Tisserant, Le Vavasseur and Libermann

Eugène Tisserant , Frederick Le Vavasseur and Jacob Libermann  all shared the same vocation which had its roots in their meeting in 1836 at the Sulpician seminary of Issy-les-Moulineaux in the suburbs of Paris.

Francis Libermann had been a Christian for ten years when he met the other two, having been baptized on Christmas Eve in 1826, changing his Jewish name to Francis Mary Paul.

Less than a year later, he had entered the seminary of Saint Sulpice to prepare to be a priest, but he had to give up the idea because of his bad health. He remained with the Sulpicians, living close to the philosophy students at Issy.

Frédéric was beginning his second stay in France, in the care of a missionary in Bourbon who was returning to Paris, Nicolas Wernet of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit.

Frédéric could not settle down to scientific studies. He visited Bourbon to rejoin his family, but was very distressed by the plight of the slaves working in the family’s sugar plantation. He decided to become a priest in order to help the Creoles. He returned to Paris and asked to be admitted as a seminarian at Issy-les-Moulineaux, arriving there in June of 1836. It was then that he first met Francis Libermann.

Eugène Tisserant

Eugène Tisserant was the son of a French father and a Haitian mother. He and his family witnessed both slavery in practice and the beginnings of the anti-slavery movement. What he had seen of the humiliating way that the masters and their subordinates treated the slaves undoubtedly had a profound effect on him. He entered the seminary at Issy at the same time as Frédéric.