We hear more about what it is like for St. Eugene and those Oblates in Marseilles during the Cholera epidemic.  Eugene writes on March 10th, 1835 to Fr. Courtes in Aix.

My dear Son, the demands made on us increase by the day. […] We are in a state of maximum alert on account of the re-appearance of the horrid disease that is afflicting our city. We have had to bring immediate relief to the most urgent cases. […] I have given two missionaries to St. Laurent. Calvaire is doing more in the line of service than a parish; the people like to come to the missionaries in their need. I am myself on call in every district for the administration of the sacrament of confirmation to the large number of those who have neglected to receive it; I am fresh now from the hospital, and on my return there are a host of matters to be attended to from all over. I have just received a summons at this very moment to a poor woman who will not be for this world tomorrow. I take up my pen again to express my regrets at my inability to respond to your requests which I would love to satisfy, but you understand that my place is here, and that I must give an example of a holy courage. We are going to offer solemn prayers. Tomorrow we are bringing down Our Lady de la Garde for exposition in the cathedral for three days. […] Goodbye, please pass on my news to my mother. I don’t have time to write to her. Don’t tell her what I’m up to, it would only give her unnecessary worry. Pray for us. […] Please take special care of Brother Kotterer. […] I hold you close to my heart.” (508:VIII in Oblate Writings)

I think that Eugene sounds tired and it is no wonder because so much is being asked of him and his Oblates.  Yet he doesn’t question it – he goes where he is needed.  It is all without question simply because of love.

This makes me realise I have nothing to complain about – I need only to love.  I need only to remember that.  Still I ask you to pray for me.

About Eleanor Rabnett

Oblate Associate
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