Writing to Father Henri Tempier, Eugene reveals something of his heart and the importance of warm relationships.
I confine myself to uniting my feeble prayers to yours in order to draw down upon you all the blessings that I could wish for myself, and that is not remarkable because I have never considered you other than as one who is identical to myself, that is why I not only love you very much, but share with you so willingly all my thoughts, while being surprised nevertheless that independently of our inter-related positions, you have so much trouble sharing yours with me.
Letter to Henri Tempier, 6 October 1829, EO VII n 338
Fr. Yvon Beaudoin comments:
It is not easy to sum up Father Tempier’s life which is so replete with different things. We can say, however, that his most important role was the part he played at the Founder’s side.
During the first years of his priestly ministry at Aix (1812-1815), Eugene de Mazenod did not have a true friend who was able to lessen his cares and to share his great designs, as he candidly says this in a letter to the abbé Forbin-Janson of September 12, 1814. His encounter with Father Tempier in 1815-1816 brought him what he was looking for and even more. Besides sharing plans and giving comfort in troubles, Father Tempier, a man who was calm, pondered and much less emotional than the Founder, tempered the outbursts of the Founder’s character and helped him – at times also replacing him – perseveringly to accomplish all his plans and undertakings.
Bishop de Mazenod had a real affection for and always esteemed this collaborator and friend from whom he kept no secrets. He wrote to him often, entrusted all positions of trust to him, openly admitted to him that he considered him as one identical to his own self (Mazenod to Tempier, October 6, 1829) and that in the Congregation people counted on Tempier as much as they did on the Founder (Mazenod to Tempier, August 15, 1822).