By February 1835, the cholera outbreak had become an epidemic. At the height of the epidemic Rey gives the average number of deaths of people in their houses as at least 83 each day, without counting those who had been brought to institutions to die. Panic hit the population of Marseilles with between 25 and 30,000 people fleeing the city to escape the ravages.
René Motte describes Eugene’s situation:
“At the time, Bishop de Mazenod had lost his civil rights because he accepted to be consecrated bishop without the authorization of the French government. He did not react negatively, asserting that Marseilles had no more claim on him, that he could have left the city like those who had enough money to find a safe place in the rural area. Quite to the contrary, he was aware that the Lord had called him to remain with the poor, “my place is here.” Moreover, his ministry as a bishop prompted him to administer confirmation to the sick who had not received this sacrament. His faith in the role of the Holy Spirit in every Christian life prompted him to make himself available to everyone to make sure that they received the gift of the Holy Spirit. He is faithful to this calling in spite of the danger of becoming infected.”
“Cholera Epidemics” in https://www.omiworld.org/lemma/cholera-epidemics/