Born at Chaspuzac (Haute-Loire), April 1, 1825.
Taking of the habit at Notre-Dame de l’Osier, August 14, 1847.
Oblation at Notre-Dame de l’Osier, August 15, 1848. (no. 205)
Ordination to the priesthood at Marseilles, December 22, 1849.
Died at Limoges, March 17, 1895.
Jean Pierre Eymère was born at Chaspuzac in the diocese of Puy-en-Velay on April 1, 1825. He entered the novitiate of Notre-Dame de l’Osier on August 14, 1847 and made his oblation on August 15, 1848. He was admitted to vows at the General Council session of August 7, 1848. In the report of this session, we read about him: “He is from the diocese of Puy. Rev. Father Léonard [Baveux] nabbed him at the major seminary of that city where he was doing his theological studies. Never for an instant has this young man failed to meet our expectations from the moment he entered the novitiate. His regular observance and his prayer life have constantly edified his confreres. In addition to this, he possesses a very good character and is sufficiently talented.”
Bishop de Mazenod ordained him to the priesthood on December 22, 1849 and immediately sent him to Algeria as a replacement for Father Jean-Baptiste Bellanger who had been expelled for having squandered the Congregation’s resources. Upon his arrival in Algeria, the young priest fell victim to a serious accident. In his diary, the Founder wrote in his February 22 entry: “This good and excellent Father Eymère whom I had sent to Algeria to replace the Judas who had betrayed the Congregation and the Church even before his arrival at his destination by deplorable lack of prudence has received the reward of his dedication and his good will. When the horses of the coach which was conveying him to Blida seized the bit in their teeth in a runaway, this fine priest had the unfortunate idea of leaping out of the coach. The fall very nearly killed him. [….] We are losing a most genial subject, a person brimming with youth, enthusiasm and health. These qualities gave promise of a long and fruitful ministry. I am overwhelmed by this blow and I beg the Lord to grant me the grace to endure with the resignation we should have for everything it is his pleasure to ordain. This loss so heartrending for me.”
Nevertheless, Father Eymère soon recovered from this plunge and returned to France in July of 1850 when the Founder recalled the Oblates from Algeria in order to take on instead the mission in South Africa. For many years, Father Eymère preached missions and retreats in several dioceses in France and lived in several Oblate communities. The sources available to us do not allow us to pin down all the places and the dates of his transfers. He lived and worked at Romans in the diocese of Valence from 1853-1857, at Talence in the diocese of Bordeaux in 1857-1859, at Limoges in 1862-1864, at Autun in 1865-1867, at Pontmain in 1873, at Angers in 1877-1880. According to the first Personnels of the Congregation and the review Missions O.M.I., we know that in 1882-1883 he was socius of the master of novices and treasurer at Saint-Gerlach in Holland, treasurer at Saint-Andelain in 1887-1892, at Limoges in 1893-1895. In an 1893 report, the superior of Limoges wrote that Father Eymère kept to the house “keeper of the chapel and a model of faithful observance of the rule and religious exercises.” He died at Limoges on March 17, 1895.
Yvon Beaudoin, o.m.i.