Normandy Vision UK Trust

Normandy Vision
UK Trust

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A Christian Mission working in Normandy, France

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Rubens Saillens: His grave

Note: Click on a photograph to see it displayed in a bigger size.


Ruben Saillens, an important name in the history of French protestantism and evangelicalism in the first half of the twentieth century in particular, died and was buried in the town of Condé-sur-Noireau.

Some key dates and events in the life of Ruben Saillens

  • 1855 - Born at St-Jean-du-Gard (Languedoc) on the 24th June.
  • 1871 - Converted.
  • 1877 - Married to Jeanne Crétin on the 1st August in Versailles.
  • 1891 - Meets C H Spurgeon (1834-1892).
  • 1916 - Takes part in a series of meetings at Spurgeon's Metropolitan Tabernacle in London and is introduced as “The Spurgeon of France”.
  • 1921 - The founding of the Bible Institute at Nogent-sur-Marne. Saillens had a major involvement in establishing and maintaining this work during his life.
  • 1939/40 - Moves to Condé-sur-Noireau (Calvados) soon after the start of World War II. Stays in the house of Mme Emile Saillens, la rue Gasté, Condé-sur-Noireau.
  • 1941 - His wife, Jeanne, dies on the 7th October, and is buried in Condé-sur-Noireau.
  • 1941 - Preaches his last sermon in December at the Reformed Church. The church building was destroyed during the war. The Reformed church that now exists in Condé was built after the war on a different site.
  • 1942 - Dies in early January (1st or 5th) and is buried in the Protestant Cemetery in Condé-sur-Noireau alongside his wife, Jeanne.

The Grave

Ruben Saillens and his wife, Jeanne, are buried in the same grave at the Protestant Cemetery in Condé-sur-Noireau (Calvados) in the heart of the region of Normandy. The cemetery is located on la Rue Motte de Lutre, which is the south-western quarter of the town. It is a few hundred metres closer to the town than the two other larger and predominantly Catholic cemeteries. The current state of the Protestant Cemetery suggests that over the years it has not always been well maintained.

la rue Gasté, where Saillens died

The street where Saillens was living when he died, la rue Gasté, is shown in the photograph on the right. It was the home of his relative, Mme Emile Saillens, where he and his wife, Jeanne, had stayed since moving there soon after the start of the war.

The photographs below show something of the grave where Ruben and Jeanne Saillens are buried, and the general are of the cemetery itself.

Saillens' grave

The grave of Ruben and Jeanne Saillens.

The photograph below shows a close up of the inscription on the grave.

Saillens' grave - close up of inscription

The grave of Ruben and Jeanne Saillens showing the inscription in more detail.

The inscription in French reads: Ici reposent Ruben Saillens, Pasteur, Orateur et Poete 1855-1942 et son Epouse Jeanne Saillens 1856-1941 qui le seconda pendant 64ans. Le Fils de Dieu m'a aimé et s'est livré lui-même pour moi Gala II 20 [Galates 2.20].

In English: Here lies Ruben Saillens, Pastor, Preacher and Poet 1855-1942 and his wife Jeanne Saillens 1856-1941 who assisted him for 64 years. The Son of God loved me and gave himself for me Galatians 2.20.

Saillens' grave - showing setting

The grave of Ruben and Jeanne Saillens showing the setting.

The Saillens' grave is the one with the cross on the left of the photograph.

Saillens' grave - showing general setting

The grave of Ruben and Jeanne Saillens showing the general setting.

The Saillens' grave is the one with the cross towards the right of the photograph.

Protestant Cemetary at Condé

The entrance to the Protestant Cemetery (Cimetière Protestant) at Condé-sur-Noireau.

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