A special message from the Oblate Community at Lourdes to novices and scholastics
Lourdes, May 29, 2021.
Dear novices and scholastics,
Allow us to begin this letter by recounting the last moments in the life of Saint Eugene de Mazenod. On Tuesday in the octave of Pentecost, May 21, 1861, at 9:30 p.m., a day ends. It only remains to recite the compline, the last prayer before rest. And it is exactly this prayer that was missing for a man’s earthly life to end.
One of those who watched over Bishop Eugene, noticed that the time to recite compline has arrived. The dying bishop gives his permission …
The antiphon Salve Regina is recited: When it was time to say : « …and after this our exile, show us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus », Bishop Eugene opens his eyes for the last time, as if he wanted Mary to take him by the hand and lead him to Jesus.
At the last words of this prayer: « o clement, o loving, o sweet Virgin Mary! » And with these words … the last breath … came the well-deserved rest.
None of the Oblates knew yet what Eugene had written in his will. However, Mary already knew and rejoiced:
I supplicate through the intercession of the Most Holy and Immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of God, desire to remind her in all humility, with compassion, with filial dedication of my whole life and with the desire that he has always had to make her known and loved and to propagate her worship in all places through the ministry of those whom the Church has given me as children …
At the end of the novena of prayer for Oblate vocations, we, the Oblates of the international community at the service of the Sanctuary of Lourdes, address this letter to those who discern their vocation to religious life in our Congregation as part of their first formation. We would like to share our joy of living in an international community and of fulfilling the desire of our Founder who always wanted to make the Blessed Virgin Mary known and loved and to propagate her worship in all places through our ministry.
We are proud to live according to the testament of our Founder and to serve in a place so famous as the Sanctuary of Lourdes.
Fr. Nicola Ventriglia – Italy
Fr. Linus Soysa – Sri-Lanka
Fr. Krzystof Zielenda – Poland
Fr. Josephe Nguyen – Vietnam
Fr. Martin Obikara – Nigeria