“In trial or difficulty I have recourse to Mother Mary, whose glance alone is enough to dissipate every fear.” (Saint Therese of Lisieux)

During Eugene’s exile in Venice, the adolescent was blessed to have been accompanied by a young priest, Bartolo Zinelli, who gave him a solid foundation in his faith. He resolved to begin each day by praying before his crucifix and then:

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

“Assumption of the Virgin” by Titian in the ‘Frari’ church in Venice

 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… 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.)

Where does Mary figure in my daily schedule?

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Mary is always here for me, a part of and as I sit here this morning I am not able to say I love her more than another simply because I am not able to set her aside and measure or calculate the depth of my love for her and the place she holds in my heart. She does not eclipse any other any more than she is eclipsed by an other. Love has no walls or boundaries.

    I think back to when I first returned to the Church and first an abbess and then later on a priest urged me to get to know Mary, in fact one of them told me to ask Jesus to introduce me to his mother – which I did. I was terrified of what I might have to let go of. It took me six months to make room for her in my heart (even though she was somehow already there).

    Oddly enough this does not lessen her importance in my life for she is always there, a deeply integral part of my journey of through life. “We shall always look on her as our mother. In the joys and sorrows of our missionary life we feel close to her who is the Mother of Mercy. Wherever our ministry – our life takes us, we will strive to instill genuine devotion to her who prefigures God’s final victory over evil.” (C 10)

    I smile as I read Eugene’s mention of the rule of life given to him early on by Bartolo Zinelli. So much more than and a little book of dos and don’ts. “She received Christ in order to share him with the world, whose hope he is. In her we recognize the model of the Church’s faith and of our own.” (C 10) Like tendrils of tenderness we cling to her. Interestingly enough that this 10th constitution is almost what holds the first nine together – the forging of love into a container that holds all.

    This is not something wishy-washy, not a small smouldering wick, but rather a deeply integrated and passionate way of being. Mary in our daily life, another expression of our breathing in and breathing out.

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