June 22nd: Cofounder François Lallier’s Date of Birth
Born on June 22nd, 1814, François Lallier studied at the Faculty of Law of the Sorbonne, where he made the acquaintance of a fellow student, Frédéric Ozanam. They became close friends; as a matter of fact, it was Lallier whom Ozanam chose to be godfather to his daughter, Marie Josephine Ozanam.
Married in 1839, he had a son, Henri, but suffered the loss of his daughter, Julie. He was one of the most vigorous participants in the debates of the History Conference, and very involved in all stages of the foundation of the Society.
An excellent lawyer, then a deputy judge, François Lallier was renowned for his precise use of language, and he was entrusted with formulating the articles of the first Rule in 1835. In 1837, Lallier was appointed the Society’s Secretary-General, in charge of writing the circular letters. He was the youngest of the founders, and one of the last to die. He was a living witness of the myriad events experienced by the growing entity.
At the SSVP, Lallier was one of the Conferences’ main advisors. In the debates as to how to establish the Society in other countries, he always kept in mind the inception of the institution. He founded many Conferences. In addition to working with the poor, Lallier had an active interest in Archaeology. He was a founding member of the Archaeological Society of Sens (France). He prepared reports on his findings and participated in archeological conventions, in addition to publishing various social and political studies.
In 1879, the 3rd President General, Adolphe Baudon commissioned Lallier to undertake one of his most outstanding works, the publication of the brochure Origins of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, according to the Recollections of its First Members. To that end, he submitted the draft to the surviving founding members: Le Taillandier, Lamache and Devaux. With their collaboration, the brochure was published in 1882, which is now available for consultation at the CGI’s library. He passed away on December 23rd, 1886.
The CGI proclaimed 2018 as the International Themed Year of Lallier. For this occasion, a literary contest was launched. The 16th President General, Renato Lima de Oliveira, has suggested holding a memorial mass, on June 22nd, in all the parishes with a Vincentian Conference, in honour of brother Lallier.