Born: 27 October 1848, Dublin
Entered: 26 September 1865, Loyola College, Loyola, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)
Ordained: 1877, Leuven, Belgium
Final vows: 02 February 1884
Died: 18 August 1922, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin
Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ & Jesuit College in Spain
Nephew of Joseph Lentaigne, First Provincial of HIB - RIP 1884
by 1869 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1871 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1876 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) Studying
by 1883 at at Hadzor Hall, (FRA) making Tertianship
by 1903 in Collège Saint-François Xavier, Alexandria, Egypt (LUGD) Military Chaplain and Teacher
◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Son of Sir John Lentaigne (Lawyer and Privy Counsellor and one of the first Clongowes students) and Nephew of Joseph Lentaigne, First Provincial of HIB - RIP 1884
He did his early studies in Spain, and the Philosophy and Theology in Belgium, where he was Ordained 1877.
1900 He was sent to Alexandria, Egypt as a Military Chaplain, and when he returned he was appointed Spiritual Father at Belvedere.
After this he was sent as Spiritual Father and Missioner to Clongowes which he loved dearly and did a lot of good work.
Much to his own disappointment, he was move from Clongowes to Rathfarnham, and died unexpectedly a short time afterwards 18 August 1922.
He was a very indistinct Preacher, so did not make much impact from the pulpit. He as of a very sensitive nature, and a thorough gentleman to all classes of people.
◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 21st Year No 3 1946
FROM OTHER PROVINCES :
Fr. Quigley, who is Senior Chaplain to the British Forces in Egypt, finds the names of other Jesuit chaplains in the Register at Alexandria, and among them Fr. David Gallery (1901), Fr. V. Lentaigne (1904-5) and Fr. Joseph Flynn (1907-14).
◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Victor Lentaigne 1848-1922
Fr Victor Lentaigne was the son of Sir John Lentaigne, and a nephew of the first Provincial of then Irish Province. Born in Dublin on October 27th 1848, he made his early studies in Spain, his philosophy and theology in Belgium, where he was ordained in 1877.
He was sent as a Military Chaplain to Alexandria in 1900. On his return, he was Spiritual father in Belvedere, and later in Clongowes. He read all his sermons, and owing to indistinctness, failed to impress his flock as a preacher.
He was of a very sensitive nature, but a thorough gentleman with everybody, both poor and rich.
Being changed from Clongowes to Rathfarnham, he died very suddenly and was buried from Gardiner Street on August 18th 1922.
◆ The Clongownian, 1923
Father Victor Lentaigne SJ
A French Doctor named Lentaigne escaped from France during the horrors of the French Revolution, and made his permanent home in Dublin, where he continued to practise his profession. He attended Wolfe Tone when the latter was dying, and saved him from execution by giving a certificate stating that the patient could not be moved without a causing his immediate death. One of his sons named Joseph joined the Jesuits. After having been for some years Prefect of Studies at Clongowes, he was sent to Australia, where he did very useful work, until his health at last broke down and he returned to Ireland, a victim of chronic asthma. His brother John, afterwards Sir John Lentaigne, became, as head of the Prison Board, nobly famous as a pioneer in the reclamation of criminals, and proved, by his success in very many cases, the soundness of his philanthropic principles. Two of his daughters became nuns, one a Carmelite in Firhouse Convent, while the other joined the Irish Sisters of Charity and became celebrated for her most able and most kind management of the Blind Asylum at Merrion. Of Sir John's sons, Joseph obtained a high Government position as Secretary to the Lord Chancellor. John became one of our most distinguished Dublin surgeons, and was knighted in recognition of his high merits; Victor, who, although not the youngest, survived all his brothers and sisters (except Benjamin, who now holds a leading legal position in Burmah), became a Jesuit.
Victor Lentaigne was born in Dublin on the 27th October, 1848. When I had been at Clongowes for about a year, Victor Lentaigne joined our ranks in the Third Line. That would have been in the autumn of 1860, or . some time in 1861. He was only at Clongowes for about twelve months when his father sent him to a Jesuit College in Spain.
