13 July 2014

François-Marie des Bans Commander of St. Remy

François-Marie des Bans, son of Pierre des Bans (1607 /-1685), was born on January 10, 1647 in Mareuil and was baptized 5 years later, on December 10, 1651, to sponsor Beauvillier François, comte de St-Aignan, probably absent in the region at the time of his birth.

Perhaps inspired by the presence of a chapel of the Order of St John of Jerusalem near the family lands, he was presented and received into the Order of Malta on July 8, 1659, probably with letters from the Grand Master.  After a year spent in Malta, he was accepted as member of the Order and spent six months in various campaigns at sea against the Turks and the Barbary pirates before receiving the habit.  For more than 30 years François-Marie served  in the order of Malta in the Mediterranean, best performing his vocation as soldier-monk on Malta and at sea.

Recognized by his peers, he was awarded the commandery of St-Rémy de Verruyes (Deux Sèvres) in 1692. This appointment does not preclude his return some years later in Malta, where he wondered however about his vocation, at the same time still ensuring the management and restoration of his commandery. Returning to St-Rémy and lacking a temperment for administration, François-Marie had to engage in several trials to defend the property of the order.  He left many documents that he signed "Knight brother François de Mareuil". Against his wishes, he was appointed receiver of the Grand Priory of Aquitaine in 1709, and ten years later, Grand Treasurer of France of the order, with the title of bailiff.

On Saturday, August 31, 1720, François-Marie des Bans of Mareuil died after 28 years of loyal service in the commandery of St-Rémy where his body is buried in the chapel.


Translated from the French, http://histoiremareuil41.free.fr/chateau_fichiers/desbansfrancoismarie.htm

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