THEY ARE CONVINCED THAT THEY WILL NEVER AGAIN SEE THEIR HOMELAND, AND THEY WOULD REPROACH THEMSELVES FOR ANY REGRETS THEY MIGHT HAVE ABOUT IT
In the previous entry we saw how Eugene committed the three young Oblates destined to be missionaries in Canada, Brothers Brunet, Garin and Laverlochère, to Mary’s protection. He wrote about them to Father Guigues, the superior of the community where they received their first formation. Father Vincens had been the one responsible for their formation.
Last Sunday they were ordained subdeacons together with Brother Nicolas. The day after tomorrow, I will ordain them deacons… tell Father Vincens that I am very happy with these young men.
It is impossible to have more generous sentiments, more perfect dedication, more thoughts that are supernatural. They are sacrificing their most natural and legitimate affections with a true joy arising from their faithfulness to and love for their holy vocation. They are convinced that they will never again see their homeland, and they would reproach themselves for any regrets they might have about it.
These young men knew that they would probably never see their families or their country of origin again. They understood and accepted that this heavy sacrifice was the consequence of their oblation.
The Lord has given us our marching orders, they said to me; nothing else should come to mind. Truly I have a bit of difficulty to hide my emotion and admiration. These are truly disciples who honor their Master.
Letter to Father Bruno Guigues, 18 August 1843, EO X n 812
They had understood and taken to heart Eugene’s words, spoken 25 years before:
Our Lord Jesus Christ has left to us the task of continuing the great work of the redemption of mankind. It is towards this unique end that all our efforts must tend; as long as we will not have spent our whole life and given all our blood to achieve this, we having nothing to say; especially when as yet we have given only a few drops of sweat and a few spells of fatigue.
Letter to Henri Tempier, 22 August 1817, EO VI n. 21
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