Do you really mean, my dear friend, to ask from me the dimissorial letters of Telmon for his tonsure? For a youngster who has given us grief up until a day or so ago…
Letter to Hippolyte Courtès, 24 November 1824, EO VI n 159
Today we come across Adrien Telmon for the first time. He was one of the more colorful characters of our Oblate history. We will have many opportunities to encounter his burning zeal, his missionary exploits and his at-times eccentric behavior. Eugene had perceived Telmon’s goodness and ability from the age of 15, and had stood by him in stormy times – while at times being rather harsh and realistic in bringing him down from the clouds.
Yovon Beaudoin writes in the Historical Dictionary: Adrien Telmon was born in Barcelonnette, dioceses of Gap, September 8, 1807, son of Madeleine Caire and François Telmon, carpenter. He received a deeply Christian education, due in large part to an aunt who was a religious living with her family because of ill health. He was allowed to receive First Holy Communion at the age of nine and, it seems, “he plunged into his studies with such enthusiasm and such success that at fourteen he had finished his Latin studies.” (Notices nécrologiques III, p. 499)
Following the mission preached at Barcelonnette by the Founder and his confreres from April 20 to May 20, 1822, Adrien followed the missionaries to Aix. Bishop de Mazenod wrote in his diary under the entry of May 1, 1837:
“I snatched him, so to speak, from the cradle during our parish mission at Barcelonnette. How old was he at the time? Fifteen or sixteen, I do not know. Anyway, he was not even knee-high. He looked like a little child. Nevertheless, I took him under my wing and always considered him as my own son. I saw to all his needs and saw to it that he received an education. Finally, I welcomed him into the Society and so I led him right up to the priesthood in spite of the fact that he did cause me some concern during his years in vows and on one occasion he fled the house at Aix.”
“Snow and adolescence are the only problems that disappear if you ignore them long enough.” Earl Wilson