Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

Short Cuts

Author and Publisher - Catholic Online

Image of Bl. Pierre Bonhomme

Facts

Feastday: September 9

Birth: 1803

Death: 1861

Beatified By: 23 March 2003 by Pope John Paul II


Pierre Bonhomme (1803-1861), Founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Calvary. He was born on 4 July 1803 in Gramat, France. As a child, Pierre showed an inclination for study, a deep piety, and generousity to his parents and sister. He felt called to be a priest from an early age and was attracted to a life of simplicity and poverty.

He completed his studies at the Royal College and entered the major seminary of Cahors in November 1818. On 23 December 1827 he was ordained a priest. From that time, he demonstrated an extraordinary ability to help others, both spiritually and materially. While still a deacon, he opened an elementary and middle school for boys. In 1831 he opened a school to prepare students for the major seminary. He also founded the spiritual group "Children of Mary" for young girls in Gramat, convinced of the need to give youth both human and spiritual guidance when there was nothing else of the kind for them in the area.

Shortly after his appointment as parish priest of Gramat, Fr Bonhomme came into contact with the wretchedness and neglect suffered by so many of the poor, elderly and sick. He longed to help them and was undaunted by the scarcity of the available means. He urged "his young people" to visit them, bringing material aid and spiritual comfort. A little later, Fr Bonhomme received permission to establish a home for the needy. He understood that to run this charitable institution a religious congregation was indispensable, and that its members must be women who would give all of themselves for the good of the poor and the suffering. He believed that the young members of the "Daughters of Mary", so generous in the gift of themselves and in love for God, might have this vocation. It was this that inspired Fr Bonhomme to found the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Calvary in Gramat. They were dedicated to educating children and to providing assistance to the poor, sick, elderly, deaf-mutes and the seriously mentally and physically disabled.

Hortense and Adčle Pradel and Cora and Mathilde Roussot, all of whom lived in Gramat, became the first members. They felt called to be consecrated to God in his service, and began their formation under Fr Bonhomme and at several religious institutes in Cahors.

Fr Bonhomme continued his parish activity and was known for the many missions he preached in nearby Lot and Tarn-et-Garonne. He acquired a reputation as a gifted preacher, converting many and attracting other young women to his newly-founded congregation. Scorching heat and bitter cold did not deter him from preaching with the same zeal to save souls. He had a special devotion to Our Lady of Rocamadour, in Gramat, and through her sought the strength and inspiration he needed. On one occasion, while preaching a retreat he completely lost his voice. It was through prayer to Our Lady of Rocamadour that he received a miraculous cure, recovered his voice and was able to go on speaking.

In 1836, Fr Bonhomme made a brief retreat in the Trappist monastery of Mortagne, feeling the need to discern God's will for him in deeper prayer and reflection. He felt a growing desire to become a Carmelite, and to found a Carmelite community in Gramat. However, the Bishop of Cahors did not accept this proposal and encouraged him to continue his missionary activities and to collaborate with the group of newly-established diocesan missionaries in Rocamadour. Fr Bonhomme obeyed and threw himself into this new project with all his energy and enthusiasm.

In 1848, during a mission in Lot, Fr Bonhomme was once again unable to speak; but this time he was obliged to give up preaching and a disease of the larynx was diagnosed. The priest did not despair; he trusted in God's providence and believed that this would afford him the opportunity to dedicate himself to the flourishing congregation he had founded; it already had 61 religious members in various communities in the rural parishes who were dedicated to educating children and caring for the sick. In 1844, Fr Bonhomme sent a community to serve a psychiatric hospital in Leyme and paid frequent visits to "his daughters" there to encourage them in their difficult mission. In 1856, he opened another community in Paris, dedicated to serving "mentally ill, convalescent poor" persons.

His own disability, due to the disease that deprived him of his voice, made him particularly sensitive to the disabled, especially deaf-mutes. In 1854 he opened a school for deaf-mute children in Mayrinhac-Lentour, Lot, and in 1856 he sent sisters to Paris to found a home for deaf-mutes.

In his last years, Fr Bonhomme devoted all his time and energy to forming the sisters and to writing the Rule of his institute which he put under the protection of Our Lady of Calvary, who became Mother and Model of the Congregation.

