LEARN MORE ABOUT OBLATE MISSIONARY HISTORY

For further details see: https://sites.google.com/site/oblatestudies/course-catalog/the-historical-expansion-and-development-of-the-mission-of-the-oblate-congr

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LEARN MORE ABOUT FOUNDERS, CHARISMS, AND THEIR EXPRESSION IN CONSTITUTIONS AND RULES

For further information: https://sites.google.com/site/oblatestudies/course-catalog/charisms-founders-and-their-expression-in-constitutions-and-rules

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REFLECTING ON JESUS CHRIST THE SAVIOR WITH ST. EUGENE DE MAZENOD AND THE MAZENODIAN FAMILY

A month-by-month series of reflections compiled by Father David Muñoz OMI and members of the Mazenodian Family

 

Download the booklet at: https://omiusa.org/pdf/MazenodianFamilyBook.pdf

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I JOKE ABOUT THE PREFERENCE ACCORDED TO HIM

An entry from Eugene’s diary refers to the rivalry between the cities of Marseilles and Lyon as to which was the most important city. Lyon claimed to be the first French diocese, while Eugene differed and believed that Marseilles was.

Letter from Fr. De Bussy. He excuses himself from coming to give us the pastoral retreat this year. He offers himself for the following year. Letter to this Father to accept his offer even while complaining about having been forgotten this year.

Letter to Fr. Maillard to accept Fr. Guillermet, who will come to give the retreat in the place of Fr. De Bussy. I joke about the preference accorded to him in Lyon and, far from recognizing the proud motto of Prima Sedes Galliarum,[ed “First (episcopal) seat of the Gauls – The Bishop of Lyon was the Primate of France”]
I claim that all the rights of priority belong to me because, if our Phoenicians [ed. The Phoenicians, originating from modern-Greece, founded Marseille in the sixth century before Jesus Christ] had not been converted to the faith when Saint Pothin disembarked on our shores, it would have stopped here, but already the friend of Jesus, our great Saint Lazarus, sat in the midst of his people, etc.

Eugene de Mazenod’s Diary, 16 July 1844, EO XXI

Eugene was always convinced that Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha, had arrived in Marseilles with his sisters and was the first Bishop of Marseilles. According to the legend, the Mary referred to was Mary Magdalene (and not the sister of Martha and Lazarus of the Gospel) and hence the great devotion to her in southern France. She is believed to have lived and died not far from Aix en Provence and Marseilles.

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I GATHER THAT TRAVEL ILLNESS IS AS CONTAGIOUS AN EVIL AMONG US AS IS THE HORRIBLE TOBACCO HABIT

Eugene is sometimes accused by those who are not familiar with his writings of always being serious and not having a sense of humor. In fact, in his writings, we come across a very dry sense of humor.

He was frustrated with the community at Notre Dame des Lumières, because it appeared that each Oblate there had plans for enlarging a part of the building. Father Bellon had just arrived and had caught the building bug:

I gather that travel illness is as contagious an evil among us as is the horrible tobacco habit. You have scarcely arrived and already you propose to add more to the enormous expenses already incurred at Lumières.
I am sorry to go against you in regard to enlarging the organ loft. I have written about it to Father Ricard, because, without calumniating him, I believe that he had you promote this matter, not daring to speak to me about it himself after all that he has wrestled out of me.
Then in a moment of tongue-in-cheek humor he makes his point:
Won’t we have to build very soon over the sacristy to house all the sea shells that Father Chauvet gathered during his stay here. I believe that he has carried away at least eight thousand. That is quite excessive, but we have to please all tastes.

Letter to Father Charles Bellon, 10 July 1844, EO X n 846

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IT’S A TRULY HEAVENLY JOY! A PERSON COULD PASS FROM ONE PARADISE TO ANOTHER.

Another glimpse into the busy life of Bishop Eugene.

A wonderful ordination of forty-three subjects. The ceremony was magnificent

There were eight new diocesan priests, among them one Oblate, Marie Cyr Chauvet.

Later, I went to the quarterly exercise of Saint-Rosaire-Vivant [the Holy Living Rosary],which this time took place in the church of Saint-Lazare.

The group (sodality) of le Rosaire-Vivant [the Living Rosary], owing to the initiative of Pauline Jaricot, foundress as well of the work of the Propagation of the Faith, counting in 1833 a million members. The goal was to recite a decade of the rosary each day and to work for the distribution of good books

I spent the entire day in this way in the church; in which better place could a person be? Concerning the ordination, I said to myself what has often been in my thoughts, that a person ought to be able to spend his life in fulfilling such grand duties. Could he not be happy to die in discharging them? It’s a truly heavenly joy! A person could pass from one paradise to another.

Eugene de Mazenod’s Diary, 30 June 1844, EO XXI

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NEVER GET INTO AN AIR DRAUGHT WHEN YOU HAVE PERSPIRED

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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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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DO YOU WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE MAZENODIAN CHARISM AND MISSION?

For the contents see: https://sites.google.com/site/oblatestudies/certificate

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I SEE A NEW ERA OPENING FOR THE CONGREGATION IN THE NEW WORLD IF, AS I HOPE, YOUR EXAMPLE IS IMITATED

Father Pierre Aubert responded immediately to his new assignment with a letter of acceptance that deeply touched Eugene.

I have just received, my dear son, your letter of the 7th. It made me feel such joy that I cannot resist the urge to manifest to you my complete satisfaction. I shall not write at length to you because with Father Guigues leaving in a few hours, I have scarcely the time to finish the letters of which he will be the bearer. My dear son, I will place your precious letter quite close to my heart. I see a new era opening for the Congregation in the new world if, as I hope, your example is imitated, if your good sentiments are shared by all those who have received the same mission as yourself.

Letter to Fr Pierre Aubert, 10 June 1844, EO I n 40

For further details about the achievements of Fr Pierre Aubert see: https://www.omiworld.org/lemma/aubert-joseph-pierre-blaise/

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