In his effort to persuade Fortuné to accept the nomination to be bishop of Marseille, Eugene had assured him:
Take courage, I will be your other-self.
Letter to Fortuné de Mazenod, 16 September 1817, O.W. XIII n. 12
Fortuné responded to all Eugene’s letters a couple of weeks later by accepting
So, my dear nephew, all is consummated. I will obey, since I must, but throwing myself first into the arms of divine Providence, whom I implore to have pity on my extreme need….
So why, on the brink of my grave, have you snatched me from my seclusion, where I was sheltered from so many dangers, to launch me onto a stormy sea and one littered with shipwrecks? Did you really reflect on the awesome responsibility you were taking on yourself before both God and the Church, and before the King and men?
I repeat, I submit albeit in fear and trembling; and if I have the happiness to do some good in the diocese of Marseilles, I will be the most convincing of proofs that the Lord has no need of any of his creatures’ talents and can make use, when he likes, of the weakest and vilest instruments to do his holy work and manifest his glory….
Remember that after God you are my guide and right arm…”
Letter of Fortuné de Mazenod to Eugene de Mazenod, 9 October 1817,
P.R., FB I-2
Eugene’s father confirmed that Fortuné was not able to imagine being bishop without having Eugene at his side:
“It is well for you to know that Fortuné wants to be guided in everything… He will need all your attentions. He is counting on them absolutely, unreservedly. Already you can see that in his pastoral he has quite definitely not forgotten to mention some dear and respectable rural missionaries, and how they will be sustained, encouraged and defended by him. Their leader will be in a position to do still more good than in the past…”.
Letter of President de Mazenod to his son Eugene, 27 October 1817
reproduced in O.W. XV n. 143
In the face of all this Eugene had no alternative but to accept the will of his uncle:
Yes, yes, my dearest uncle, I take all the responsibility on myself…
Letter to Father Fortuné de Mazenod, in Palermo, 17 November 1817, O.W. XV n. 143