Tessier, Father Jean

1840, March 19

Date of Birth:  1758, June 20

May 5, 1840

No Memorial Card is Available

I have the unhappiness of announcing to you the death of one of our veterans, Father Jean Tessier, dead at Baltimore last March 19th at the age of eighty-two. He was born in 1758 on June 20th, at Chapelle-Blanche in the Diocese of Angers. He made his theological studies at Angers, and after his studies became Professor of Philosophy. At length he came to the Solitude in order to dedicate himself to the work of the Society.  After Solitude he was sent to the Seminary of Viviers, where for several years he taught Theology. At the time of the [French] revolution he was sent to Baltimore to participate in the opening of the seminary there. From that time on he remained there and successively was professor and superior. Obliged by ill health to resign as Superior ten years ago, he spent the rest of his life in retirement, in prayer, and in works of charity. Over a span of thirty years he asked, through the intercession of St. Joseph, for the grace of a happy death, and ardently hoped to die on the feast-day of that holy patriarch.  And, as you can see from the date of his death – March 19th – he had his prayer granted. 

I have been reminded that, like St. Joseph, he died in the arms of Jesus and Mary, fortified by all the sacraments of the Church, received while he was fu1ly conscious; he lost his power of speech only four hours before his death. His Grace, the Archbishop of Baltimore, wished to show his esteem by celebrating his funeral, a funeral attended by a throng of people who venerated him as a saint and watered his casket with their tears. In short, Father Tessier died as he had lived. During the twelve years that I had the benefit of living with him, I found admirable his piety, his kindness, his patience, his charity, his openness, his simplicity, his humility along with abilities beyond the ordinary and interests quite wide.  I do not hesitate in proposing him to the Society as a model of the spirit which must animate it and of the virtues we must all practice.  Moriatur anima mea morte justorum et fiant novissima mea hujus similia.  I recommend him to the prayers and remembrances customary in the Society.

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