Born at Crestet (Vaucluse), March 30, 1814.
Ordination to the priesthood at Avignon, June 9, 1838.
Taking of the habit at Notre-Dame de Lumières, September 30, 1858.
Oblation at Notre-Dame de l’Osier, October 3, 1859. (no. 492)
Died at Notre-Dame de la Garde, June 6, 1901.
Joseph Bovis was born at Crestet in the diocese of Avignon on March 30, 1814. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 9, 1838 and served as assistant priest and pastor of several parishes in the diocese of Avignon before beginning his novitiate at Notre-Dame de Lumières September 30, 1858. He continued his novitiate at Notre-Dame de l’Osier where he made his oblation on October 3, 1859. Father Vandenberghe, the master of novices, wrote in his notes that this candidate is a good priest, loves tranquility, has an upright spirit and a genuine prayer life, is edifying, has a peaceful spirit, is devout enough, but is slow of speech, is afraid of conflict and difficulties. It was even written in the personnel Registry of 1862-1863 that his desire for the religious life was motivated “by the hope of escaping the difficulties found in the ministry, the sacrifices of which life he had little understanding.”
After his oblation, Father Bovis was put in charge of the parish of Notre-Dame de l’Osier. He worked at Notre-Dame de l’Osier in 1861 and in 1862 was sent to Angers to take care of the workhouse while preaching retreats and missions. This establishment housed about sixty indigent men and thirty indigent women. Father Bovis had Sunday Mass for them, gave them three conferences a week during Lent and preached an annual retreat there. He was subsequently a mission preacher at Talence in 1865 and 1866, in Aix in 1867 and 1868, then chaplain at the shrine of Notre-Dame de la Garde from 1869 until his death. When the Oblates were evicted from their house in 1881, he remained as custodian of the building and continued his ministry at the shrine.
Father Xavier Bessières, the superior of Notre-Dame de la Garde, wrote in the 1902 issue of Missions O.M.I., p. 393 that already in 1899, Father Bovis could no longer celebrate Mass and existed only as “feeble mind in an enfeebled body.” He died on June 6, 1901.
Yvon Beaudoin, o.m.i.
Oblate General Archives in Rome. Formula of taking of the habit at Notre-Dame de Lumières, September 30, 1858; formula of oblation, October 3, 1859; four letters to Father Sardou (1871-1890) and one to the vicar general in 1897.