The previous two reflections examined the place of Mary in our life and ministry. On 17 February 1826, the Church approved the change of title from Missionaries of Provence to Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. Eugene reflected on the meaning of this change:
May we understand well what we are! I hope that the Lord will give us this grace, with the assistance and by the protection of our holy Mother, the Immaculate Mary, for whom we must have a great devotion in our Congregation. Does it not seem to you that it is a sign of predestination to bear the name of Oblates of Mary, that is, consecrated to God under the patronage of Mary, a name the Congregation bears as a family name held in common with the most holy and immaculate Mother of God?
Letter to Henri Tempier, 20 March 1826, EO VII n 231
Today these sentiments continue as our Rule shows:
“Mary Immaculate is patroness of our Congregation. Open to the Spirit, she consecrated herself totally as lowly handmaid to the person and work of the Savior. She received Christ in order to share him with all the world, whose hope he is. In her, we recognize the model of the Church’s faith and of our own.” (CC&RR Constitution 10)
These are the sentiments of the Rule of Life of the Missionary Oblates, but by replacing the word “Congregation” with “Mazenodian Family” we understand the role of Mary for each of us as it is expressed in our various ways of life. She is the model of our response to the gift of Jesus Christ, whom she received in order to share with the world.