Bishop Basile Alexis Menjaud (GA).
Basile Alexis Menjaud was born at Chuselan (Gard) on June 2, 1791 and studied at the seminaries of Avignon and Saint-Sulpice. Ordained to the priesthood on December 21, 1816, for a while, he was a member of the society of the Missionaries of France. In 1822, Bishop Charles de Forbin-Janson, the bishop of Nancy, associated him to the governing of the diocese and appointed him titular canon. By royal decree of July 19, 1838, he was appointed coadjutor bishop of Nancy with right of succession. Upon the death of Bishop Forbin-Janson in 1844, he became titular bishop. In 1859, he was appointed archbishop of Bourges and was confirmed in that office on September 26. He died December 10, 1861.
It seems it was by the intermediary of Bishop Forbin-Janson his close friend that Bishop de Mazenod got to know Bishop Menjaud. We know that in the course of the July 1830 Revolution, Bishop Forbin-Janson was compelled to leave his diocese and to turn the administration of his diocese over to his vicars general. Bishop de Mazenod advised him to resign, but Bishop Forbin-Janson always refused to follow this advice. Finally, in 1835, he asked to have as his coadjutor bishop, Bishop Ferdinand F. A. Donnet, but was unable to come to an agreement with him. Bishop Donnet was appointed Archbishop of Bordeaux in 1837. It was at this point that Bishop de Mazenod suggested to Bishop Forbin-Janson and the minister of Public Worship to appoint Bishop Menjaud as coadjutor. He wrote at least five letters in this regard in 1838-1839.
At the beginning of July 1844, he communicated to Bishop Menjaud the passing of Bishop Forbin-Janson who had come to die in the vicinity of Marseilles. In 1847, the Oblates decided to make a foundation in Nancy and the Founder wrote to Bishop Menjaud on June 14: “I would be happy if you could become a second father to my sons... I dare assure you, and I guarantee that you will never regret having adopted them. The spirit I instil into them and which they have perfectly understood, is that they see themselves as the bishop’s men, promising him inviolable submission and affection...” (Oblate Writings I, vol. 13, no. 110, p. 137) The relations between Bishop Menjaud and the Oblates were always excellent. He is the one who entrusted to them the direction of the shrine of Notre-Dame de Sion and the chaplaincy of the prisons of the city. The two bishops met a few times in Marseilles and in Nancy.
Yvon Beaudoin, o.m.i.
BLANC, L’abbé, Vie de Mgr Menjaud, Nancy and Paris, 1862.