Born: Nonards (Corrèze) March 19, 1833.
Took the habit: N.-D. de l’Osier, November 7, 1855.
Vows: Montolivet, February 17, 1857 (N. 434).
Priestly ordination: Marseilles, June 27, 1858.
Died: Ottawa, Canada, February 20, 1896.
Joseph-Marie Malmartel was born on March 19, 1833, in Nonards, diocese of Tulle, France. His parents were Jean Malmartel, a farmer, and Marguerite Pajet. In his early years he worked on the farm and was sacristan to the parish priest until he was 18 years of age. He then went to college in Beaulieu, and studied philosophy in Servières, entering the major seminary of Tulle for a year in 1854. He then began his novitiate in Notre-Dame de l’Osier on November 7, 1855. He continued his studies in the scholasticate of Montolivet where he took vows on February 17, 1857. He had been admitted to final profession on the previous January 29. The general council meeting of that date gives the comment provided by Father Antoine Mouchette, moderator of scholastics: “For nine months this Brother has remained faithful in spite of the violent attacks which he has had to bear. For two or three months he has made private vows, for a short period each time, and now he seems to have been restored to calm. This novice has ordinary talents, but he has good sense and good judgement. His vocation is solid and tested and he has an abundance of good will, which needs to be moderated. His piety is solid and sincere; his character somewhat shy. I have always been edified by his abandonment to the will of his superiors.” Bishop de Mazenod ordained him on June 27, 1858.
In spite of his desire for the missions, he was sent to Notre-Dame de la Garde in Marseilles (1858-1859) and then Notre-Dame de Sion (1859-1860. He was then sent to Leeds, England (1860). He taught theology in Sicklinghall (1860) then in Inchicore in 1860-1862. He ministered in Leith, Scotland (1863-1865) and having contracted typhoid fever while visiting the hospitals, he went to Liverpool. In that same year he left for America and was assigned to care for the Sisters of the Divine Word in Brownsville, Texas (1866-1884). From there he went to the parish of Plattsburgh, New York (1884-1866), then to Eagle Pass, Texas (1866-1892). He was director of the parish of the Sacred Heart in Del Rio and responsible for the missions of Del Rio, Uvalde and Bracketville. Towards the end of his life, from 1892 to 1896, he was professor of Sacred Scripture, Church History and sacred Eloquence in the scholasticate of Ottawa. After long years of parish ministry, he was not prepared for the life of teaching and his courses suffered as a result. The author of his necrology note wrote: “Although much was to be desired from the teaching point of view, Father Malmartel’s classes were very profitable for his students from the point of view of piety and edification. Both by word and by example he initiated them to the most sublime virtues. His example was on a par with his pious teaching. A slave to the Rule, he never missed a community exercise as long as he had the strength to leave his cell”
He had an attack of apoplexy on December 15, 1895 and he died on February 20, 1896. He is buried in Gatineau cemetery.
and Gaston Carrière, o.m.i.