It is the chief joy of all holy beings to witness the joy and happiness of those around them. (Ellen G. White)

So powerful had Babeau’s conversion been, that she now wielded all her authority on the women of the market to lead them to conversion themselves.

Eugene, who administered the sacrament of confirmation every Monday morning in his chapel, noted in amazement in his diary:

I would have believed that on this Monday no one would be presented, having administered the sacrament of Confirmation on Saturday. But, no, it must be said that, since I have been bishop, not a single Monday has passed without my confirming any adult in my chapel. Today, besides a woman from Africa, there were, I do not know how many, women of the market who are returning in great numbers to the practice of religion.

The association formed by Fr. Barrelle under the patronage of Saint Anne already counts nine hundred of these good women, who are like so many apostles for bringing back their companions. I would never have believed that there were so many women among the people who lived without the sacraments.

Eugene de Mazenod’s Diary, 17 March 1845, EO XXI

How do I live out my faith each day? Am I like an apostle who inspires others through the witness of the quality of my life?

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Lay Oblate says:

    I love the diversity of God’s people that is being presented to us – to witness their joy is to connect with the heart and so take part in it. It reminds me of how we are all connected in one way or another. To exclude another is perhaps one of the greatest sins of our times.

    In thinking of all that Babeau was able to share with those she knew I am reminded how many of our gifts are not always recognized; still, we continue to share them every way that we can. I think of Mary’s place in the society of her time and how we join her in standing at the foot of the cross. She and Babeau may have appeared to be opposites but I smile to think of their shared joy when they met each other.

    There are so many days and ways which I feel hidden and small. Who if any can I inspire with my ordinary life? Last week a young woman who I have known for years said that she was so glad to be a part of a new ministry which I was inspired to found – a simple ministry of accompaniment. She began to tell me of the respect and gratitude she feels for me because of how I give witness to standing firm in my love for God and my desire to share my experience of God with all who are in our parish and beyond. How I have taught her over the years to stand tall in the face of adversity and not run away and to speak out at wrongs being committed; how I have dared and spoken the truth even if it has meant possible exclusion; how when I preach, I share how greatly God loves us; and how I serve others and by example show others what love looks like. She told me that for herself and others I am a spiritual leader. I was shocked and stunned for it is not often that we are told how others perceive us.

    Look Lord, I cry, look what you have done for me, for all of us. And I sing to you:

    “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord
    And my spirit exalts in God my savior
    For He has looked with mercy on my lowliness
    And my name will be forever exalted
    For the mighty God has done great things for me
    And His mercy will reach from age to age…”

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