Eugene’s only sister, Eugénie and her husband Armand had five children: Nathalie, Caroline, Louis, Césarie and Eugène. The first three had died in their teens and Césarie had married in Italy in July 1847. Eugène was the Founder’s only surviving nephew. The biographer Rey mentions his marriage on 25 November 1847:

“On the 25th, Bp de Mazenod had the consolation of blessing the marriage of his nephew, Marquis Eugène de Boisgelin, in his chapel, in the presence of a select congregation.

His address, filled with family memories and accompanied by a subdued but very strong emotion, made a deep impression.”

Rey II p 261

“From 1841 to 1847, Armand and Bishop de Mazenod sought a marriage partner for him. Several projects of this nature failed because the young ladies involved were not rich enough or because Eugene was hard to please. He only wanted to marry a girl he already knew, a girl who was a musician, etc. Finally, Bishop de Mazenod blessed Eugène’s marriage to Angélique Sallony in his episcopal palace on November 25, 1848. As a wedding gift, the Bishop gave him the Boisgelin mansion which he had bought a few years previously. Eugène and Angélique had seven children.” (https://www.omiworld.org/lemma/boisgelin-armand-natal-de-and-family/)

Today their descendants continue to revere the saint in their family whom they still affectionately refer to as their “Oncle Eugène.” Over 200 Boisgelin descendants were present in Rome for his canonization in 1995.

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1 Response to A FAMILY WEDDING

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Lay Oblate says:

    While on pilgrimage some years ago I was introduced to one of St. Eugene’s family members who might have been one of those who referred to Eugene as his “Oncle Eugene”. I remember being impressed and happy to meet someone within Eugene’s family lineage. Something that had been missing with my family as it seems no one spoke of many of them unless they were seen as great and successful in their lifetime; however they were left unnamed only because when their names were spoken there followed a long list of their various imperfections.
    As I read this beautiful account of Eugene’s family, I was a little unsettled only because I realise that I picked up many of my families’ ways of judging and condemning… And yet I refer to myself as being one of St. Eugene’s daughters…

    With this morning’s reflection I realise the importance of my name, my full name. Not something to be ashamed of, or fearful that another would recognize my name and judge that I am still the woman that I once was. How often those wounds within me continue to bleed as they hide in the shadows.

    The Spirit reminded me both yesterday and a couple of weeks ago, that in spite of my heritage and failures how more than 40 years ago I heard God say my name and how greatly I am loved and forgiven.

    I recall the drawn image with Jesus in the center – his heart aflame and sharing that fire and love with his disciples, friends and all the world’s poorest.

    Ongoing healing…

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