Fr Marcello Zago OMI, the Superior General of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate at that time, the man who was a successor of Eugene as the head of the Oblate Congregation full of joy declared that morning: “This is the day the Lord has made!” Indeed those in attendance could admire the grace of God who shaped the Founder of the Oblates to become a saint. In 1825 when he presented to the Holy See the Oblate Constitutions and Rules, there he wrote: “We must lead people to act like human beings, first of all, and then like Christians, and, finally, we must help them to become saints.” Those who came for the Canonisation in 1995 realised that he applied those words to himself first. It was the goal he aimed at himself.
John Paul in his homily captured that goal brilliantly when he said: “Blessed Eugene de Mazenod, whom today the Church proclaims a saint, was an Advent man, a man of the Coming. He looked not only upon the Coming, but as bishop and founder of the Congregation of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, he devoted his life to prepare for it. His waiting achieved heroic intensity, and was characterized by a heroic level of faith, hope and apostolic charity. Eugene de Mazenod was one of those apostles who prepared modern times, our time.”
I also believe that St Eugene de Mszenod was thrilled that his canonisation happened during the time of the Novena of the Immaculate Conception, which begins every year on November 29 and leads us to the great celebration of December 8. It was in Rome where Eugene requested Pope Leo XIII to name his newly founded Institute the Oblates of Mary Immaculate. It was in Rome that he attended the Novena of the Immaculate Conception during the Jubilee Year of 1825 with this spiritual intuition to offer himself and his companions to Mary Immaculate.