Eugene continues to marvel at what the Oblates achieved for those most in need.
At Aix especially it has been really wonderful. Words will never be able to express what our good Fathers achieved both at the hospital and in the city. Father Lagier, who has been magnificent through all this period of trial, was telling me yesterday that they felt as if they were endowed with a supernatural strength and experienced an inner anointing which enabled them to carry out their ministry with courage and joy. The missionaries were ready to drop from fatigue.
When they had had barely a half-hour’s rest, and someone would come along to rouse them again with the innocent request: “Come and confess these sick people,” they didn’t hesitate an instant. That is the literal truth. The missionaries did not fail to get up in haste to save these souls. As a result, not a single sick person was refused religious assistance; all, on the contrary, would stifle their cries of pain so as to hear the priest, answer his questions and receive the sacraments. Our missionaries were inspired, for they had no fear of giving them communion seeing them so well disposed, and there isn’t a single sick person who refused the sacred species. One could go on forever on this topic.
Letter to Henri Tempier, 7 August 1835, EO VIII n 531
… that will make a fine page in the history of our Congregation; and the full story of what our Fathers did, and how they did it, can never be told. The service of the hospital at Aix, it can be said, was provided wholly by our Fathers, for only one Jesuit and two Capuchins turned up; the two latter provided only corporal services to the sick.
Letter to Henri Tempier, 16 August 1835, EO VIII n 533