“In the prolonged silent prayer we make each day, we let ourselves be molded by the Lord, and find in him the inspiration of our conduct” (OMI Rule of Life, 33).
The practice of Oraison was an important part of St. Eugene’s daily prayer during which he entered into communion with the members of his missionary family. While they were all in France it was easy for them to gather in prayer at approximately the same time. When Oblate missionaries started to be sent to different continents it was no longer possible to pray at the same time, yet each day there was a time when they stopped and prayed in union with one another – even though not at the same time.
This is a practice that Eugene wanted the members of his religious family to maintain. This is why you are invited to take part in this practice of Oraison on Sunday, March 15, 2020, as we remember feast of St. Joseph, protector of the Congregation.
From the Dictionary of Oblate Values:
Icon written by Oblate Partner, Lauretta Agolli
It would seem that one has to see this devotion as being associated to his vision of the Church, bought by the blood of Jesus Christ, a vision which extended beyond the limits of the Church here on earth and led him to enter into constant communion with the Church of heaven. This was the source of his deep devotion to the saints, especially to Mary Immaculate and as Father Toussaint Rambert wrote: “immediately after the Blessed Virgin, Saint Joseph held first place in his heart”. relationship with the Savior and Mary Immaculate, the Servant of God’s two greatest devotions.
In addition, we see him having constant recourse to his intercession, confiding to him the material interests of his Congregation, the recruiting of vocations, the health of missionaries, the success of their apostolate, the success of General Chapters which he officially placed “under the patronage of Saint Joseph, our beloved Patron”; he often placed our houses under his protection, “after that of the Holy Virgin who is always to be the first patron of our houses”.
Behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him.” Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Egypt…When Herod had died, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child’s life are dead.” He rose, took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel.
From a letter of St. Eugene to Fr. Eugene Guigues:
I believe his soul more excellent than all the celestial intelligences, above which it is indubitably placed in heaven. In that blessed abode Jesus Christ, Mary and Joseph are just as inseparable as they were on earth…I am quite persuaded as well that the body of St. Joseph is already in glory and that is where it is meant to be for all time. Speaking of his soul close to Jesus and Mary I said it was: above the choirs of angels…”
From a letter of St. Eugene to Fr. Vincens:
Concerning prayers, I must tell you that several of our Fathers want me to ordain a daily invocation to St. Joseph, foster father of the Holy Family, to obtain that from Heaven above he may provide for the temporal needs of the Congregation which recognizes him as principal Patron. Not that we want to become rich, but that we may provide for the needs of those whom Providence sends us.
From a letter of St. Eugene to his father:
On the morning of St. Joseph’s feast day I was close to the end; and as if my holy patron had wished to show me the effect of his powerful protection that was being invoked for me on all sides, that very evening I took a turn for the better with astonishing rapidity. The next day or the day after that there was no longer any danger.