Litany Subsections with ReflectionsPrayerReflection

Restorer of Shrines

Among the ministries exercised by the Oblates, the pastoral care of shrines dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary very early took an important and privileged place. Eugene de Mazenod saw this ministry as an ‘on-going’ mission. He always considered it an honor that the Congregation was called to restore devotion to Mary in shrines that formerly were famous but had been more or less abandoned since the French Revolution. In the lifetime of Eugene, he had accepted the care of nine shrines. The first of these was Notre Dame du Laus (Our Lady of the Laus) a shrine at the foot of the French southern Alps. While the main ministry of the shrine would be in the summer months, the missionaries would spend the winter preaching missions and retreats to the people in the surrounding villages. The ministry of the shrine was never seen as independent from the work of giving missions. Towards the end of his life Eugene as Bishop of Marseille approved the work of the renovation of the Marian shrine of Notre Dame de la Garde (Our Lady of Protection) in Marseille. This is a very prominent sight in Marseille. He died before its completion.

Reflection Questions

1. The manner in which we embrace many aspects of our faith dictates what we reap from it. Restoring of shrines might not be seen as exciting a mission as taking the faith to far off places. Yet Eugene was able to see the richness in the hum-drum. What is a ‘boring’ aspect of faith we can better embrace?

2. On many occasions, God does not allow his followers to enjoy the completion of a task given to them. Why?

Fr Giancarlo Iollo OMI

Br Joshua Nash OMI

Fr Giancarlo Iollo OMI

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