The tiny hamlet of Barbery sits by a forest in the Beaujolais region of central France. Here on Aug 07, 1790, Jean-Claude Colin was born, happily unaware of the fierce Revolution raging about him. He was soon to be orphaned, not by violence but through the illness and early death of his mother then his father. Jean-Claude was not yet five years old.
The young Jean-Claude now enjoyed the care of a kindly uncle - and not-so-kindly housekeeper. Before long they moved to the nearby village of St Bonnet-le-Troncy to live close to the church and amidst a community of devout Catholic people many of whom had suffered and lost much through the Revolution. Perhaps the lad would become a priest for them.
Life was simple at St Bonnet for the shy lad... serving Mass in the parish church, minding cows in the fields and never far from the quiet forest of Barbery.