Flammant, Father Alphonse

1864, May 19

Date of Birth:  1824, August 14

June 11, 1864

Father Superior and Very Dear Confrere:

No Memorial Card is Available

God tests us with a new affliction in depriving us of a young and very edifying confrere, Father Alphonse Flammant.

Father Flammant, born in Paris on August 14, 1824, came to Issy on October 16, 1843 to take his course on Philosophy. When that course came to its end, he went on to the Seminary of Paris to take up the study of Theology. He became known in these two houses for his simplicity, his piety, his loving obedience, as well as for the depth and soundness of his intellect. His natural bent and the motions of grace inclined him toward the work of the Society; however, health and family objections seemed to stand in the way. It was suggested to him that while he was awaiting the disclosure of God’s plan and regaining his strength, he become tutor to a boy of a respectable family; he assented to this. It was only in October 1865, that he saw his hopes fulfilled: he entered the Solitude. The following year he was appointed by the Superior General – in accord with the wish that he himself had expressed – to the Seminary of Baltimore. He taught Theology for six years, and for these last two years he taught Philosophy. He had everyone’s respect and approval, was much appreciated as a director and as a teacher. His unobtrusive piety, his ever simple and unassuming conduct was a source of edification to the clergy and contributed to the good which he accomplished in the seminary.

Stricken for some time with an illness, which by its slow and continuing progress led him to the grave, he kept on conducting class up to May 14th. This work seemed hardly at all to tire him, and he looked upon it as a helpful distraction for himself. On Monday, the 16th, the doctor recognized a very grave complication of asthma and consumption. The patient offered Holy Mass the next day once again. Two days later his breathing became quite labored. It was suggested to him that he receive the last sacraments, which he did with a calmness and piety which deeply impressed the community.

He affirmed his joy at dying in the Society and at having been sent to Baltimore; he stated this also in his will. He said several times that he was ready to go when the Good God willed, that nothing was a matter of regret. This day seemed better than the previous. He had almost without interruption fixed his eyes on his crucifix and on a picture of the Holy Virgin. He remained in this condition up to a few minutes after midnight, the night of Wednesday and Thursday, May 19th, the anniversary of his First Communion; then, with no death throes, no distress, he ceased breathing and died – he just gave up his soul into the hands of God.

His funeral was held on Friday, the 20th. The Administrator of the diocese honored the funeral by being present; nearly all the secular clergy of the city and quite a number of members of religious communities also came and showed to our Fathers their respect and sympathy.

The Superior of the Seminary of Baltimore in informing us of the death adds: I can only regard the death of Father Flammant as a very severe loss to the seminary. “Oh, please, may the Divine Master inspire someone endowed with the same character to come and take the place of this much missed confrere!” This prayer matches that which our venerable Superior General so often expressed in his letters.

Please, Father Superior, accept the expression of my very respectful regards and my most affectionate concern.