Born at Saint-Bonnet-le-Froid (Haute-Loire), September 29, 1827
Taking of the habit at Notre-Dame de l’Osier, October 31, 1849
Oblation at Notre-Dame de l’Osier, November 1, 1850. (no. 286)
Died at Aix, January 1, 1853.
Urbain Vacher was born at Saint-Bonnet-le-Froid in the diocese of Puy on September 29, 1827. He entered the novitiate at Notre-Dame de l’Osier on October 31, 1849 and made his oblation there on November 1, 1850. In the October 20, 1850 session of the General Council, he was admitted to vows with these words: “His conduct has always been steadfast; excellent character; he will do very well in preaching.”
Since Brother Vacher was taken ill during his scholasticate at the major seminary of Marseilles, Father Tempier sent him to recuperate with his family. On September 7, 1852, Brother Vacher wrote to Father Marchal, moderator of scholastics, telling him that he was still breathing with difficulty and sweated profusely. The doctors were advising him to go back to the Midi. On November 29, 1852, Bishop de Mazenod wrote to Father Arnoux in England. Several of the scholastic brothers were ill. “One of them I have been obliged to send to Aix where he will die like his confrere [G. Winter]; it is a double sacrifice but makes two angels more.” (Oblate Writings I, vol. 3, no. 57, p. 91)
Brother Vacher died in Aix on January 1, 1853. In the Personnel Registry of 1862-1863, they wrote: Died “the most beautiful of deaths.” In several letters, the Founder told of his death. In a January 7, 1853 letter to Father Semeria in Jaffna, he described Brother Vacher as having “risen to the heavens.” In a January 21, 1853 letter to Father Baret in Nancy, he wrote: “The good Lord always calls to himself a few of our members to reward them for their good will and to give them the responsibility of being our representatives in heaven and of interceding for us. There are yet again two genuine saints who have been taken from us. […] They were holy religious of great promise. […] Their names were: Urbain Vacher and William Winter….” (Oblate Writings I, vol. 11, no. 1132, p. 115)
Yvon Beaudoin, o.m.i.