Mary as being part of the ‘Oblate’ identity, within them and all of us who are part of the Mazenodian Family.

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