ALL THE CHILDREN OF THE CITY NUMBERING 1,700 WERE GATHERED TOGETHER THERE

Eugene de Mazenod was Superior General of a growing Missionary Congregation while at the same time Bishop of the second largest city of France. Here is a glimpse into just one of his activities:

General Confirmation at the cathedral. I wanted to attempt doing this. All the children of the city numbering 1,700 were gathered together there. It was close to two hours when I finished. I had dismissed the boys after I had confirmed them. I was not able to conceal that I was very fatigued towards the end of the ceremony. The timbre of my voice was failing, which obliged me to strain my lungs to articulate the sacred words. Two hours after having returned to my residence, I no longer felt any fatigue…

Eugene de Mazenod’s Diary, 31 May 1844, EO XXI

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1 Response to ALL THE CHILDREN OF THE CITY NUMBERING 1,700 WERE GATHERED TOGETHER THERE

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    This morning there is particular joy that I carry as I picture Eugene in his cathedral, with 1700 children there, their parents and extended family. Eugene mentions that the timbre of his voice was failing, and he was fatigued. Undoubtedly he had given his all.

    This great man who had not initially wanted to have a flock, is found tending to them at a time when he had not yet returned to full health and strength. He was truly giving his all as he allowed God to use him as an instrument.

    I have witnessed this way of living out our oblation to God, we see it in our pastors, teachers, emergency and healthcare workers, our colleagues, students, volunteers, and friends. Perhaps we ourselves have experienced the fatigue of giving all that we have and are and then recognizing the necessity to withdraw and allow God to soothe our hearts and regenerate our beings.

    I think of how Eugene would always remind his sons to make sure that they got proper rest especially when they had been ill; he depended on those around him to remind him of these necessities. It was in this way that he, and we in our time come to know the solid and quiet joy of not only handing ourselves over to God to love and do the will of the Beloved, but also experience being able to become cooperators of the Saviour and allowing ourselves to be his instruments.

    There is a certain satisfaction and quiet gratitude that God should see fit to using us in this way. And dear Eugene it is this that you invited us to take part in as we walk together in this Oblate Family; for and with one another.

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