SAINT EUGENE, MARTYR OF CHARITY – IN HIS OWN WORDS

I encountered among these poor prisoners whom I helped spiritually and materially… only grateful souls, hearts full of affection who responded perfectly to the caring charity that I felt for them

Diary, 31 March, 1839, E.O. XX

I have all my life desired to die a victim of charity. You know that this crown was withheld from me right from the first days of my ministry. The Lord had his designs since He wanted to trust me to give a new family to His Church; but for me it would have been a greater value to have died of the blessed typhus which I had contracted while serving prisoners.

Letter to Henri Tempier, 12 September 1849, E.O. X n.1018

I have entirely got over an illness that brought me to death’s door and from which I recovered only through the countless and very fervent prayers that were made for me to the good God in every quarter of the town…

It was at the barracks where some 2000 Austrian prisoners were held that I contracted what they call jail fever. On the morning of St. Joseph’s feast day I was close to the end…

Letter to his father, 17 June 1814, E.O. XV n. 126

Final perseverance, and even martyrdom or at least death while tending victims of the plague, or any other kind of death for God’s glory or the salvation of souls.

One of the intention for which he offered his first Mass, E.O. XIV n.100

We must help men to be reasonable, then Christians, and then help them to become saints.

Preface

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1 Response to SAINT EUGENE, MARTYR OF CHARITY – IN HIS OWN WORDS

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Because the images drawn by Eugene’s word, his testimony, did not immediately connect with my life I looked up the word “martyr”. Coming from the Greek word ‘martur’ which means witness. Eugene was that!

    I think of my own secret dreams and thoughts of dying for God and how in moments of zeal I would remind him of that only to quickly add that I’m not quite ready for that extreme measure; I mean – what if he takes me up on that? Not yet Lord I add – I am not yet good enough for that.

    And so I read over Eugene’s words again, wishing that I had his daring, his love, only to stop dead in my tracks as I reach his last statement which does not seem to fit with all of this. “We must lead men to act like human beings, first of all, and then like Christians, and, finally, we must help them to become saints.”

    As if a spotlight was turned on; suddenly it all fits perfectly. The word ‘oblation’ comes to mind, the witness of God’s love and yet it seems so ordinary in my own life – even with the light on. Oblation – that total giving of myself to God and through God to all others. Love isn’t a part of it – love is it.

    I think of some of the people who have walked, who continue to walk with me as I am led into discovering and acknowledging my own humanity. And how I am still a work in progress even as I continue the journey into Christianity and saintliness. This is Oblation.

    This ordinary life and way of giving witness to love; this way of walking-with so that we become human together, each of us finding our love of Christ – together and eventually becoming saints.

    It all fits – I belong in the midst of this; there are many places that I do not belong – but here – her I belong.

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