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Priest and torero.

"On my first pass, I ascended to heaven."

Father Jacques Tessier poses at Mas de Bellombre, owned by Sophie and Pierre Marie Meynadier

There are military chaplains or prison chaplains, but also there is an arena chaplain.

Jacques Teissier is the priest of the arenas of Nîmes and manages the famous chapel of the arenas which welcomes most of the bullfighters before their fight.

He was thus the privileged witness of almost 30 years of férias.

But he is not only a man of the Church: he is also a modest "práctico" bullfighter who still puts himself in front of young bulls at the height of his 75 years.

Of course, in France, some are opposed to a man of the Church himself to bullfighting.

But Jacques Tessier knew corrida before the priesthood.

He discovered it at the end of the 1940s with his father Alexandre, who was a member of the Nîmois Bullfighting Circle, and began toreing in the late 1980s. "On my first pass, I ascended to heaven."

“Getting in front of a bull and an audience is appalling stress. And fortunately I never had to give the last sacraments to the arenas. ”

Every Saturday morning, he indulges in the "salon toreo" either with the Nîmes "prácticos" or with the matador Denis Loré. Previously, he did it at the retired professional "Pepe de Montijo" every Friday afternoon.

Jacques Teissier is chaplain-sacristan of the place since 1987. But gradually, he was chaplain of the arenas for a few years in Béziers, occasionally in Arles, Vic-Fezensac or Dax, and he usually is in Vauvert, Istres, Carcassonne and Rieumes.


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