Our Founder: Eugene de Mazenod
Eugene of Mazenod was born in Aix-en-Provence in France in 1782, the son of a wealthy aristocratic parents. His father Charles Antoine de Mazenod, a member of the French nobility was the President of the Aix Parliament. His mother Marie-Rose Joannis, a member of the rapidly evolving bourgeois merchants embodied the practical and shrewd realism of this group.
This union of complementary social and cultural values assured young Eugene all the requisites for a successful and comfortable life. This idyllic world was swept away by the French Revolution in 1789. After his father opposed the revolution, the entire family was obliged to flee into exile in Italy. In 1790, a new painful period began for Eugene. These were years of family instability, material scarcity and danger.The family was forced to flee successively to Turin, Venice, Naples and Palermo.
Eugene's adolescence was impoverished. Deprived of friends of his own age, unable to continue an orderly academic program, he was also separated from his mother who divorced her husband in order to return and reclaim family property in France. More …
Inspiring quotations from the Founder of the Oblates,
Saint Eugene de Mazenod
… gather yourself together, renew your spirits, survey the difficulties and in the end, you overcome all obstacles.
(Letter to Fr. Telmon, June 1849)
Courage then … and do not be astonished if you meet with difficulties.
(Letter to Fr. Boudre, March 1855)