Born at Gillonnay (Isère) in 1820.
Taking of the habit at Notre Dame de l’Osier August 14, 1851.
Perpetual oblation at Limoges, December 8, 1855. (no. 405)
Died at Autun, March 28, 1880.
Michel Falque (his family name was really Falcoz) was born in Gillonnay in the diocese of Grenoble in 1820. He began his novitiate at Notre-Dame de l’Osier on August 14, 1851 as a lay brother and made his annual vows there in 1852. After his novitiate, he was sent to Limoges where he made his perpetual oblation on December 8, 1855. He remained at Limoges until the end of the year of 1861. On October 6, Father Burfin, the superior, asked Father Fabre to send him someplace else because this brother was “essentially a tiller of the soil” and the house at Limoges was situated in the heart of town. In the personnel Registry of 1862-1863, we read under his name: “Very tall, strong, robust, a farm worker; gardener, a man of good common sense, reasonable and sticking to his duty. Very virtuous, has a prayer life. After having spent a few years at Limoges, he was called to Notre-Dame de la Garde in 1862.”
In the brother’s obituary, Father Fabre wrote that he “held many posts in the family during the thirty years that he lived among us. Few are the houses in the Province du Nord or even in the Midi which have not seen him working at his personal sanctification and who have not admired his devotion to the Congregation.” This does not appear in the sources; they make no mention of him from 1862 until 1865. We do know, however, that he was at Notre-Dame de Sion in 1865; that he was gardener and chore boy at Angers from 1866 to 1875, gardener at Nancy from 1876 to 1879, gardener and then cook at Saint-Jean d’Autun in 1879-1880. In a letter to Father Fabre at the end of 1879, Brother Falque wrote: “I have never refused any request made of me and I never will refuse a request made of me…” but he added that he was too ill to continue as cook. On March 28, 1880, Father Marchal announced Brother Falque’s passing after a few months of illness. His remains were laid to rest in the cemetery at Autun.
In Brother Falque’s obituary, among other things, Father Fabre wrote: “Let us say at the outset that the worthy brother’s external appearance at first glance gave the impression of a country bumpkin type person, simple in demeanour and without affectation. When we knew him, age had given him a receding hairline, slowed his pace and diminished his strength without diminishing his activities. He could be faulted for some brusqueness in his manner, but under his rustic appearance he hid excellent qualities, the fruit of an upright soul and a good heart. Genial in character, he often willingly offered his services. Endowed with a certain bluff spirit, he enjoyed chatting and he knew how to engage people’s interest with his unique way of saying things and telling stories. Also, during recreation time and on feast days, we were liberally entertained by listening to him. By his simple sallies, often bearing the stamp of a refined good-naturedness, he was able to cheer up all glum spirits and cause to well up a kind of gentle humour.”
Father Fabre added that Brother Falque remained faithful to his vocation because he “found his safeguard in the religious virtues which especially distinguished him and which seemed to capture his entire life in a nutshell, I mean, the virtues of prayer, poverty and obedience.”
Yvon Beaudoin, o.m.i.