While still in Spain he joined the Society, 26th August, 1865, and made his noviceship at Loyola, the ancestral home of St Ignatius. After his noviceship he was sent to Louvain in Belgium, where he studied philosophy for two years, and was sent to Stonyhurst for his third year's philosophy. In 1871 he was sent to Clongowes, where he remained until 1875. In 1871. I was also sent to Clongowes. It was the first time that we had met since we had been little boys together in dear old Clongowes, and I still cherish the memory of many happy walks and intimate chats which we had together in those old days. He was one of the simplest, gentlest, kindest and most sympathetic friends whom I have ever known, In 1875 he was sent back to Louvain for his theological studies, and on their termination in 1879, Father Victor Lentaigne came back again to our dear old Alma Mater, where I again was with him.
The winter of 1880 was a superb one for skating The field between the grand avenue and the Kapolis gate had been flooded, and there was superb surface of mirror-like ice all. over the wide expanse. Even to this hour I can see in fancy that great tall figure moving with the speed of a good motor-car, and yet with the grace and gentleness of the apparently, effortless flight of an eagle circling above in the thin air. Never have I seen man or woman skate with such combined ease and power as Fr Lentaigne.
In 1886, after a couple of years spent at Tullabeg, Father Lentaigne was again back at Clongowes. In 1888 he was sent to Galway as minister, but in 1893 he was again back in Clongowes. On the death of Father John Anderson SJ, Chaplain to the British Troops at Alexandria in 1900, Father Lentaigne was sent to take his place, and remained there until 1906, during which time a great admirer and friend of his, Father Patrick Kane SJ, held a similar position at Cairo, and they were able occasionally to meet. From Egypt he was recalled in 1906, and sent as minister to Belvedere College, but 1911 found him once more again in Clongowes. This time he was Spiritual Father to the Community. He had also the charge and care of the People's Chapel. All the people, but most especially the poor and sick, soon grew to feel for him the deepest veneration and the most affectionate gratitude. At last his health broke down completely. He be came utterly unable for work of any kind, A change was inevitable. In 1921 he was sent to Rathfarnham Castle - he had to bid his last good-bye to Clongowes. To him it was a sore wrench; he accepted it nobly and patiently, but it broke his heart. He died peacefully and happily on the 18th August, 1922.
Father Lentaigne was known as the calmest yet most masterful of Study Prefects. Seated in the high pulpit, his glance passed so quietly over the great silent Hall that it seemed as though he saw all the boys at once, until some : incautious idler suddenly felt the magnetism of a steadfast gaze fixed upon him, and looking up beheld the wide brow lowered in a frown of thunder; while from the indignant eyes beneath flashed forth an electric fire that shrivelled up the terrified culprit, who straightway cowered intently over his book or pen.
Father Lentaigne was a gentleman. This is one of the first remarks usually made by those who knew him well. It means very much more than the mere circumstance of gentle blood and good breeding. It means much more than the mere politeness of out ward manner, or social becomingness. In its full sense, which is the only true sense, it means that great broadmindedness of judgment, that generous kindliness of appreciation, that delicate sympathy for feeling, that refined considerateness for failing, or even for fault, which each and all are of the very essence of that noble character whose out ward evidences are in the word, manner, and action of high courtesy.
He loved Clongowes. He loved it with a love characteristic of the old Clongownians of long ago, a love proud, chivalrous, warm, with the tenderness and sympathy of a true home-love, a love that loved the old place itself, the old spot, the old Castle, the old Halls, the old rooms, the old playground, the old avenue, the old woods, but above all, the old schoolfellows, the old subjects and the old Masters; a love which, I trust, still exists in the minds and the hearts of the new old Clongownians who are called to face a graver, a more perilous, but it is to be hoped, a more glorious future than we of the older past. :
Father Victor Lentaigne was deeply religious, not in the sense which mere piety commonly has and is by many thought to have deserved the name, but in the old noble Christian sense of sterling holiness. God bless him, and may he rest in peace.
Robert Kane SJ