Born 1600; died at Bordeaux, 1665. He belonged to the Society of Jesus , and enjoyed great celebrity for his admirable virtues, his trials, and his talents as a spiritual director . Bossuet declared him "consumed with spirituality". At the suggestion of the Fathers of the Province of Aquitaine, assembled in provincial congregation (1755), the father general ordered his name inscribed in the "Ménologe de l'assistance de France". At the age of eight he took a vow of chastity, at ten he was taught to meditate by a Carmelite. Having been sent to Loudun to exorcize certain Ursulines tormented by the evil one, he was so horrified at the terrible sacrileges intended for three desecrated hosts that he immediately made an offering of his own spirit to be possessed by demons in expiation for this frightful crime. His prayer was granted, and for more than twenty years he was harassed by evil spirits , plunged in the depths of despair over his eternal damnation. At times he was unable to use his hands, his feet, his eyes, his tongue, or was impelled to commit a thousand extravagances, which even the most charitably inclined deemed foolish. The wrong impression under which he laboured at such times caused him the greatest joy. At no time, however, did this state of obsession prevent his devoting himself to preaching. It is true he was unable to prepare himself for this by any reading or study, but on entering the pulpit and making the sign of the cross a wonderful transformation was manifest. His vigorous mind instantly gained the ascendancy; his powerful voice and facile oratory won universal attention and admiration. His physician declared it miraculous. Even in writing or dictating his works he seemed gifted with Divine inspiration . He was healed eight years before his death and was thenceforth absorbed in the abundance of Divine communications. His principal works are: "Catéchisme spirituel" (Paris, 1659), published by the Prince de Conti, anonymously; "Fondements de la vie spiituelle" (Paris, 1667); "Cantiques spirituels" (Paris, 1660); "Dialogues spirituels" (Paris, 1704); "Lettres spirituelles" (Paris, 1695). His "Catéchisme spirituel" is on the Index, but with certain modifications soon to be made, it will be taken from the list.
More Catholic Encyclopedia
Browse Encyclopedia by Alphabet
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 in fifteen hardcopy 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.
Browse the Catholic Encyclopedia by Topic
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