Historical dictionary  vol.: 1  let.: M

Marthon, Emmanuel


Born at Rochemaure (Ardèche), March 28, 1836.
Taking of the habit at Notre-Dame de l’Osier, November 15, 1859.
Oblation at Montolivet, February 17, 1861. (no. 538)
Ordination to the priesthood at Notre- Dame de Lumières, July 27, 1862.
Died at Notre-Dame de la Garde, Marseilles, April 16, 1903.


Emmanuel Marthon (GA).

Emmanuel Marthon was born at Rochemaure in the diocese of Viviers on March 28, 1836. After two years of theological studies at the major seminary of Viviers, he began his novitiate at Notre-Dame de l’Osier on November 15, 1859. Father Vandenberghe, the Master of Novices, always saw many faults in this novice. When he sent him on to the scholasticate, he wrote on September 28, 1860: “He is a spoiled child accustomed to doing whatever he wanted. At the novitiate, he became more serious. Yet a little fearful of doing too much, but at least he does want to do well. A good fellow, not inclined to confront worries. I believe he will end up doing reasonably well.” At Montolivet from 1860 to 1862, this is how Father Mouchette judged this scholastic brother in his reports: “Good, regular in his observance of the rule. He does possess virtue and a prayer life, but his character has a streak of weakness in it which constantly pursues him, and on occasion, one might be led to consider him listless and lazy.”

He made his oblation at Montolivet on February 17, 1861 before Bishop Hippolyte Guibert and was ordained to the priesthood at Notre-Dame de Lumières by Bishop Étienne Semeria on July 27, 1862. He remained at Lumières as missionary in 1862-1863, then, in September 1863, he received his obedience for Notre-Dame de la Garde. In February of 1866, Father François-Xavier Bermond, the provincial, sent him to Notre Dame-de Bon Secours and wrote to Father Fabre that Father Marthon was very disobedient. He advised that Father Marthon be expelled from the Congregation. Father Marthon explained his conduct to the Superior General who left him at Notre-Dame de Bon Secours until 1877. Recalled to Notre-Dame de la Garde in 1877, Father Marthon remained in that house until his death on April 16, 1903.

His name appears rarely in Oblates sources and in Missions O.M.I. which published the reports about the missions preached in France. These reports especially tell of parish missions and do not have much to say about regular, more humdrum ministry at the shrines or in the parishes. Father Marthon did, in fact, preach a few retreats every year. But he especially exercised his ministry with the pilgrims at Bon Secours and at Notre-Dame de la Garde. In the report from his house in 1902, Father Bessières, the superior, mentioned “the several times decorated veteran with a twenty-five year presence at the shrine.”

Yvon Beaudoin, o.m.i.

Sources
Oblate General Archives. Oblation formula, Montolivet, February 17, 1861; two letters to Father Fabre (1864, 1866); letter of Father Bermond to Father Fabre (1866).

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