Through personal contact the people were invited to an encounter with the Saviour. In that spirit of closeness, the missionaries visited the people of the smaller villages in their homes on the first days to establish contact with them and to ascertain whether there were any pastoral problems that needed to be dealt with.
They will visit without distinction all the town’s inhabitants. The missionaries will do this with great modesty, much gentleness, affability, and consideration.
Before beginning the visit, the missionaries will go before the Blessed Sacrament to commend to our Lord Jesus Christ this important action that can greatly influence the mission’s success.
1818 Rule Part 1, Chapter 2, §2
During the Marignane mission Eugene wrote.
After breakfast, the missionaries resumed their visits until midday.
These visits are not very entertaining but they are very important, for they bring the missionaries close to the people they have come to evangelize.
They let themselves be seen in all the warmth of a charity which makes itself all things to all men, in this way they win over the most distant among them; they are able to give encouragement, to spur people on, to meet head-on some resistance, and, as they make progress, they end up discovering and to begin the process of remedying disorders that have often escaped the watchful care even of a zealous pastor.
Diary of the Marignane Mission, 18 November 1816, O.W. XVI