Dear mother, you are the first to whom I tell the news of the nomination of my uncle, the Abbé, as Bishop of Marseille. I have not yet received the official letter, so please do not tell anyone, but it is now a fact.
The most difficult aspect is that my uncle accept something that he has always vigorously avoided before. But I believe that he is obliged in conscience to do so because of the circumstances and of the immense good that he will be able to do.
Letter to his mother, 4 September 1817,
Orig.: Chateau des Boisgelin, at St-Martin-des-Pallières
The problem was that Fortuné needed to accept this nomination and not refuse it. Eugene wrote to his uncle enumerating all the possible reasons he could think of why, in conscience, he had to accept. After eight pages of writing, he concluded on a personal note as founder of the Missionaries:
To all these undeniable reasons I have put before you, I could add many others, but it would take too much space to go into them. However, there is one especially which takes first place in my heart because I know its full importance. It alone would be sufficient to persuade you, if you appreciated it well, namely, your acceptance is necessary for the future of our work.
If I know anything of the workings of Divine Providence, the good Lord reserved Marseilles for you with the view towards giving us special protection. Ah, this fervent community which relives in our day all the virtues of the most beautiful times of Christianity was worthy of the Lord’s consideration!
Shame on you if, not recognizing your calling, you were to reject that noble protectorate on which depends the salvation of so many souls
Letter to his father and uncles in Palermo, 6 September 1817, O.W. XIII n. 11