Born at Ecommoy (Sarthe), October 4, 1809
Taking of the habit at Notre-Dame de l’Osier, March 8, 1847
Oblation at Notre-Dame de l’Osier, March 8, 1848 (no. 185)
Expelled from the Congregation February 4, 1850.
Jean-Baptiste Bellanger was born at Ecommoy, in the diocese of Mans, on October 4, 1809. He was already a priest when, on March 8, 1847, he began his novitiate at Notre-Dame de l’Osier where he made his oblation on March 8, 1848. They hesitated to admit him in the General Council session of February 27, 1848. On February 27, Bishop de Mazenod wrote to Father Vincens, the novice master about Father Bellanger: “We are impressed by the good qualities you tell us about him; but his touchiness, his very fertile imagination, his ease in communicating his preoccupations, in influencing others with his rash judgments, etc., seemed to be serious and quite disturbing.” (Letters to the Oblates of France, 1856-1861, Oblate Writings I, vol. X, no. 970, p. 217)
On the 26 of April, 1848, the Founder asked Father Vincens to send Father Bellanger to Le Calvaire in Marseilles to replace Father Casimir Aubert who had gone to England. In February of 1849, Father Bellanger left for Algeria with Father Dominique Pulicani and Father Jean Viala who had been appointed superior for this new mission. One year later, on February 4, 1850, Father Bellanger was expelled from the Congregation for serious reasons described that day in the General Council’s report and in a long letter of the Founder to Bishop L. A. Pavy, Bishop of Algeria. Father Bellanger had broadcast far and wide the false claims that he came from a rich and noble family. He spent a lot of money and contracted large debts, had falsely advised Father Viala that the bishop no longer wanted him in Algeria, etc. In an old register of the personnel, we read after his name: “This priest’s life was nothing other than a hoax from beginning to end. Nevertheless, he succeeded in winning our full confidence. But once he was sent to Algeria, he was unmasked and was dishonourably discharged.”
Yvon Beaudoin, o.m.i.
Oblate General Archives in Rome: A letter from Abbé Bellanger to Bishop de Mazenod on October 4, 1851 in which he asks a letter of recommendation to enter the Carthusians at La Trappe.