The value of example speaking louder than words was stressed to Tempier when the missionaries had gone to help the inhabitants of a neighbouring village to put out a fire:
If only I had been with you on the day of your noble behaviour at Saint-Etienne. From here, I behold you in the midst of the flames giving aid everywhere and intelligently, which must have saved a great number of persons. I am not surprised that people do not cease to speak of this splendid devotedness.
Four missionaries engaged in such an exercise of charity preach better still than in the pulpit, at least they are better understood.
Letter to Henri Tempier, 29 June 1819, O.W. VI, n. 45