Although he had to stay behind in Aix, Henri Tempier played an important role in the Barjols mission. On questions of health, he was the only one who had any hold on Eugene and he had forbidden him to tire himself out. So, after a few weeks of being obedient, Eugene wrote to him:
My health is better, I am sincere in telling you this. So I beg you to give me a little more scope.
Letter to Henri Tempier, December 1818, O.W. VI n.37
How to explain this meek obedience in Eugene? On Holy Thursday of 1816, the two of them had made a vow of mutual obedience. The foundation and spirit of this vow was confirmed and developed in the 1818 Rule, under the title of “the Admonitor of the Superior”. Consequently, Tempier wrote to him:
… I have never closely examined just how far you are obligated by the vow of obedience that you made to me. I believe, however, that you wanted to submit yourself in every- thing that does not touch the administration of the mission, as you explained better afterwards in the Constitutions, in that case, l order you to keep to this program, or better, if I cannot judge your case accurately due to the distance which separates us, you have only to consult Mr. Brun, a doctor … in the area, and to go absolutely by what he says without interpreting my will otherwise.
Letter from Henri Tempier to Eugene de Mazenod, 11 November 1818,
O.W. II 2, n.11
“Love is a better teacher than duty.” Albert Einstein