le Vacher, Jean

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French missionary and consul, martyred in North Africa; b. Écouen, France, March 15, 1619; d. Algiers, July 28, 1683. After being ordained in the Congregation of the Mission in 1647, he was sent the same year by St. vincent de paul as a missionary to the Christian slaves in Tunis. During his stay in North Africa, he was French consul in Tunis from 1648 to 1653 and from 1657 to 1666, becoming prefect apostolic of Tunis in 1648, vicar apostolic of Tunis in 1650, and vicar-general of Carthage in 1651. After spending two years in France, he returned to Algiers in 1668 and was named vicar apostolic of Algiers, Tunis, Tripoli, and Morocco; in 1677, he became French consul in Algiers. His life of apostolic heroism in Africa terminated when a French force bombarded Algiers in 1683. Le Vacher refused firmly to renounce his faith and was bound to the mouth of a cannon, which was then fired. Beatification proceedings began on July 6, 1923.

Bibliography: l. misermont, Le Plus grand des premiers missionaires de saint Vincent de Paul (Paris 1935). r. streit and j. dindinger, Bibliotheca missionum (Freiburg 1916) 16:728733, 924.

[m. a. roche]