I went to visit the Aygalades church. Proal [ed. the pastor] was in heaven to be able to show me the magnificence of the throne of the Blessed Virgin for the month of May. There is as well the Blessed Virgin’s statue placed on the altar where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved; never was an altar decorated in this manner for the solemn exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. Candles and flowers begin on the sanctuary floor and rise to the inordinate height at which the statue is placed.
This kind of decoration has caught on throughout the diocese. I do not think it can be tolerated. It will be one of the first things I will reform. My perception is that little by little the exterior cult offered to statues of the Blessed Virgin far excels in pomp and circumstance that which is given to Our Lord in the divine Eucharist. This is true for processions and for feasts.
It is a long time now that I have been scandalized by this impropriety which is pushed to excess by the mania that prevails in this region always to want to outdo one’s neighbour. They basically love to make a show. That is alright but they must not stray from the fundamental spirit of our holy faith.
Eugene de Mazenod’s Diary, 18 May 1837, EO XVIII
Eugene’s devotion never stopped at Mary – she was the one who accompanied him in his discipleship of Jesus Christ. It is always about God first.