Eugene had made his first communion on Holy Thursday at the College of Nobles in Turin. It was always an important moment for him to recall the joy of this important event.
One Holy Thursday – as I personally recall – we were in the Cathedral of Marseille. The bishop (Eugene de Mazenod) was officiating with the gentle dignity and recollection that made him renowned among all the bishops, his contemporaries. Unexpectedly we saw him cry and, while trying, he could not conceal it. The seminarians who surrounded the bishop’s throne, struck by the emotion of the Bishop, were moved as they looked at him. He noticed this, and turning to one of them, the author of these lines, whose short-sightedness made his staring more obvious:
“Young man,” he said with that simplicity that made him win hearts, “do not be startled like that – today is the anniversary of my first communion.”
Mgr Antoine RICARD, “Monseigneur de Mazenod, évêque de Marseille, fondateur de la Congrégation des Missionnaires Oblats de Marie Immaculée,” p. 12.
As we celebrate the institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper, perhaps we could make this the opportunity to recall our own first communion with joy and thanksgiving.