The 28 year-old Jean Joseph-Marie Lagier had been a diocesan priest for 5 years and, meeting the Oblates at Notre Dame de l’Osier, discerned an Oblate vocation. At the end of his novitiate year he was preparing himself to make his life-time oblation. Eugene wrote about his with joy.

Speaking of Father Lagier, I can tell you that I have never seen anyone prepare himself for a holy event of oblation as he did. And in consequence what fruits won’t he derive from it? Father Lagier can’t contain himself for jubilation. He told us, he who has always been so fervent both at the seminary and in the parish, that he has never known such peace and happiness, that he was overflowing with gladness and along with these outpourings from his noble soul he brings a firm resolution to do all for the glory of God, the service of the Church and of the Society, in whatever work obedience assigns him.
He is on fire to work for the salvation of souls, but he waits without anxiety for his superiors to choose the ministry in which they wish to employ him. To sum it all up in a few words, a more perfect subject couldn’t be found.

Letter to Henri Tempier, 16 August 1835, EO VIII n 533

Jean Lagier was to continue living in this spirit for the rest of his life, and sharing it with others mostly as a formator, professor and seminary rector. (See https://www.omiworld.org/lemma/lagier-jean-joseph-marie/ )


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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I brought up Fr. Lagier’s history and read it through, thinking of how he would barely have time to get settled into a ministry, a home before he was once again being moved, being ‘sent’ to yet another house to ‘form’ and serve as a Superior until being sent elsewhere to serve newly arisen needs.

    Fr. Lagier was in the deepest sense a ‘true’ missionary; not in the sense of mastering new languages and conquering new lands but in how he was sent, time and time again to form those who would be sent out in the footsteps of the apostles and disciples. Fr. Lager walked with them.

    Fr. Lagier “was on fire to work for the salvation of souls”, and like all great teachers, formators and superiors was a model – a model of what we call “servant leadership”. In the ordinary of his days he was charged to serve and lead and the extraordinary occurred within those he led. Fr. Lager who waited “without anxiety for his superiors to choose the ministry in which they wished to employ him” was a man whose every fiber of his being was that of a missionary – he led and formed others so that they could realise, experience and live the very charism and spirit they had all been called to espouse.

    Just like Jesus and the early disciples who were sent. Eugene himself who helped to form the young seminarians at the Sulpician seminary and was a model to them (just as he now is a model to us), teaching, leading and guiding those the Holy Spirit sends to him as sons and daughters – a shepherd leading his flock.

    I give thanks for today as we are invited to focus on Fr. Lagier who was tasked throughout his life with that way of leading and forming. Focusing on him we are invited to look at those who form and guide all of us in a very particular way of being. It is in great gratitude that once again we start out in our day filled with gratitude as we wait for where the Spirit will call us to be.

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