Born: Locronan (Finistère), January 28, 1832.
Priestly ordination: Quimper, May 17, 1856.
Took the habit: N.-D. l’Osier, September 6, 1856.
Vows: N.-D. de l’Osier, September 7, 1857 (N. 441).
Died: Borella, Ceylon, April 13, 1904.
Jean-Marie Le Lons was born on January 28, 1832, in Locronan, diocese of Quimper, France. He studied at Quimper major seminary and was ordained priest on May 17, 1856. He began his novitiate in Notre-Dame de l’Osier on September 6, 1856. There he took vows on September 7, 1857. Shortly after his admission to novitiate the novice master wrote: “LeLons, a charming character. He had spent two years in the seminary with the holy Brother Camper who was his friend. He did not do the diaconal even though he spent four years in the seminary.” In the course of the year, the novice master could only see good qualities and virtues in this young priest. When presenting him to the general administration for vows he wrote: “He is a good subject for his piety, his mentality and even his talents, which, however, are not extraordinary. He is a gentle character, and yet he is firm and perhaps stubborn. Not much gifted for preaching. Health quite good.”
Father LeLons made his vows in Notre-Dame de l’Osier on September 7, 1857. In the general council meeting of the preceding June 28, he had been named as professor of eloquence and treasurer in the major seminary of Fréjus, but he spend the school year 1857-1858 in Montolivet as professor of Sacred Scripture. Later, he received his obedience for Ceylon and having left in October, he arrived in Colombo on December 8, 1858.
His first assignments were to Batticaloa, Mannar, Chilaw, Puttalam and Kayts. He returned to Mannar in 1878 as superior of the district. In 1883, Bishop Mélizan was appointed Bishop of Jaffna and he called Father LeLons to Jaffna as superior of the bishop’s house. He was sent to Kurunegala in 1888, then to Waikkal, to Wennappuwa and, in 1899 to Borella to be in charge of the mission of Bambalapitiya. He had an attack on apoplexy in 1901 and dies on April 13, 1904.
The short hand-written necrology notice says: “The moral makeup of Father LeLons was marked by prudence, calm and tranquillity. He was always a man to give good advice and was very judicious in his opinions. He always showed a strict observance of his religious and priestly duties and by this means he gained the esteem of all who came to him. Besides, he was a man of great kindness, tending always towards leniency and the enemy of precipitate and rash decisions.”
Yvon Beaudoin, o.m.i.