Born: Boulieu (Ardèche), August 28, 1826.
Took the habit: N.-D. de l’Osier, January 22, 1851.
Vows: N.-D. de l’Osier, February 2, 1852 (N. 323).
Priestly ordination: Marseille, April 4, 1853.
Died: Mathagal, Ceylon, January 22, 1855.
Victor Lacombe was born in Boulieu, diocese of Viviers, on August 28, 1826. He began his novitiate on January 22, 1851 in Notre-Dame de l’Osier where he took vows on February 2, 1852. The novice master, in his report of February-March 1851, wrote: “This young man has virtue, sufficient means and a sufficiently good character. On August 11, he wrote: “frank in character, cheerful, open, good”; in September: “quite a lot of virtue and good will, excellent character, very devoted, talented”. Afterwards the novice master wrote that the novice was making very little progress in the religious spirit because he is too taken up with “la grande lingerie”, and “there is a certain ardour lacking”.
The scholastic spent the school year 1852-1853 on the major seminary in Marseille. In July 1853, Father Jean Marchal, moderator of scholastics, wrote: “Brother Lacombe has always been good in every way; he seems a bit slow and even indifferent, lacking liveliness and desire. I believe he has solid virtue.” Bishop de Mazenod ordained him priest on April 4, 1853 and gave him an obedience for Ceylon where he arrived on May 22, 1853 in the company of Father Auguste-Marie Rouffiac. In informing Father Étienne Semeria of their departure, Bishop de Mazenod wrote: “I have only good things and many good things to tell you. You will soon be able to judge for yourself.”
At the beginning, in Ceylon, Father Lacombe worked with Father Semeria in Jaffna and in the vicinity of the principal church. During a few years, the cholera epidemic caused much destruction in the vicariate of Jaffna. Father Félix Leydier died of the disease in Vathiry on June 16, 1851. Father Lacombe, then missionary in Valigamam West, died alone in Mathagal, on January 22, 1855. That is where he is buried. On March 19, 1855, in a letter to Father Conrad who was in Notre-Dame de Sion, Bishop de Mazenod mentioned “the holy death of Father Lacombe who, while serving those suffering from cholera, contracted the disease which caused his death.”
Yvon Beaudoin, o.m.i.