For my part, my very dear Sons, I will be content to sum up my advice in this single recommendation: read and meditate upon your Holy Rule.
Circular Letter 1, 2 August 1853, EO XII
It is clear that the bulk of the work had been done in the preceding years. It became the occasion to put into words the spirit according to which he had lived during the events of the preceding years.
In compiling the Rule of the Missionaries of Provence in 1818, Eugene walked on solid ground.
Firstly he drew on his own experience of the sound formation he had received at St. Sulpice and on how he had lived this in practice in his life and ministry for nearly seven years since his ordination.
His ideals and rules for the Youth Congregation had been tried and tested and he brought this experience with him.
To this was added the experience of nearly three years of existence of the Missionaries of Provence and their practice of community living and ministry of proclamation of the Word of God through missions in Provence and ministry in Aix.
It was all this which Eugene brought with him and expressed in the Rule.