Born at Marseilles, February 12, 1802
Taking of the habit at Aix, November 1, 1822
Oblation at Aix, November 4, 1823 (no. 17)
Ordination to the priesthood at Marseilles, March 19, 1825
Dispensed from his vows around 1831
Died at Aix, July 6, 1875.
Marius André Barthélemy Bernard was born in Marseilles February 12, 1802. While yet a young man, he must have been a part of the Aix community as a student. June 26, 1819, he was admitted to the Youth Association. He began his novitiate at Aix on November 1, 1822 and made his oblation there on November 4, 1823. At the beginning of 1824, he took part in the parish mission preached at Ventabren (Bouches-du-Rhône) where Father Honorat made him “teach three classes of catechism a day.”
We find his name in a few of the Founder’s letters to Father Courtès in 1824 and 1825. He was urged not to make a display himself by his odd practices of piety and that he was looked upon as an eccentric. During the summer of 1824, he was sent to Le Calvaire in Marseilles to cure him of a particular friendship. In spite of everything, he was ordained to the priesthood at Marseilles by Bishop Fortuné de Mazenod on March 19, 1825.
Subsequently, he helped Fathers Albini and Courtès to translate some pages of the Rules. From Rome, the Founder advised Father Courtès to not leave Bernard idle. He was to compose sermons, study daily a bit of theology every day and he should develop “an aptitude of knowing all good works.” He was still at Aix at the beginning of 1831 and was accused of wasting his time “reading and commenting on the contents of the newspapers.”
After that, his name no longer appears in the correspondence of Oblates. Without specifying the date of his departure, the Founder wrote alongside his name in the Registry of taking of the habit: “Dispensed for reasons of over excitability approaching madness. In this state, he was putting the reputation and honour of the Congregation in jeopardy.”
Yvon Beaudoin, o.m.i.
His dossier in the Oblate General Archives contains only two oblation formulas, that of November 4, 1823 and July 13, 1826.