Always aware of the needs of the most abandoned in his diocese, Eugene was concerned about the poor girls who came in from the countryside to look for work as domestics in the city. Coming from the rural villages they were often naive about city life and how to cope. Many landed in the wrong hands and were forced into immoral ways of life in order to survive. The same was true of domestics who had lost their jobs and were forced to walk the streets to survive.
He established a home to receive these girls on their arrival in Marseilles and to be safe until they found suitable work and accommodation. The house also was a safe haven for them in the event of their losing their employment.
Sister Geray will be at my disposal to start the work I have wanted for so long to establish… It is about founding a home to receive domestics who have lost their status, until they can be placed, and to accommodate young people who come from their areas for work and who face terribledangers before they find what they need.
Eugene de Mazenod’s Diary, 14 August 1840, EO XX