Born at Saint-Pierre-de-Bressieux (Isère), February 2, 1822
Entered the novitiate at Notre-Dame de l’Osier on October 3, 1852
Perpetual oblation at Notre-Dame de l’Osier, 22 August, 1855 (no. 412)
Died at Notre-Dame de l’Osier, December 25, 1898.
Pierre Viret was born at Saint-Pierre-de-Bressieux in the diocese of Grenoble on February 2, 1822. He entered the novitiate of Notre-Dame de l’Osier on October 3, 1852 and pronounced his vows of one year there on December 1, 1853, his vows of five years on November 1, 1854 and his perpetual vows before Bishop de Mazenod on August 22, 1855. In his notes sent each month to Father Mouchette, Father Vandenberghe, master of novices, wrote on September 11, 1853: “Then, there is Brother Viret he is without a doubt one of our best brothers as far as work is concerned and as far as prayer life. He has always been involved in rural work. No matter where he will be, he will always do his best. He made his vows on December 1.”
In the 1862-1863 Personnel Registry we find written under the name of Pierre Viret: “A brother filled with dedication and good will, a man of tested virtue and a solid prayer life. A meticulous spirit and delicate health. He can not withstand things that are very physically demanding. After his oblation, he was called to Marseilles. The climate there was very harmful to him. He was sent back to Notre-Dame de l’Osier.”
Brother Viret, it seems, spent his life at Notre-Dame de l’Osier. But the review, Missions O.M.I., only mentions his name starting from 1872 until 1899. He worked especially as porter, but according to Missions O.M.I. of 1886, he also functioned as coachman. On p. 235, we find written: “Brother Viret is no longer the fearless coachman, braving the fog and the morning hours. He now has need of the warm sun which is not always easy to obtain for him. He makes up for his partially disappeared errand running to Vinay by trips to the refectory, to the cellar and to the door which he does not always open on time; his years are the cause of that.” In 1896, Father Prosper Monnet, the superior, when introducing the priests and brothers of l’Osier begins this way: “Would you like to make a tour of the house with me? Ring the doorbell. If the door does not open when you first ring, do not lose patience; someone is there. Ring twice; it is a rare thing if you have to ring three times. Soon there appears the worthy Brother Pierre whose legs are not what they were thirty years ago, but he has lost none of his polished manners and his pleasant dauphinese ways.”
Finally, in Missions O.M.I. of 1899, Father Monnet wrote more than thirty pages on the activities of the priests and the brothers at l’Osier, but tells in a few words only the passing of Brother Pierre. “May he rest in peace, that lovable Brother Pierre, a genuine example of the gracious porter, discreet, dedicated. His was the pleasant face that we loved to see after a more or less prolonged absence. A good judge of faces in his own way, he would readily offer, though a little hesitantly, his opinion about the postulants who came to the door and when he had stated about someone: “I think he will do” or “I do not think he will remain with us,” it was a rare thing that one did not see his prediction realized. He died on his feet on the holy day of Christmas after having reverently answered the prayers of the dying and asked pardon of all his brothers for the trouble that he may have caused them. R.I.P” (p. 291)
Yvon Beaudoin, o.m.i.