Illustrious writer and preacher, especially noted as a historian of medieval heresies, b. at Belleville ( Archdiocese of Lyons ) towards the end of the twelfth century; d. in 1261. Having received his education from the cathedral clergy at Mâcon, he made his higher studies in Paris, about 1220, and there shortly afterwards, as it seems, he entered the Order of Preachers. From 1230 he was very active for many years as a preacher and inquisitor in the districts of Lyonnais, Burgundy, Franche-Comté, Savoy, Champagne, Lorraine, Auvergne, Languedoc, and Roussillon. In his work for preachers entitled "De septem donis Spiritus Sancti", or "Tractatus de diversis Materiis Praedicabilibus", Stephen has embodied much useful matter out of the many years of his practical experience. The parts of this work more valuable at the present day were published in Paris in 1877 by A. Lecoy de la Marche under the title "Anecdotes historiques, légendes et apologues, tirés du recueil inédit d'Etienne de Bourbon dominicain du 13e siecle". Considered as a whole Stephen's work affords a clear insight into the different sects and superstitions of the age, while giving at the same time valuable information regarding the most prominent of his contemporaries. Although credulous to a marked degree, Stephen was, nevertheless, a strenuous opponent of superstition. A free use of his writings was made of a later compiler to form a "Speculum Morale", which for a long time was falsely attributed to Vincent of Beauvais.
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online