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St Eugene De Mazenod

Founder of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate

The world offered much to Eugene de Mazenod. Through his father he was nobility. Through his mother he was wealthy. But within nine years of his birth his world changed. The French Revolution made Eugene and his family political refugees for twelve years. His family fled France, his parents separated, and his inheritance disappeared.

On his return to his homeland at the age of twenty, he sought to find his place in the new France. It was a time of growing disillusionment, but Eugene's gaze was drawn more and more away from himself to the pressing needs of the spiritually and materially needy and the needs of the Church. He decided to do something about it. He became a priest.

Fr de Mazenod set about rebuilding a world of Christian values. From village to village he went preaching, bringing the Word and the Sacraments to all, visiting prisons, and offering the poor a renewed sense of their dignity. Others, inspired by his vision and energy, joined him and in 1826 a new religious family - to be called the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate - came into being.

Rebuilding a world of
Christian values

Even while Bishop of Marseilles, Eugene cared for his Oblate family. He sent his men on missions throughout Europe, to the United Kingdom, Canada, South Africa, and Sri Lanka. Today they extend to every continent working in over 65 countries.

His life of virtue was recognized by the Church and on December 3 1995, Pope John Paul II declared him a Saint. The Feastday of St.Eugene de Mazenod is on 21st May each year.