Patrologist, b. November, 1605, at Marmande in Guyenne; d. at Paris, 23 March, 1679. He made his preliminary studies in the Jesuit College at Bordeaux, and joined the Dominican Order in 1624. After finishing his theological course, he became professor of theology, and taught in several houses of his order. In 1640 he was transferred to Paris where the opportunities for research afforded by the libraries led him to abandon teaching and to undertake the publication of patristic texts. He published successively the works of Amphilochius of Iconium, of Methodius of Patara, and of Andreas of Crete, together with some hitherto unedited writings of St. John Chrysostom. In 1648 appeared his "Novum Auctarium Graeco-Latinae Bibliothecae Patrum" in two parts, exegitical and historico-dogmatic. The "Historia haeresis monothelitarum sanctaeque in cam sextae synodi actorum vindiciae", which formed part of the historical section of this work, met with much opposition in Rome, principally because it was at variance with the opinions of Bellarmine and Baronius. The character of the work in which Combefis was engaged met so thoroughly the approval of the French clergy that in an assembly of the French bishops held in Paris, 1655, an annual subsidy was voted to enable him to carry on his publications, the sum voted being subsequently doubled. This generous action produced the most fruitful results, and the number of his publications increased every year. In 1656 he edited St. John Chrysostom's "De educandis Liberis", in 1660 a collection of Acts of the martyrs. In 1662 there appeared the "Bibliotheca Patrum Concionatoria", or "Preachers' Library of the Fathers", a rich and comprehensive work, prepared in the most painstaking manner from all the available manuscripts, and containing a short historical account of all the authors whose names appeared in the work. Another important work, "Auctarium Novissimum Bibliothecae Patrum", appeared at Paris in 1672. The three following years saw many publications from the pen of Combefis. In 1674 appeared "Ecclesiastes Graecus, i.e. illustrium Graecorum Patrum ac oratorum digesti sermones ac tractatus", etc. In 1675 appeared "Theodoti Ancyrani adv. Nestorium liber et S. Germani patriarchae Constantinop. in S. Mariae Dormitionem et Translationem oratio historica", and in the same year an edition of the works of Maximus Confessor in two volumes with a Latin translation. A third volume of the works of Maximus Confessor was ready when Combefis died. Perhaps the most important of the works of Combefis is his edition of St. Basil in two volumes, "Basilius magnus ex integro recensitus, textus ex fide optimorum codicum ubique castigatus, auctus, illustratus, haud incerta quandoque condectura emendatus. Versiones recognitae", etc. (Paris, 1679). This is a work of the highest merit and shows the critical skill of Combefis at its best, though later surpassed by the famous Maurist edition (Paris, 1721-30). Besides these and several other critical editions of works of the Fathers, there are in existence some polemical works of Combefis which have little value for the present time. Though known to all the learned men of his time, and widely celebrated even in his lifetime for his great learning, Combefis always remained a mild and obedient monk.
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