At the height of the epidemic, Eugene described the situation in Marseilles:
My dear Son, the demands made on us increase by the day. It was two hours past midnight before I got to bed yesterday. We are in a state of maximum alert on account of the re-appearance of the horrid disease that is afflicting our city.
We have had to bring immediate relief to the most urgent cases. In some parishes, like La Major and St. Laurent, the clergy were at the end of their tether. I have given two Missionaries to St. Laurent. Calvaire is doing more in the line of service than a parish; the people like to come to the Missionaries in their need.
I am myself on call in every district for the administration of the sacrament of confirmation to the large number of those who have neglected to receive it; I am fresh now from the hospital, and on my return there are a host of matters to be attended to from all over. I have just received a summons at this very moment to a poor woman who will not be for this world tomorrow.
I take up my pen again to express my regrets at my inability to respond to your requests which I would love to satisfy, but you understand that my place is here, and that I must give an example of a holy courage.
Letter to Casimir Aubert, 10 March 1835, EO VIII n 508
Where the most abandoned were suffering was the place where Eugene had to be as a cooperator of the Savior.