The Archbishop of Aix was in temporary poor health and needed someone to accompany him on his pastoral visits throughout the Archdiocese of Aix, and to preach on his behalf. Eugene appointed Oblate Father Mille to this important mission.
I would now like to give you some instructions. First of all, you must remember that you have been called to be the instrument of the chief Pastor during his pastoral visit. Consequently, you must be imbued with the importance of this ministry’s greatness.
Bearing in mind that Eugene had been a bishop for 5 years, and had just been appointed to have the responsibility of the Diocese of Marseilles, the advice that he gives to Fr Mille reflects his own pastoral approach. The list is a mirror of Eugene’s own episcopal ministry:
I don’t have to tell you that you must stress the sublimity of the grace and all the blessings the Lord dispenses during the presence of a Bishop visiting his flock
to instruct them,
and impart the Holy Spirit to those who have not yet received him,
to arouse repentance in the hearts of those who have lost it;
to recall to the knowledge and practice of God’s holy law and the Church’s precepts;
to inflame the charity of this good Mother Church even for those who are dead, since the Bishop comes to pray for their souls in every place of his jurisdiction.
Letter to Jean Baptiste Mille, 21 April 1837, EO IX n 614
We will recognize all this put into practice by Eugene himself during the next two decades as Bishop of Marseilles.