Another example, from Eugene’s diary, of his being constantly aware of the needs of the most abandoned in his diocese, and taking practical steps to respond:

I went to get the Prefect in my carriage to show him the second monastery of the Visitation that we would like to sell for a hospice for beggars. My goal was accomplished; the prefect was delighted with the locale and he finds it fitting for the purpose in question.

Eugene de Mazenod’s Diary, 23 December 1839, EO XX

His 24 years as Bishop of Marseilles were marked by his Oblate outreach in practical ways of bringing the Gospel to the most abandoned.

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Eugene’s response to the plight of the beggars was not only spiritual but as Frank said practical. It seems that when this fullness happens we become the living gospel. This is what it looks like when someone, anyone sees through the eyes of our crucified Saviour and lives out from there. More than just a matter of prayer or of giving a few coins to a beggar; this is what it is to be a living gospel.

    I think for a moment of what it looked like for Jesus as he told the parable of the Good Samaritan and then of Jesus himself, as he was dying on the cross turned and gave his mother to the disciples and his followers to his mother. Total lived love.

    And in thinking of the Good Samaritan I am reminded of Pope Francis’s latest encyclical, Fratelli Tutti, which calls us to live out that same parable in every aspect of our lives.

    Yesterday I began my preparations for animating an upcoming Zoom gathering of Associates. Fresh in my mind was what I have been reflecting on here in this space as well as things that I have and am nourished-with from my Oblate Studies. I thought of the fresco of Bishop Eugene in Marseilles in which he is leading a parade of others up a grand staircase and wondered idly where I would place myself in that picture; who would I be following, who would I be walking with and helping to lead me on my life journey? And once again my heart listened to the words of St. Eugene who wrote: “We must lead men [and women] to act like human beings, first of all, and then like Christians, and, finally, we must help them to become saints.”

    Look Eugene at all of us who have joined you on that staircase. I go now to amend the piece for our next Associate gathering…

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