229th anniversary of the death of Jean Baptiste Lapaise de Védrines
Today – January 15 – is the 229th anniversary of the death of Jean Baptiste Lapaise de Védrines, the father of the Vidrine family in LA. It’s because of his courage as a French Marine and the first from the Védrines family to leave France and to come to the New World that thousands in the US now share his name and heritage. From a career as an Officer in the French Marines (21 years) in New Orleans and Fort Chartres, IL to a Cattle Farmer on the Opelousas Prairie where he died at 75, he left behind a legacy of patriotism, hard work, faithfulness to the Lord and dedication to family. It was only after his death on this day in 1788 that his two sons would leave the Opelousas Post and head a little west by 1806 near what would become Ville Platte. His wife, Elisabeth, would live nearly 30 more years. Unfortunately, his tomb at the Opelousas Post has been lost in time.
This is the funeral record of Jean Baptiste Lapaise de Védrines at St. Landry church in Opelousas, recorded by Spanish Missionary Fr. Joseph de Arezena, the fourth pastor (from 1785 to 1789). He notes that Jean Baptiste died in the grace of Christ, receiving the Sacraments with “particular devotion”. We pray for his soul and the souls of all in the Vidrine family who have died. May we die, like Jean Baptiste, in the grace of Christ with the hope of rising with Him on the last day!
On the 16th day of January of the year 1788 was buried in the cemetery of this parish church of Opelousas, of the Province of Louisiana under the Bishop of Havana, the body of Mr. Jean Vedrine, retired officer, who died yesterday, at almost at 80, having received the holy Sacraments of Penance, Eucharist, and Extreme Unction, which were administered and received with particular devotion and for the record, I have signed it stating the day, month and year. Fr. Joseph de Arazena, Pastor