In four moments, Fr. Emmanuel Hirschauer proposes a discovery of Fr. Marie-Eugene’s teaching about the human person in its corporeality by commenting on the joyful, luminous, sorrowful and glorious mysteries of Jesus’ life.
“Drink a little wine for thy stomach’s sake” (1 Tm 5,23).
Fr. Marie-Eugene (Henri Grialou) was born in Aveyron (Southern France), in 1894. As the grand-son of farmers, he was rooted in this region where modest and hard-working families lived from livestock farming, agriculture, craft trades and somewhat later mining. He grew up with his feet on the ground ! The family relationships are full of love and this had a profound effect on the young Henri, who said much later that he had been « shaped by love from an early age ». He recalled :
On the back of a picture enclosed in a letter to his sister, Berthe, we can read the text of a resolution taken by the young Carmelite Fr. Marie-Eugene :
Supported by a solid judgement, Fr. Marie-Eugene was guided in all his missions by the intelligence of the heart which grants a right place to affection and its expressions. Witnesses report :
As Fr. Marie-Eugene was appointed Visitor of the French Carmelite sisters, he met all the nuns, caring about the spiritual well-being of the communities, recalling the exigencies of the Carmelite life and at the same time asking for a modernization of their installations : simplification of domestic work, improvement of hygiene conditions and adaptation of certain rules to the more vulnerable members were on the agenda. (GG, p. 196).
Fr. Marie-Eugene was always concerned whith the whole person : his/her well-being begins with body and sensitivity. Called up at the beginnng of the Second World War – he had been a Carmelite and a priest since 1922 – Lieutenant, then Captain Grialou looked after his troopers with great care. At their group home the soldiers could find beverages, books, watch films, listen to music, attend theater-plays (GG, p. 162). A military subordinate declared : « For me, Grialou this the good God”. (GG, p. 162)
Later, one of Fr. Marie-Eugene’s missions was to receive in his Convent of Petit-Castelet (Oct. 1955–July 1957) persons wishing to make a retreat. For those retreatants he wanted « the welcome to be good, warm, with good beds, warm blankets, well prepared and abundant food, nicely presented, and all that would make 75% of the success of the retreat. » (GG, p. 215) !
Fr. Marie-Eugene wanted to offer everybody a helping hand to encourage us on the way to God :