Emiel Tillieux, son of Edouard Tillieux, general practitioner, en Sylvie Ruysschaert, was ordained priest in December 1884. On his request Gezelle wrote a poem for his first mass.
From 1884 until 1889 he was a teacher of commerce, mathematics and English at the college of Saint Louis in Bruges and from 1889 till 1896 he was principal of the college in Avelgem, where he established the Guild of Saint Martin, a society joining together teachers and former students of this college. Among its members figured the Flemish author Frank Lateur and his brother Karel.
In 1896 he worked as a chaplain in the prison of Kortrijk and in 1897 as an army chaplain. On the list of Gezelle’s friends in Kortrijk he is mentioned to live on the Capittelstrate (Capittel street). After his father’s (1915) and mother’s (1916) death he became a Capuchin under the name of father Exuperius. In 1934 he was appointed parish priest in Petite Chapelle (Namur).
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