Eugene’s friend, Father Forbin Janson was visiting Rome, and is here asked to find the tomb of Don Bartolo Zinelli, who had been Eugene’s mentor in Venice. What Don Bartolo had been in Eugene’s life as an adolescent, Eugene himself now aimed at being in the lives of the young people of Aix.
Find out if there is still to be found in Rome any Father of the Faith. Speak to him, if you find one, about my dear and holy master, Father Bartolo Zinelli, who died in Rome in the odour of sanctity in 1802. Get someone to bring you to his tomb to say a prayer in my name, with all the fervour you can muster, to obtain from God by his intercession all the graces that he so often sought for me, when he was on earth.
Although I have a good number of his letters, full of the spirit of God which was constantly at work in him, and have several things in my possession that come from him, if you could get some of his relics for me, you would be bestowing on me an inestimable gift. It is to this holy priest I owe the little shoot of piety I cultivate so badly. But for him I would never have known God.
To Forbin Janson, June 1814 in O.W. XV n. 125:
Interestingly, Eugene was to spend many months in 1825-1826 in Rome at the religious house of San Silvestro in Quirinale, in whose chapel Don Bartolo was buried. In 1832 Eugene was ordained Bishop of Icosia in this very church in the presence of the mortal remains of one of the most significant persons in his life.