Eugene was absent nearly seven months from Marseilles, because of bad health. He undertook a journey into Switzerland on July 6, on the explicit orders of his doctors and of Fr Tempier. It was also an opportunity to help his sister, Eugenie de Boisgelin to take her mind off the sorrow caused by the death of her daughter Nathalie. (REY p 486)
This letter gives us a glimpse into the affectionate and caring nature of Eugene for his family.
Since you cannot come, my dear mamma, and I am obliged to postpone my journey to Aix, I will write you two words to express to you the regret I feel at not seeing you at the time when I was looking forward to embrace you.
I came twice to spend 24 hours in St. Joseph’s, my usual refuge when I want to enjoy a little tranquility. There is no way I can manage to write even one letter in Marseilles…
My plan is always to go to Aix for the elections, that is to say on the 22nd of this month. We shall be able to return together to prepare for the journey to Freiburg, which I undertake only because my sister has a real need of it. This woman is always more angelic, and it is not possible to be more virtuous, but she needs to have some diversion from her sorrows. The journey will be appropriate to do this.
If she did not have so much distaste for milk, I would count on this food to fatten her a little; But she does not want to try. Perhaps the milk of Switzerland will nauseate her less.
And you, what benefit did you get out of your thermal baths? It seems to have happened on purpose, that you were disturbed when you were determined to take them properly. God grant that the care you have given to my uncle [ed. her cousin Francois Roze-Joannis] will not have wearied you, and will cause all the fruit of these healing waters to be lost! I hope the patient is better, and I shall be glad to learn that your pains have calmed a little.
… Goodbye, very dear and good mother. I kiss you with all my heart. Remember me to my uncle. I greet my brother and I am your very affectionate son. Everyone is well at the bishop’s house.
Letter to his mother, 15 June 1830, OMI General Archives, Rome, AGR FB I-9