GENERAL ADMINISTRATIONSt. Eugene and St. Alphonsus
On an Italian website, we found a bit of history perhaps unknown to many Oblates (http://goo.gl/RiTvn).
January of 1828, there appeared for the first time the Life of St. Alphonsus,
Founder of the Redemptorists, in French. In order to spread the devotion and
the works of Blessed Alphonsus Ligouri, Fr. Eugene de Mazenod, Founder of the
Congregation of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, and later Bishop of Marseille,
had gathered the necessary documentation for composing a biography of the great
Servant of God. Burdened with much work, Fr. De Mazenod confided the task to
Fr. Jeancard, a talented young priest who had just entered the Congregation.
The press was full of praise. Especially noteworthy were the chapters on moral theology which were evidently written, not by the young, inexperienced priest, but by his esteemed superior. One reads there: “His moral theology was received with great applause by a multitude of bishops and distinguished theologians, in Germany, in Spain, in France: in a word, in all of Christianity.”
Bishop de Mazenod had founded his institute to work at evangelizing the poor. He was present at the beatification of Alphonsus. The new founder chose him as patron of his Missionaries of Provence. It was he who erected, in 1818, in his church in Aix, the first altar dedicated to this Holy Doctor in France. Later on, with Cardinal Gousset, he was the most eager promoter of his moral theology.
The first public tribute to Blessed Alphonus, pronounced on his feast day, led to the miracle of an instantaneous healing. The solemn octave of the feast attracted a huge crowd of people. Fr. de Mazenod wrote: “Soon, there will be more candles glowing on the altar of this Blessed than on that of the Madonna.” (Vita di S. Alfonso del P. BERTHE, 1I, p. 671-72).