Born at Merlas (Isère), August 4, 1818
Taking of the habit at Notre-Dame de l’Osier, October 31, 1848
Perpetual vows at Nancy, November 1, 1852 (no. 342)
Died at Talence on January 15, 1888.
Jean-Baptiste Vienney was born at Merlas in the diocese of Grenoble on August 4, 1818. Very early in his life he worked as a shepherd and then as a day laborer. Each year, he made a pilgrimage to Notre-Dame de l’Osier where he began his novitiate on October 31, 1848. During the summer of 1849, he was sent to Nancy where he worked as sacristan, porter and had to responsibility for the upkeep of the house. Father Dassy, the superior, an exacting person with regard to his confreres, wrote on June 4, 1850: “Brother Vienney is conducting himself better and better. He does the work of four men here and yet is completely faithful to all his religious exercises.”
It was at Nancy that Brother Vienney made his first vows, his vows of five years in November of 1850 and his perpetual vows on November 1, 1852. In their session of October 20, 1850, the General Council admitted him to five-year vows, saying: “This brother is good, energetic and regular in his observance.”
In his brief obituary, it was stated that Brother often asked personally to go to another community, but that everywhere he went he “was a religious of very regular observance, a great worker and devoted to the Congregation,” or yet again, “of solid prayer life, devoted zeal and a generous worker.”
According to a few letters of his contemporaries and other details that appeared in Missions O.M.I., he was initially assigned to Nancy where we still find him in 1857. He subsequently worked as cook at Notre-Dame de Cléry until 1865, then, his ordinary work was as gardener at Saint-Andelain, at Limoges 1876-1878, at Talence, at Angers in 1883-1885 and once again at Talence until his death which took place on January 15, 1888 at the age of seventy years.
Yvon Beaudoin, o.m.i.