Born at Auménancourt-le-Grand (Marne), November 16, 1826.
Taking of the habit at Notre-Dame de l’Osier, March 9, 1854.
Perpetual oblation at Montolivet, December 8, 1856. (no. 430)
Died at Diano Marina, March 15, 1905.
Nicolas Lehault was born at Auménancourt-le-Grand in the diocese of Rheims on November 16, 1826. He began his novitiate at Notre-Dame de l’Osier on March 9, 1854 and made his perpetual oblation at Montolivet on December 8, 1856. He was admitted to vows at the General Council session of November 27, 1856. In the session’s report, the secretary wrote: Father Casimir Aubert presented for perpetual vows “Brother Lehault, who, designated for the foreign missions, is in five-year vows. This coadjutor brother, even though he has not fulfilled the time period of his second oblation, has richly earned the favour that he seeks. He has earned this by his virtues and his good qualities even if his departure for the missions did not sufficiently qualify him to be granted this exception which was granted to others for the same reason.”
In the Personnel Registry of 1862-1863, we learn several more details about this brother. “He served in the army. His primary education was not particularly religious, but he possesses a natural honesty. Correct in appearance, he is intelligent and devout enough, although not always supernatural. Good, but anxious character; an imagination given to dreaming. He stayed in Corsica for some time where he suffered an illness that sapped his health. When he returned, he worked as cook at Notre-Dame de Lumières. About the month of December, in a fit of boredom, he left his post. However, he was chosen to accompany Bishop Semeria in 1862. As a result of a misunderstanding, he was unable to board the vessel. Annoyed by this event, he withdrew to his family home and asked to be dispensed from his vows to help out his impoverished mother who was aged and infirm. This request was refused as not being sufficiently motivated and made under too much stress. Indeed, after a few months of hesitation, this brother re-entered the novitiate at Autun on August 15, 1863.”
In an undated letter written at Autun, Father Tatin said that this brother is “very good in carrying out his duty in every regard. He is making, I believe, a genuine effort to curb his pride, his difficult character which cannot stand being contradicted. At the moment, he is working as cook.”
Subsequently, Brother Lehault’s name appears rarely in Oblate sources. It would seem he spent a large part of his life working as a cook in the juniorate of Notre-Dame de Lumières, except for the expulsions of 1880 and 1903. After 1880, for some time, he worked as cook in Vico and then at Diano Marina (1883-1884). He returned to Lumières and was again forcibly expelled by the government in 1903. He died at Diano Marina on March 15, 1905 at the age of 79.
Yvon Beaudoin, o.m.i.
Oblate General Archives in Rome. Oblation formula, Montolivet, December 8, 1856; two letters to Father Fabre, Lumières, 1867.