Jean Claude Colin
Jean Claude Colin was a Marist missionary who brought Christ into the lives of many with his work. He was born in 1790 in St. Bonnet le-Troncy. Jean Claude’s initial upbringing was very suitable. When his mother gave birth to him he was the eighth child of a large loving family. Colin’s parents owned a piece of land which they farmed during the warm months. During winter they made ends meet by weaving. All was well at the beginning of Colin’s life, especially when taking into consideration that he was born during the rough times of the French revolution. Soon however, things began turning bad. His parents had dissenting views with the priests who were in charge of France, and soon Jacques Colin was ordered to be arrested. For a year he had to hide while his family’s house was boarded up. This period of immensely stressful time is what many speculate contributed to his wife’s death in 1795. Just less then 3 weeks afterwards Jacques died. So, over the period of one year Jean went from living in a happy well maintained household to being orphaned over the course of a few weeks. After this travesty, Jean was sent to live with his paternal uncle Sebastian. It was there that Jean went under the care of Sebastian’s house keeper, Marrie Echallier. Marie was a woman of deep faith, but she was also a woman who attached that faith to guilt. She often put down Jean and his brothers in the way she talked about them. This type of treatment had the opposite affect on Jean that Marie had wished. Instead it drove him to be later in life kind, gentle, merciful and compassionate. However, her faith also positively affected Colin as he soon too became a young man of very deep faith.
It was this faith that drove Colin to join the seminary. In 1804 Colin entered a minor seminary in the diocese of Lyon. Though there had been a relatively recent sense of stability to the Catholic life in France for a few years, Napoleon was known for...
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