Yvon Beaudoin gives the background to yet another anti-religious incident: “The mayor had requested the suppression of the procession on the feast of the Assumption. Bishop Fortuné went ahead with it all the same. A group of men attacked the young girls who led the procession and momentarily seized possession of the Cross, which was courageously defended by the Catholics who followed the procession.”
… What splendid people we have at Marseilles! You will have to go a long way to find their equals! Yes, that dastardly outrage. Well deserved the punishment meted out to the people responsible, and if they come back another time it will serve them right if you hit them even harder, for it is really too bad when a bunch of hooligans can brag of their immunity and insult religion and all that is dear to the 140,000 who make up the majority of the people here.
Letter to Henri Tempier, 24 August 1831, EO VIII n 492