I will also turn towards the image of Mary and I will humbly beg her maternal blessing

Eugene’s adolescent rule of life, quoted in Rey I p. 26

 That these words of Eugene were not a passing fancy is backed up by the regard that this young man had for Father Bartolo in Venice, and his commitment to adhering strictly to his rule of life. The biographer Rey wrote that on the reverse side of the first page of this rule Eugene wrote these important lines:

This rule of life is more important to me than all the gold in the world. It was drawn up for me in Venice by my venerated and dear spiritual master Don Bartolo Zinelli who died in Rome in an odor of sanctity. He has even had a several miracles attributed to him and they have written his biography which is an uninterrupted series of the practice of virtues. I can give powerful testimony to that and I acknowledge that I owe to this holy priest, after God, the tiny bit of good that is in me… I was twelve years old when my holy and beloved master drew up this rule of life for me.
 REY, I, p. 25.


“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” Joseph Campbell

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    “This rule of life is more important to me than all the gold in the world.” I must admit to having read this very early Sunday morning on my i-phone as my fellow travelers were getting up. I had actually missed two days of not being able to enter into this place of conversation between Eugene, myself, God and anyone else who happens upon it. I missed the routine of my way of starting my day, with conscious prayer and thought and the most I could share with my friends on the trip was how much I missed that.

    But it started me thinking yesterday just as it has this afternoon of the various people who have played a pivotal role in my life. One such person was Kay Cronin, and Honorary Oblate who was so good to me when I was drinking and drugging – she loved me and somehow always saw some good in me. Sadly she died long before I ever cleaned up, but who she was and how she was has stayed with even more than 40 years later. It was she who introduced me to the Oblates in her work and how she lived, why she lived as she did. In an incredibly short span of time she passed on to me a way of living that I only now understand and can say that I feel called to the same. No rule of life, but so much.

    Now years later I find myself almost clinging at times to Our Lady, to my Maman (for that is how I call upon her, speak with her). This past week has caused me to look at her and at my devotion to her. Even that is a mystery because it is she who will bring me home to the Lord and I trust in her to do that, to show me how to live, to guide and walk with me. That even as I trust Eugene to guide me, who shows me how to live and gives me a family to walk with. That even and more as I move into the embrace of God, one does not lessen the other but rather strengthens it. I must admit that after having pondered on it, I am not able to explain it, I only know it to be so.

    Kay showed me indirectly a way to be, Mary the Mother of God and myself tied most intimately to that way and Eugene who provided the way indirectly through Kay and more directly with his own invitation to me to live and love with an Oblate heart. There have been many over the years who gave me a lot, but none so much as Kay, as Eugene and his Oblates, as Our Lady, maman. All so that I would find my way to living out my call to walk in the shadow of the Cross.

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