IF THEY UNDERSTOOD THE TRUE MEANING OF WHAT A BISHOP IS, THEY WOULD BE LESS ASTONISHED TO SEE HIM APPROACHING HIS SHEEP WHEN THEY ARE SUFFERING

Eugene records two of his pastoral visits to comfort those who were suffering.

Coming back to the city, I went to visit Father Fissiaux who is sick with grief, seeing that the plague of cholera had taken seven little girls of his community.

Father Charles Fissiaux, a member of the diocesan clergy, had started poor girls and those orphaned by cholera epidemic of 1835. In 1839, he founded the Society of Saint Peter in Chains for young people in jail.

From there I visited M. Jourdan, down with cholera, but with some hope of a cure. My visit did him unspeakable good and greatly edified Doctor Ducros who came to the sick man’s house at the same time as I did. If they understood the true meaning of what a Bishop is, they would be less astonished to see him approaching his sheep when they are suffering some affliction or in the clutches of sickness and death.

Eugene de Mazenod’s Diary, 8 September 1837, EO XVIII

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One Response to IF THEY UNDERSTOOD THE TRUE MEANING OF WHAT A BISHOP IS, THEY WOULD BE LESS ASTONISHED TO SEE HIM APPROACHING HIS SHEEP WHEN THEY ARE SUFFERING

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Sitting here this morning I feel as Eugene is visiting each of us – his sons and daughters. What better way to be able to meet when we are reminded of “social distancing”, staying in our homes no matter how much we love each other.

    Eugene took the risks during the cholera epidemic because it was the only way he could bless all those he loved and cared for – those who most needed to receive the sacraments. He did it because they did not have social media in those days – the rules were different then and medicine had not come as far as it is today.

    Around the world we have been told to stay home – to go out only when it is necessary. For those of us who are at risk we need to take special care. It not mean that we are selfish – only that we need to find different ways of coming together, in loving and supporting each other.

    It seems that we have all been invited to enter into the desert. The desert where distractions lesson if we allow them to. The desert where we recognize, in those we meet, our own vulnerability. There is no place we can run to hide.

    Yesterday as I struggled I received an email; it held an invitation and reminder to join in taking part in our daily oraison – which I like to think of as coming together within the heart of Jesus. Intentionality, surrender and being will be my guide, my roadmap to meeting all of you there.

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