Father Moreau was Vicar General and superior of the Major Seminary in Ajaccio, Corsica. He had requested permission to make a pilgrimage to Rome.

My dear Father Moreau, taking advantage of the Bishop of Ajaccio’s passing through, I will answer your last letter concisely.

For that which concerns yourself, I gladly give my consent that you make the pilgrimage to Rome; but I warn you about catching fever there; the season in which you plan to go is very dangerous. Never get into an air draught when you have perspired, never go out into the night dew, etc.

Letter to Fr. Noel Moreau, 13 June 1844, EO X n 842

Nothing spiritual or theological about this entry, but I couldn’t resist sharing with you the smile it brought to my Italian blood to see that, during his nine years of exile, Eugene had picked up the Italian phobia for air draughts! (I grew up with the constant litany of “stai attento alla corrente” from my parents)

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Those nine years were very formative for Eugene. And his words give witness to how he cared for and loved his sons, his first companions. It is that very humanness in Eugene that we respond to – be it quirky, happy, sorrowful… Eugene was a man fully alive, not a hollow plaster saint. As I sit here smiling I realise how we often de-humanize Jesus and many of the saints, as if those attributes were less than good and natural. Thank you Frank for bringing a smile to our hearts so early in the morning.

    Not spiritual or theological – but oh so human. And that is one of the things I love most about Eugene is his humanness.

    I grew up on the west coast where it is often damp and when me and my siblings were growing up it was not unusual to see my mother entering a room or calling us to come inside saying she was cold, so we needed to put on a sweater. We still laugh about that even now. A lovely memory that we get share with each other.

    I think of the enjoyment we receive when listening to comedians as they focus on our common humanness… It is good to be able to smile and laugh and to bring others to experience the same.

  2. Anda Sprudzs says:

    I also had to be light-hearted. “Caur-vejs” in Latvia (direct translation “through-wind” – ie draughts) is the leading killer in Latvia as it leads to not just colds and flus, but pneumonia and anything and everything else, likely COVID as well. Not only doe this post show the human experience with St Eugene, but miraculously that nothing has changed in the MANY intervening years.

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