|Eugene was 20 years old when he returned from exile. Upon arrival in France, his overriding desire was to live fully, to make up for lost time. Young, handsome, with a well known family name he also had the inherited wealth recovered by his mother. Among his head-strong ambitions and pretensions: Marriage with a young rich heiress, a secure and prestigious position in society and access to the pleasures and amusements of the good life..
These dreams crumbled one by one starting with the unexpected death of the wealthy young woman. Eugene now 25 years old was forced to make a new balance of his life and person. He was not the extraordinary man that he had imagined himself to be. Certainly he had some good qualities, a strong character and a generous heart. Yet it was also obvious that he had yet to accomplish anything truly important. Superficial friendships and the easy pleasures of high society living were found empty and wanting.
Little by little the social and moral havoc resulting from the French Revolution had profoundly impacted on Eugene. He was moved by the distressing condition of the clergy and the tremendous religious ignorance of the people found everywhere. Endowed with a lively and imperious character and filled with noble intentions, Eugene resolved to play a part in meeting the urgent needs of the Church.