15 May In memory of Br Romain Mailleux (1931-2019)
A great servant of the Order passed away on the night of the feast of the Good Shepherd, 12 May 2019, at 10:30 pm.
Georges, the future Romain was born on 11 November 1931 as the last child of a family of eight children.
While still young, Georges left for the Franciscan College in Marche-en-Famenne (Belgium) where he studied from 1945 until 1950.
On 15 September 1950 Georges entered the Novitiate of Salzinnes (Namur) with the name of Br Romain, where he made his simple profession in the Franciscan Order on 17 September 1951. He continued his philosophical and theological education in the Chant d’Oiseau scholasticate of Brussels. Solemn profession in the Order of Friars Minor followed on 29 September 1954. His priestly ordination took place in the Saint Aubain Cathedral of Namur on 16 March 1957.
Showing great intellectual gifts, Br Romain received obedience for specialisation and then a doctorate in canon law at the University of Louvain/Leuven (1957-1962). Between 1962 and 1966 he was Professor in the Franciscan Studium of Chant d’Oiseau in Brussels. He lived for a while in the fraternity of Namur (1966-1970) and, later, in that of Pécrot in the Walloon Brabant (1970-1981), two important experiences of a small fraternity in his Franciscan life.
Br Romain took up a new course of study and obtained a degree from the Medieval Institute of the KUL in Leuven. From 1971 to 1978, he worked as an Assistant in the Electronic Document Processing Centre (CETEDOC) in Leuven and also in Louvain-la Neuve.
In 1981, he was elected Minister Provincial of the Francophone Province of Our Lady Mediatrix in Belgium, a mandate he held from 1981 to 1985.
In 1985, during the General Chapter, Br Romain was elected Vicar General of the Order of Friars Minor and left for Rome. Having completed this service in 1991, this humble friar spent a sabbatical year in the Irish friary of Saint Isidore in Rome. From 1992 to 1996 he continued as a part-time lecturer in the UCL in Louvain-la Neuve and the Antonianum in Rome.
In 1996, Br Romain was appointed scientific director, especially for medieval studies, and later Guardian of the Collegio San Bonaventura in Grottaferrata, while continuing to teach at the Antonianum in Rome.
In 2006, Br Romain returned to Belgium and lived initially in the fraternity of Louvain-la-Neuve and later in the Friary of Chant d’Oiseau (Brussels), as librarian.
Illness required several hospitalisations and his sister death visited him on Good Shepherd Sunday in St. Luke’s Hospital in Brussels.
The funeral was celebrated on Friday 17 May 2019 in the church of Our Lady of Grace of Chant d’Oiseau.