Eugene’s journal was where he recorded his personal reflections at the end of each day. His private entries give us an insight into who he really was. Today it is the founder and father-figure of the missionary family who rejoices in the success of two Oblate moments of evangelization.
Arrival on the one hand of Father Cuynat coming back from Arles where he preached the Forty Hours after the Fontvieille mission, and on the other hand of Father Hermitte and his companion coming back from Entraigues. One would have to hear the account these men give of what transpired in their missions! It brings tears of joy and tenderness.
The triumph of that cross that is so insulted in our days, the transports of gratitude from entire populations, first to God whom they glorify in the presence of all the inhabitants of the region, and then to the ministers of the mercy of their Saviour from whom they can never again be separated. It is a repetition of what we saw in our time and always with a fresh surprise.
Is it not a miracle that grace should form in a matter of weeks such strong bonds between people who have never seen each other before and who in all probability will not see each other again. The reason is that souls feel the good that has been done them by the great ministry that has been exercised in their favour.
Eugene de Mazenod’s Diary, 9 February 1837, EO XVIII
For 21 years the missionaries had been preaching the Gospel to the most abandoned of southern France, and the fruits were obvious. Today, over two hundred years later, people continue to feel the good brought about by the great ministry of the Mazenodian Family.