In 1820 Eugene and the Missionaries had participated in a city-wide mission in Marseilles. They were entrusted with the three poorest parishes of the city
Only Marseilles looked with indifference on the noteworthy service rendered to three of its poorest and most populous parishes by my Congregation during the great mission we gave together with some other missionaries from outside, who apparently produced more noise than fruit in the more fashionable quarters of the city. Our labors among the people of St. Lawrence, the Grand-Carmes and St. Victor went unnoticed. Yet I did not spare myself. Undoubtedly, the good people were not insensitive to our zealous efforts; no, they were not and they proved it to us in the course of our ministry.
Three years later Eugene came to live in the city as Vicar General of his uncle, Bishop Fortuné.
But I must admit that the rest of the city failed to make that recognition unanimous, because less than three years later, all had been forgotten when I was welcomed like a foreign invader, although I came with my hands full of blessings, and my mind full of plans inspired by divine grace, all of them useful, most advantageous, and most necessary for the spiritual welfare and happiness of this city and of the whole diocese.
Eugene de Mazenod’s Diary, 31 March 1839, EO XX