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. 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 St Eugene, tempered the outbursts of Eugene’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 and that in the Congregation people counted on Tempier as much as they did on the Founder.
The need for deep friendship was an important feature of Eugene’s personality. Henri Tempier was the one to whom he was the closest: his first Oblate companion, his vicar in the Oblates, his assistant vicar-general in Marseille, and his confessor, spiritual accompanier and “life-coach” until his death. Together they endeavored to live in unity with God and to lead others to the same relationship. Here was the source of Eugene’s strength in the most difficult moments.
He died at midnight during the night of April 8 to 9, 1870 in the Oblate House in Paris. He is buried in the cemetery of Montmartre.