I MUST THANK GOD FOR THE HEALTH THAT HE MAINTAINS IN ME AND ASK HIS PARDON FOR THE BAD USE OF 61 YEARS OF LIFE.
Eugene never gave importance to celebrating his birthday.
Patience! Still another year. I must thank God for the health that he maintains in me and ask his pardon for the bad use of 61 years of life.
Rather, he put the focus on the anniversary of his baptism, the next day. It was his custom to celebrate this important day each year with the Capuchin Sisters in their contemplative monastery.
Customary stopover with the Capuchins where I am going to say community Mass on the occasion of the pardon of Saint Francis.[ed: Allusion to the indulgence of the Portiuncula granted by Pope Honorius III to the faithful who would be visiting, on August 2, 1221, the sanctuary of the Portiuncula, first house of the Order of Saint Francis near Assissi. This indulgence was subsequently made perpetual.]
I always begin my new year in this fashion surrounded by the fervent prayers of these angels in this world who have so much charity, so great an attachment for me. Their church has been filled all morning, so edifying is their assistance.
Eugene de Mazenod’s Diary, 2 August 1843, EO XXI
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