Fr Bonhomme died in Gramat on 9 September 1861. Today the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Calvary consists of 250 religious who work in France, Brazil, Argentina, Guinea, Ivory Coast and the Philippines.

Biogrpahy Provided By: The Vatican


Bl. Pierre Bonhomme Comments



More Saints






Browse Saints by Category


Popular Saints

Rank

Saint

6.

Image of St. Joseph

St. Joseph

Everything we know about the husband of Mary and the foster father of Jesus comes from Scripture and that has seemed too little for those who made up legends about him. We know he was a ... continue reading | shop

7.

Image of St. Anthony of Padua

St. Anthony of Padua

Saint Anthony was born Fernando Martins in Lisbon, Portugal. He was born into a wealthy family and by the age of fifteen asked to be sent to the Abbey of Santa Cruz in Coimbra, the then ... continue reading | shop

8.

Image of St. Sebastian

St. Sebastian

Nothing is known about St. Sebastian's youth other than the fact he may have come from southern France and he was educated in Milan. He joined the Roman Army in 283 AD, ostensibly to be of ... continue reading | shop

All Popular Saints

Saint of the Day

Image of St. Valentine

St. Valentine

Click Here for St. Valentine Prayer's Saint Valentine, officially known as Saint Valentine of Rome, is a third-century Roman saint widely celebrated on February 14 and commonly associated with ... continue reading

More Saint of the Day
February 2016
S M T W T F S
123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
2829

Saint of the Day by E-Mail

Saint of the Day newsletter icon

Learn about the lives of the saints and other saint resources, including a calendar, over 5,000 saint biographies, our most popular saints, and a list of patron saints. 7 days / week. See Sample


Required


Female Saints

Image of St. Monica

St. Monica

Saint Monica, also known as Monica of Hippo, is St. Augustine of Hippo's mother. She was born in 331 A.D. in Tagaste, which is present-day Algeria. When she was very young, she was married off to the Roman pagan Patricius, who shared his mother's violent temper. ... continue reading

More Female Saints



Saint Calendar
Saint Feast Days
Saint Fun Facts

Angels

Image of St. Michael the Archangel

St. Michael the Archangel

Saint Michael the Archangel isn't a saint, but rather he is an angel, and the leader of all angels and of the army of God. This is what the title "Archangel" means, that he is above all the others in rank. St. Michael has four main responsibilities or offices, as we ... continue reading



Saints Fun Facts

Saints Fun Facts for Bl. Miguel Pro

Bl. Miguel Pro

Born on January 13, 1891 in Guadalupe, Mexico, Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez was the eldest son of Miguel Pro and Josefa Juarez. Miguelito, as his doting family called him, was, from an early age, intensely spiritual and equally intense in hi mischievousness, ... continue reading

Saints Fun Facts for St. Hugh of Lincoln

St. Hugh of Lincoln

Hugh of Lincoln was the son of William, Lord of Avalon. He was born at Avalon Castle in Burgundy and was raised and educated at a convent at Villard-Benoit after his mother died when he was eight. He was professed at fifteen, ordained a deacon at nineteen, and was made ... continue reading



Christian Saints & Heroes

Image of St. Agnes is honored with the blessing of two lambs (Wordpress).

Pope Francis continues tradition of blessing two lambs in memory of St. Agnes

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

On Thursday Pope Francis celebrated St. Agnes' feast day in the Vatican by continuing the centuries-old tradition of blessing two lambs in her honor. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Traditionally, the lambs blessed on January 21 are under a year old and their first ... continue reading

More Christian Saints & Heroes

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Deuteronomy 26:4-10
4 'The priest will then take the basket from your hand and lay it before ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 91:1-2, 10-11, 12-13, 14-15
1 You who live in the secret place of Elyon, spend your nights in the ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 4:1-13
1 Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus left the Jordan and was led by the ... Read More

Reading 2, Romans 10:8-13
8 What does it say, then? The word is very near to you; it is in your ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for February 14th, 2016 Image

St. Valentine
February 14: Click Here for St. Valentine Prayer's Saint ... Read More