Born at Orres (Hautes-Alpes), April 24, 1813
Taking of the habit in 1841
Oblation at Ajaccio, November 1, 1845 (no. 148)
Died at Ajaccio, October 24, 1891.
Gaspard Blanc was born at Orres, diocese of Gap on April 24, 1813. He began his novitiate around 1841 (We do not find his name written in the Registry for the Taking of the Habit.). He pronounced his annual vows at Notre-Dame de Lumières on August 14, 1842. He was then sent to the major seminary in Ajaccio to replace Brother Ferrand and that is where he pronounced his quinquennial vows on November 1, 1843 and his perpetual vows on November 1, 1845 before the five-year term. On September 26 of 1845, he was admitted to perpetual vows because of “the attachment this young man has always shown for his vocation, [...] of his industriousness in his work and the service he is capable of rendering through his special talent with regard to things mechanical.” Father Jean Lagier who recommended him did state, however, that Brother Blanc was possessed of “a character that was a bit too high-strung and a germ of a pride which could jeopardize the kind of life of humility and obedience he would have to live in the Congregation.”
In March of 1846, Bishop de Mazenod was thinking of sending him to Canada and to Father Tempier who was going to Ajaccio, he gave the task of seeing whether “it would be possible to withdraw Brother Blanc from Ajaccio without too much inconvenience.” Subsequently, Brother Blanc’s name appeared rarely in the writings of Oblates. It seems he was a member of the community of Notre Dame de l’Osier about 1847-1850 where, he is mentioned as a teacher at Vinay. In 1851 and 1852, we find him at Le Calvaire and Aix and in 1853-1854, once again at Ajaccio. That year, Father Magnan. the superior of the major seminary sent him back to Marseilles. On October 2, he wrote to Bishop de Mazenod: “It is urgent that your reverence withdraw Brother Blanc from here. [...] It is impossible to discover anything of the life of the religious in him. He has taken on airs that are totally secular, a taste for the comfortable life...” On October 23, he added: “I am sending Brother Blanc back to you with a recommendation for mercy, because, even though he does have a liking for the comfortable life, freedom, entertainment, garrulity [...] nevertheless, I cannot state flatly that he is not attached to his vocation, nor that it is obstinately set upon living according to his own fancy...”
It would seem Brother Blanc remained at Le Calvaire from the end of 1854 up until 1856 and then went to Notre-Dame de Lumières. He came back to Ajaccio in 1863 and remained there until his death. Father Santoni, superior of the seminary at the time, wrote in November of 1871 that Brother Blanc was always irascible, but was rendering very valuable service. In Missions O.M.I. 1875 (p. 8) Father Corne speaks about Brother Blanc and says that the brother takes care of “the minor economic affairs of the house and has been given the administration of the storage cellars where he rules as an absolute monarch.” He died of a stroke on October 24, 1891.
Yvon Beaudoin, o.m.i.
Oblate General Archives in Rome. Oblation formula for annual vows, August 14, 1842 and quinquennial vows on November 1, 1843.