|Our Founder : Eugene de Mazenod|
Eugene de Mazenod was born on August 1, 1782, at
On Good Friday, 1807, at the age of twenty-five,
At the age of twenty-six,
Ordained in 1811, his bishop was faced with the dilemma of what to do with this young aristocrat. “…so personal and impetuous” and was somewhat relieved when Fr. de Mazenod asked to work with the poor and abandoned of the cities and outlying missions.
The zealous young priest turned his efforts towards the youth. He founded an association for young people. He worked also with prisoners and preached to the poor.
In 1815, Eugene de Mazenod felt the need for companions, who would share his apostolate, live in community with him, and commit themselves to God through religious vows. On January 25, 1816, Fr. de Mazenod and four companions committed themselves to God and dedicated their lives to bring the Good News to the poor. This they would do primarily by preaching parish missions. Pope Leo XII approved the Society in 1826 under the name of the Congregation of the Missionary Oblates of the Most Holy and Immaculate Virgin Mary.
Eugene de Mazenod became Bishop of
At his death in 1861, his religious congregation numbered 417. His Oblates were found in France , Great Britain, Canada, the United States, South Africa and
Saint Eugene de Mazenod was a man for his time. He was loyal to the Pope but almost lost his French citizenship because of it. Years later, he was made a Senator of the French Empire, but not a Cardinal because of the tension between the Emperor and the Holy See. He was determined, eloquent, austere, obstinate, impulsive, generous, intuitive and sensitive. On his deathbed, his last words to his worldwide brotherhood of Oblates were: “Amongst yourselves practice charity, charity, charity … and in the world, zeal for the salvation of souls.”