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Quote of the day
The spirit of mortification should not be demanded but inspired.St. Eugene de Mazenod
Reflection of the day
Today our original founding vision continues to become more inclusive and far-reaching:
The charism of Saint Eugene de Mazenod is a gift of the Spirit to the Church, and it radiates throughout the world. Lay people recognize that they are called to share in the charism according to their state of life, and to live it in ways that vary according to milieu and cultures. They share in the charism in a spirit of communion and reciprocity amongst themselves and with the Oblates
OMI Rule of Life, R37a
The history of the Oblates contains some accounts of sudden conversion, not unlike that of St. Paul on the road to Damascus. The life of Brother François Leriche offers a typical example.
A call from the Blessed Virgin
At the age of fifteen, this restless child from Mayenne, near Brittany, joined the circus and became a professional showman. He played the violin, did a few acrobatic stunts in a clown costume, and made people laugh. This adventurous life alienated him from his Christian life. For several years, he abandoned all practice of religion. He no longer set a foot in church. However, one day, somewhat by chance, he heard a sermon on the Blessed Virgin that made him reflect seriously. “See the star, and invoke Mary” the preacher repeated many times, with conviction. François decided to change his life. From that moment he evolved into a model of piety and devoted himself to the good works of his parish. But he wasn’t satisfied with this regular and peaceful life. He wanted to do more in order to “redeem himself completely” as he would say. (more…)
The house where the Congregation was founded has remained a pilgrimage centre for the Oblates of the entire world. Its history, peaceful at times and sometimes very eventful, was typical of what religious communities lived through during that period of France’s history.
From 1628 on, this house was the residence of the Carmelites. But it was only during the construction of the church (1695-1701) that the building took on its present form, a building complex of four wings forming a box around an interior court yard. The Carmelites, who numbered 18 at the time, were expelled by the Revolution in 1792 and their convent as well as its furnishings were sold as property confiscated by the state to some individuals from the city of Aix.
It was then that, in 1815, he purchased a part of the former convent of the Carmelites. Three of the wings of this house were being used as a boarding school for young girls under the direction of a Mrs. Gontier. On May 13, 1816, Mrs. Gontier shut down her boarding school. The Oblates could then use the whole complex of the building that they owned. Until his departure for Marseilles in 1823, Father de Mazenod occupied a room on the first floor.