Eugene had been born in Aix en Provence, it had been the scene of his first ministry as a priest (especially the youth ministry) , it was the place of foundation of the Oblates and the city where his mother and sister lived. Aix was thus the place where all the people he knew and loved, and who loved him, were situated. Marseille was a new place for him and he suffered from its hostility – especially in his attempts to reorganize a diocese that had lain uncultivated for so many years before the appointment of his uncle as residential bishop. He longed for that human warmth, especially from the community of Missionaries in Aix.
I am sending you, my very dear Guibert, the two volumes of Cardinal Gerdil that I had promised you. I would have wished to bring them to you myself, so happy do I feel when in our holy house where everything pleases and edifies me, also I always think of myself as in a state of duress when taken away from it and it needs nothing less than being persuaded that the good God demands this enormous sacrifice of me in view of a greater good, to resolve myself to submit thereto without murmuring. Though that is a word I do not use for the frequent complaints which escape from me and which are quite justified being the kind which Our Lord uttered on the cross or in the garden of Olives.
Letter to Joseph Hippolyte Guibert, 19 January 1824, EO VI n. 125
“We can live without religion and meditation, but we cannot survive without human affection.” Dalai Lama