Eugene was in a reminiscing mood on the day of this diary entry. For some reason he decided to make a list of all his anniversaries. As we read it, perhaps it could inspire each of us to do the same – and to celebrate with a prayer of gratitude for each of our milestones.
Memorable days for me, whose anniversary I need to celebrate:
August 1, 1782, my birth;
August 2, 1782, my baptism.
I made my First Communion on Holy Thursday and I was confirmed by Cardinal Costa, Archbishop of Turin on the feast day of the Holy Trinity, but I am not sure whether this was in the year 1792 or even in 1793.
In the first supposition, Holy Thursday would correspond to April 5 and the Holy Trinity to June 3; in the second, this would be March 28 and May 26.
On November 4, 1808, I took the soutane,
on December 27, 1808, I was tonsured by Bishop Andre, former bishop of Quimper.
On May 27, 1809, I received minor orders from His Excellency Cardinal Fesch;
on December 23, 1809, I was made sub-deacon by Bishop André, former bishop of Quimper;
on June 16, 1810, I was made deacon by Cardinal Fesch;
on December 21, 1811, I was made priest in Amiens by Bishop Demandoix of Amiens. Cardinal Mattei, who should have ordained me, was in exile, and I not having wanted to receive the priesthood from the hands of Cardinal Maury, at the time administrator of the diocese of Paris. [ed. Jean Siffrein Maury (1746-1817), appointed by Pius VI bishop of Montefiascone and cardinal in 1799. Appointed archbishop of Paris by Napoléon in 1810; Pope Pius VII, in exile in France, refused to confirm the nomination.]
On November 1, 1818, I made my oblation in the congregation,
and, on October 14, 1832, I received episcopal consecration from the hands of His Eminence Cardinal Odescalchi and from the archbishops of Chalcédoine and of Ravenna, thereafter Cardinals Frezza and Falconieri.
I was transferred to the see of Marseille on October 2, 1837.
He concludes with a certain subtle sense of humor:
Yet to be known is the day of my death, the anniversary of which others will have to celebrate and for which I invoke in advance the mercy of God.
Eugene de Mazenod’s Diary, 14 March 1842, EO XXI
Let us also celebrate our milestones.