Our chronological reading of Eugene’s letters introduces us to the Oblate missionary, Joseph Ambroise Vincens, who became an important figure on the history of the Congregation.
At the age of 27 he was ordained a diocesan priest for the Archdiocese of Aix. Observing the mission of the Oblates in the city, he discerned a call to join them and entered the novitiate, making his oblation in 1834. He was assigned to the Shrine of Notre Dame de l’Osier, where he was to remain for 20 years.
Yvon Beaudoin tells us:
The community brought the Marian shrine back to life and especially preached many missions in the diocese. Father Vincens was usually the one who headed up the missionary teams. He was pilgrimage director during the summer season and a tireless missionary during the winter.
During this time he also founded a congregation of religious: the Oblate Sisters of Mary Immaculate. He drew up their rules, giving them as objectives their personal sanctification, the important work of retreats, care of pilgrims, receiving boarders, etc. In 1868, this congregation amalgamated with the Sisters of the Holy Family of Bordeaux. During his lifetime he was also Novice Master and Assistant General
Father Fabre wrote about him: “It is impossible for us to tell the number of parishes that were evangelized… God alone knows the good that was done by his humble servant, who knew how to make fruitful the talents given to him by the Father of the family.”
Bishop de Mazenod considered him a very good missionary, the kind that he wanted the Oblates to be. In this regard, Father Fabre wrote: “Reverend Father Vincens was a man of genuine eloquence, popular eloquence. Consistently lofty in his style, he was always master of the content of his sermons and of the way in which he expressed it, while at the same time, he had the knack of instructing minds that were ignorant and engaging the minds of the elite. With his simple and astoundingly lucid approach, he immediately captured his audience whom he quickly brought to share his convictions. The immediate most striking impression he made was the depth of feeling he conveyed in what he said, the love for the truths he was proclaiming…”
See the Historical Dictionary article: https://www.omiworld.org/lemma/vincens-joseph-ambroise/