“We are all praying for you Bishop.”
“Thank you. I need it. I am about to give an account of my stewardship. I am counting very much on God’s mercy and very little on my own merits.”
“Bishop, you will be judged by One you have always loved.”
At these words, the bishop’s face brightened.
“Yes, I have loved him,” he replied, “and have laboured to have him loved. Whenever I prsided the Divine Office, it always delighted me to see the canons, pastors, and vicars passing back and forth in front of the Blessed Sacrament and bowing to it. Yes, that always gladdened me. But the Blessed Sacrament deserves more than that.”
During those fervent words, two large tears rolled down his face.
“Jesus is even more beautiful in heaven,” said the visiting priest.
“Ah, yes! But after such a long episcopate, the way to heaven will be long. I hope my children and my friends come to my assistance.”
A couple of days later after giving his Oblates a last blessing a Marian hymn of Salver Regina was sang and at the last words: “O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.” The heart of the Bishop stopped beating, the heart which was described to be as big as the world he wanted to tell about Jesus.
Let us pray:
O God in your mercy you blessed your bishop, Saint Eugene de Mazenod with the zeal of an apostle to preach the Good News to the nations. Grant that by his intercession we may be filled with the same spirit and dedicate ourselves wholeheartedly to the service of the Church and the salvation of all. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Salve, Regina, mater misericordiae;
vita, dulcedo et spes nostra, salve.
Ad te clamamus exsules filii Hevae.
Ad te suspiramus gementes et flentes
in hac lacrimarum valle.
Eia ergo, advocata nostra,
illos tuos misericordes oculos ad nos converte.
Et Iesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui,
nobis post hoc exsilium ostende.
O clemens, o pia, o dulcis Virgo Maria.
Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy,
our life, our sweetness and our hope.
To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve.
To thee to we send up our sighs,
mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.
Turn, then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us,
and after this, our exile,
show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.