From the very beginning, Eugene’s expansive spirit saw beyond his present frontiers towards other areas of missionary outreach to the “most abandoned.” In 1818 he had written in the first Rule of Life:
Even though, because of their present small number and the more urgent needs of the people around them,
they have to limit the scope of their zeal, for the time being, to the poor of our countryside and others,
their ambition should, in its holy aspirations, embrace the vast expanse of the whole earth
1818 Rule, Part One, Chapter One. The ends of the Institute, §3. Nota Bene,
Missions, 78 (1951) p. 15
Now, six years later, we have been seeing how he heard and wanted to respond to the call of the abandoned across the French frontier in the Diocese of Nice.
Have prayers said every day that the good God remove the opposition that the demon must have aroused against the proposed foundation, which ought to be so advantageous to our Society and so detrimental to hell, for you cannot believe how much this region needs us.
Letter to Hippolyte Courtès, 24 July 1824, EO VI n 147
Unfortunately the Sardinian government was suspicious of foreign missionaries working in their territory, and so the project of a mission center in Nice never materialized.
“Doubt begins only at the last frontiers of what is possible.” Ambrose Bierce