THEY FELT AS IF THEY WERE ENDOWED WITH A SUPERNATURAL STRENGTH WHICH ENABLED THEM TO CARRY OUT THEIR MINISTRY WITH COURAGE AND JOY

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

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One Response to THEY FELT AS IF THEY WERE ENDOWED WITH A SUPERNATURAL STRENGTH WHICH ENABLED THEM TO CARRY OUT THEIR MINISTRY WITH COURAGE AND JOY

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I took a moment to read about Fr. Lagier who was ordained a priest in 1830 and then joined the Oblates – only making his oblation on August 15th 1836 – a week after Eugene wrote of him. Such love for those they served! Eugene writes that “our missionaries were inspired…” and I can only think that they were seeing those who were suffering & dying through the eyes of our crucified Saviour.

    Again I am reminded of Fr. Albert Lacombe over here in Canada who along with his brothers have inspired me in how they loved those most in need – during the cholera and small pox epidemics and then in their everyday mindfulness with those they served.

    I find myself filled with a fierce joy that I am a part of such a great family. It is the same joy that I experience as I read about Oblates around the world, Oblate Associates, the Oblate Youth and so many more; and for all whose daily lives are quiet and hidden as they silently respond with love and tenderness to those around them; my friend who just got home from visiting a very special friend only to receive a call asking him to return as his friend just died and would he bury her.

    What does this look like in my own life, in the ordinary of my days? There are no epidemics for me to help with – but perhaps in small ways for others; as I take the Eucharist to a friend who has had surgery, or make time to go and rub cream on her limbs because she cannot do it for herself right now. I can’t say that I feel anointed, but I must admit that the love that directs these actions can only have come from God.

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