In 1841 God began to write a new page in the history of the Mazenodian Family with the arrival of some heaven-sent visitors to Marseilles. Eugene wrote in his diary:
The Bishop of Montreal in Canada, passing through Marseilles a while ago on his way to Rome, talked to me about the needs of his diocese. He insisted that I give him at least four missionaries from our Congregation, whom he would charge with evangelizing his people and if need be they could extend their zeal to the indigenous people who live in these regions.
At the same time:
This project leads me to recall one like it that we continue by way of trial since Providence seems to have indicated it by bringing together certain circumstances that deserve our attention.
It is known that we have in the Congregation an excellent native Irish Father who came to us as if falling from the sky…
Meanwhile a young man full of candor appeared one day at the Calvaire [ed. OMI Shrine in Marseilles], I not know for what reason… From one thing to the other he made it known that he left Ireland to become a missionary.
Eugene de Mazenod’s Diary, 15 and 16 July 1841, EO XX
In 1830 Eugene had written about his desire for the foreign missions:
The Lord will manifest his will to us when it pleases him
Letter to Henri Tempier, 26 July 1830, EO VII n 349
There is no doubt that God certainly did so unmistakably in 1841!