French Benedictine, and member of the Congregation of St-Maur, born at Repas in the Diocese of Séez, France, 13 October 1700, died at St-Denis, 1 July, 1754. He belonged to a family of note. On 20 July, 1718, he made the vows of the order at Jumièges. After finishing the philosophical and theological course at the Abbey of Fécamp he was sent to the monastery of Bonne-Nouvelle at Rouen to learn Hebrew and Greek. At the same time he studied Italian, English, German, and Dutch, in order to be able to understand the writers in these languages. He was not ordained priest until 1729 and then only at the express command of his superior. He always said Mass with much trepidation and only after long preparation. In 1730 he entered the Abbey of St-Ouen at Rouen, went later to St-Germain-des-Pres and Blancs-Manteaux, and died while taking his milk-cure at St-Denis. He had worn out his body by fasts and ascetic practices. His theological opinions were not entirely correct, as he inclined to Jansenism. As a scholar he made himself an honoured name. He worked for twenty years with a fellow-member of the order, Tassin, on an edition of the works of St. Theodore of Studium which was never printed, for a publisher could not be found. Another common undertaking of the two is the "Nouveau traité de diplomatique" (6 vols., 1750-65) in which they treated more fully and thouroughly the subjects taken up in Mabillon's great work "De re diplomatica". The publication of Toustain and Tassin is of permanent value. The last four volumes were edited by Tassin alone after Toustain's death. Of general interest among Toustain's personal writings are: "La vérité persecutée par l'erreur" (2 vols., 1733), a collection of the writings of the Fathers on the persecutions of the first eight centuries; and "L'authorité de miracles dans l'église" (no date ), in which he expounds the opinion of St. Augustine. Tassin testifies that he was zealous in his duties, modest, and sincerely religious.
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.
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