Friendship was always an important and necessary aspect of Eugene’s life. It is thus easy to understand his special relationship with Lazarus, the Gospel friend of Jesus. It was a relationship that he translated into everyday life.

Tradition had it that Lazarus, Martha and Mary came to Provence, and that Lazarus was the first “Bishop of Marseilles” – a tradition that Eugene obviously held dear. It was important for him to have a church dedicated to St Lazarus in his city and he took steps to ensure this. (including getting his wealthy mother to contribute financially to the project).

The Municipal Council yesterday unanimously adopted the findings of the commission regarding the recognition of St.-Lazare parish. Now a matter of great importance has been concluded, in a short time and by mutual agreement; it was necessary that our great patron get a little involved from the heights of heaven where he is still the friend of his Divine Master, Our Lord.

Eugene de Mazenod’s Diary, 13 February 1838, EO XIX

So the sisters sent word to him, saying, “Master, the one you love is ill.” (John 11:3)

And Jesus wept.

So the Jews said, “See how he loved him.” (John 11:35-36)

Each year, the Diocese of Marseilles used to celebrate the Feast of the Resurrection of Lazarus” on March 30.


This entry was posted in WRITINGS. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    It is consoling to reflect on this friendship of Jesus. Sometimes I might almost forget that Jesus was perfectly human, that he had times of fear and doubts, that he could be weighed down with sorrow, and that he also laughed and was filled with exuberance and joy – life.

    Created in the image and likeness of God…

    I think of those who have been my friends and who have long since died and are with their Lord and Master. Each of them so very special in their own way and how I loved them while they were here on earth. Yet even more so after they had died, for they have become free of any confinement and so our relationship still grows.

    As I sit here and think of them I am reminded about Jesus and the fullness of life that is to be found in him. I feel something, everything, welling up within me and I want to cry. It is not sorrow but rather something much greater, something fuller. I think of how I speak to them, picture them in my mind and I recognize a completeness about them. I think of Jesus and how he shows us the fullness of life.

    St. Eugene and the friend that he has become to me, something that we share in love for it is not one-sided. Love changes everything, for each and every one of us.

    This morning I wonder if for a brief moment in time the heavens might have opened up before me and I experienced a brief glimpse of fullness of those relationships. It is not sorrow that I feel, but rather intense joy and completeness. I am though, quite unable to capture any of it; I am also unable to give words to it that could ever truly express my experience of this. I know only that somehow deep within me I celebrate those who I have loved, perhaps in a way similar to how Eugene celebrated Lazarus who he also loved.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *