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St. Eugene’s pilgrimage
17/03/2011 Romania

At the age of 150, Eugene de Mazenod is going on a pilgrimage. Since last March 6, Eugene, accompanied by the Oblates, has begun to go as a pilgrim to some of the Roman Catholic parishes in southern Romania.

His age could be a hindrance, but in his case, it should be different, since on May 21, it will be 150 years since his birth into Heaven. Indeed, the Founder of the Oblates will celebrate his 150th birthday in authentically missionary style.

The visit of a saint should be exciting for Catholics, but in the case of Eugene, that is not so. The reactions are much more subdued, mainly because people do not know him. If he worked more miracles, he would probably be more popular. The first thing to do, then, is to tell who Eugene de Mazenod is. We begin with a screening of the movie “Eugene, a heart as big as the world,” realized by Angelica Ciccone. The video is an introduction to his life story, and during the homily, an Oblate focuses on one aspect of his life or his spirituality.

After this introduction, there follow the intercessory prayers for the needs of humanity and especially for families in need. One who has experienced the pain of separation in his family is proposed as an intercessor for those living in times of crisis. Then, after communion, the congregation turns to him in prayer and at the end of the celebration, they are invited to kiss his relic.

For the occasion, the Oblates have transformed the comic book “Eugene de Mazenod, Heart of Fire,” written by Antonio Perera and drawn by Juan Manuel Cicuéndez, into a delightful semi-animated cartoon. The first part is offered to the children to show how Eugene, as a boy, was able to move others in the light of the Gospel.

Up until May 15, 2011, every Sunday, except for Palm Sunday and Easter, the pilgrimage will stop at a different parish. On May 21, the Oblates will celebrate the birthday of Eugene at Mărăcineni. (www.omisat.net)