Two Oblate friends from different countries found an original way to celebrate the 200thanniversary of the founding of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate and to honor Saint Eugene de Mazenod and the first Oblates who began the Congregation in 1816. The two aficionados of running, Frs. Cyprian CZOP, a 41 year old Pole, and Pasquale CASTRILLI, a 51 year old Italian, ran in the Paris marathon last April 3.

The world’s second largest marathon in terms of number of participants takes place in the capital of France where St. Eugene spent his seminary years at Saint-Sulpice. This year, the 40th edition of the marathon, there were about 41,000 athletes coming from 160 countries. It was the third marathon that Cyprian and Pasquale have run simultaneously, after Poznan (Poland) in 2014 and Rome in 2015. For the record, Cyprian ran the 42 km of the marathon in 3 hours and 5 minutes, coming in 1356th in the general classification. Pasquale did it in 4 hours and 2 minutes, coming in 14220th.

“The idea of running simultaneously in Paris came to us last summer,” says Pasquale, “when, ministry and community responsibilities permitting, we would continue a two-year-old tradition of running marathons together. To tell the truth, on the occasion of the 200th, we initially thought of the marathon in Marseille, the city where St. Eugene was bishop, but that was not possible for various reasons. These marathons run with Cyprian are an opportunity for fraternity and sharing.” (Pasquale Castrilli)