A Heart as Big as the World (8) - Duke Cannizzaro Family

“Providence, which has always watched over me since my tenderest years as an infant, gave me entry into a Sicilian family, in which I was accepted from the first as a child of the house. This was the family of the Duke of Cannizzaro.  His wife, the Princess of Larderia, was a saint. Both the one and the other formed a strong affection for me, and it seems they considered themselves fortunate to give to their two sons, who were about my own age, although a little younger, a companion who could both become their friend and give them an example of good behaviour, a very rare commodity, practically a phenomenon, in a country like theirs. From this time until my return to France, I was one of the family: my place was always set at their table; I followed them to the country in the summer, and everything in the house was at my service as it was for their own children, who considered themselves my brothers.

“And this I did become, actually, in terms of affection, and their mother, who used to say that she had acquired a third son, drew me so close to her through her kindnesses, that her own children certainly did not love her more than I. I proved this when she died  and everyone could see that my grief was incomparably more tender and profound than that of her children. The Princess, whom with every right I used to call my mother, was taken from us without warning: it was a cruel blow and a deep wound; it affected me for a long time; I even became ill over it. I was told that at the sight of her dead body I fell prostrate at the foot of her bed uttering repeatedly this lamentation: ‘I have lost my mother! I have lost my mother!’ The ties of the closest friendship between father and children were drawn even tighter as a result of this appalling event. We became as it were inseparable until the day came I had to leave Sicily and return to France.”



(Writer: Father Henricus Asodo, OMI, from his animation slide presentation on the Founder of OMI "St. Eugene de Mazenod", Aix-en-Provence, France)

Eugene de Mazenod

Kemampuannya dalam pewartaan injil dan bakat kepemimpinannya dalam mengarahkan berbagai Misi merupakan tanda-tanda lahir hidup batin yang menjadikan Eugene de Mazenod sebagai penjala manusia.


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