I am reopening my letter, my very dear friends; I was too late in getting it off to you yesterday. The reason I’ve re-opened it is to tell you, but under the strictest secrecy, that the king has just appointed my uncle, Charles Fortuné, to the bishopric of Marseilles. I am still filled to overflowing with gratitude to God.
Now Eugene describes eloquently and melodramatically the joys of this diocese. His Provencal ability to exaggerate is given full freedom in order to persuade this 68 year-old man to accept an enormous responsibility.
Without my uncle’s having even thought of desiring it, the Lord has given him the most coveted bishopric in all France. Its location, resources, perfectly disposed people and excellent clergy all make it so.
What enormous good we are going to do! Provence will be regenerated. All the Bishops of the province will be of but one mind; I know them all.
Then the refrain that is at the basis of Eugene’s heart emerges:
The Society which the Good Lord has confided to me is becoming astonishingly strong; I am preparing choice troops for the Bishop of Marseilles. There are beautiful days ahead for the Church. But, enough…
Letter to his father and uncles in Palermo, 28 August 1817, O.W. XIII n. 11