At the end of each day, Eugene would write his personal journal and record some of the events of the day and his personal reactions. Today he gives thanks for the project of the orphanage which he and his uncle had established for the children left without families because of the recent cholera epidemics.
Although I am still not fully recovered, I could not refuse the appeals made to me to go and bless the temporary chapel and house for the cholera orphans. The liturgy went very well. After the blessing of the chapel and before beginning the Holy Sacrifice, I was content to address a few words to the large congregation to excuse myself for not having the strength to speak. These few words were accepted with a kind of gratitude precisely because of the efforts I had to make to express what I was feeling.
It was marvellous actually to find oneself in this fine building, put up within ten months since we came and blessed the first stone on the rocky slope. The work had been begun under the auspices of the chief pastor, to offer support to a dozen poor little orphans, and now I saw eighty of them in front of me, and in a few days another twenty are going to be welcomed with the same charity, and the same trust in divine Providence! After Mass, we went in procession all around the house to bless it.
Eugene de Mazenod’s Diary, 12 February 1837, EO XVIII
Eugene’s time in Marseilles would be marked by countless activities like this one as he tried to respond to the needs of the most abandoned.