Finally, news came from Fr Tempier. He wrote to Eugene that in the facing the difficult situation: “Our motto is prudence and moderation, but vigilance, firmness and courage” (REY. I. 489). Eugene responded:
I approve your conduct entirely. I did not expect less of you. You have done what must be done. I wish I were able to give the same praise to those of whom you speak to me
The violent behavior of the mobs had affected the Oblates in Nimes, who had been forced to escape with the Bishop and clergy, and Eugene was not impressed.
Guibert, in Laus, had stood firm – but then they had not been violently threatened.
Guibert has written to me and has not imitated them.
Unless things have happened that you do not mention, I cannot conceive how the chaplain left his post. He did not do his duty in these circumstances; did he not have sick people to care for? That is where I would have remained – beside them. This good example would have done honor to his courage and to his ministry which is wholly one of charity.
We do not know who this chaplain is, but it is an attitude that Eugene would condemn later again during the cholera outbreaks in Marseilles, when some of the priests of his diocese were too frightened to remain with their suffering people.
He then points his Oblates to their lighthouse: the Rule of Life to give them serenity and courage as they fulfilled their ministerial duties.
In the name of God, let none of this turmoil effect adversely the regularity of our people. Let them be concerned with these events only to the extent that is necessary for them not to be aloof from what is happening; but let their piety and the holy practices of their state not suffer the least detriment. On the contrary, may all redouble their fervor and their application to their duties.
Finally, his advice to the scholastics to keep clear-headed about what they were supposed to be doing:
Maintain vigorously their studies; learning is an indispensable condition to be utilized wherever one may be.
Letter to Henri Tempier, 13 August 1830, EO VII n. 354
In the face of seemingly-overwhelming difficulties, all are reminded to redouble our fervor and our application to our duties.