Born at Brignon (Haute-Loire), April 11, 1817
Ordination to the priesthood, March 19, 1842
Taking of the habit at Notre-Dame de l’Osier, August 23, 1848
Oblation at Notre-Dame de l’Osier, September 8, 1849 (no. 260)
Dispensed from his vows, May 13, 1864.
Jean-Léon Sigaud was born at Brignon in the diocese of Puy on April 11, 1817. He was a priest as of March 19, 1842 when he entered the novitiate at Notre-Dame de l’Osier on August 23, 1848. After his oblation on September 8, 1849, he was sent to Notre-Dame de Lumières as treasurer and mission preacher. He remained at Lumières from 1849 to 1853. He got along well with Father Françon and often went to preach with him. Everything went well when he was working outside the house, but as soon as he was back in the community, he did not get along with certain of his confreres, in particular, Fathers Coste and Chavard.
Installed in the community at Aix in 1854-1855, he did not want to remain there because he could not stand Father Rouvière. He refused to go to Limoges “because he cannot get along with Father Bise.” Sent to Nancy, he did not want to minister to the prisoners. The Founder became angry and, on October 16, 1855, he wrote to Father Soullier, the superior: “Tell him on my behalf that unless he is agreeable to be taken for an imbecile or a fool, I will consider this claimed reluctance as a lack of zeal and as an excuse for not doing work that he perceives to be difficult.” (Oblate Writings I, vol. 11, no. 1293, p. 287) On October 18 of that same month, he confided this to Father Bellon, the provincial: “At Nancy, Father Sigaud gave us his share of trouble: he didn’t want to serve in the prison because he was afraid that the prisoners would notice he was a bit bow-legged. This is a fixed idea in that poor man. He is in no way so bow-legged that he has to hide that pretended deformity.” (Oblate Writings I, vol. 11, no. 1294, p. 288) Father Sigaud seems to have entrenched himself in his refusal to work with the prisoners. On November 8, 1855, the Founder confided yet again to Father Bellon: “I am going to write to Father Sigaud to tell him that if he does not change his ways we will throw him out without mercy.” (Oblate Writings I, vol. 11, no. 1297, p. 292)
In 1856 and 1857, we find Father Sigaud at Notre-Dame de Cléry, at Le Calvaire in Marseilles in 1857-1858, at Notre-Dame de Bon Secours in 1859 and 1860, at Angers in 1861 and at Notre-Dame de l’Osier from 1862 on. In a letter to the Founder in October of 1850, he had acknowledged that he was unstable. As a result, he always suffered from life in community. In 1864, he asked to be dispensed from his vows. His request was granted in the General Council session of May 13, 1864. In the report of this session, the secretary wrote: Father Sigaud is asking for a dispensation from his vows. “Having taken flight from our house at Osier where he had by his own choice entrenched himself against the will of his provincial, he wrote from the Trappist monastery of Aiguebelle to ask for a dispensation. Our Very Reverend Father General commented that the abovementioned priest had made himself impossible to live with at Marseilles and at Aix and that today, in the same letter where he demands absolutely to be dispensed from his vows, he draws up a lengthy indictment listing complaints he has against his superiors, past, present and possible in the future.”
Yvon Beaudoin, o.m.i.
Oblate General Archives in Rome. Seven letters to the Founder (1850-1856), fifteen to Father Casimir Aubert (1854-1860) and two to Father Vincens (1860)