Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

Jesuit educationist and social work, b. at Paris, 21 November, 1835; d. there, 30 August, 1909. His father, Louis Paul Albert du Lac de Fugères, was descended from a noble family, noted in history as early as 1206, and his mother was Camille de Rouvroy de Lamairie. Entering into the novitiate of the Society of Jesus at Issenheim, in Alsace, October 28, 1853, he studied theology at Laval till 1869, when he was ordained priest by Mgr. Wicart, 19 September. The following summer (1870) he was made rector of the new College of Sainte-Croix, at Mans, where, during the Franco-Prussian war, he organized an efficient hospital service. During the ten months of his rectorship at Mans, twenty-two thousand soldiers sojourned successively in his college. In October, 1871, he succeeded the martyred Father Léon Ducoudray as Rector of the Ecole Sainte-Geneviève, generally called "La Rue des Postes", an institution which prepared candidates for the great military and scientific schools of France. During his rectorship, from 1872 to 1881, 213 of his pupils were admitted to the Ecole Centrale, 328to the Ecole Polytechnique, and 830 to Saint-Cyr. With a rare combination of firmness and gentleness he trained his students to be such fearless Catholics that they gradually infused a Catholic spirit into the military school of Saint-Cyr. This, together with their unparalleled success at the entrance examinations, was the real cause of the closing of the Jesuit colleges in 1880 and of the subsequent persecution of the Church in France. In 1880 he founded a new French college, St. Mary's, at Canterbury, England, where he remained as rector nine years, venerated and loved by all who met him, Protestants as well as Catholics. The last twenty years of his life were spent in Paris and Versailles, as preacher, director of souls, and founder of the "Syndicat de l'Aiguille", a collection of loan and benefit societies for needlewomen, dressmakers, seamstresses, especially those young sewing girls who are called midinettes . As early as 1901 this syndicate, which has spread all over France, counted more than two thousand members and two hundred lady patronesses in Paris alone, where its two restaurants, reserved exclusively for members, had served more than a million meals, and where its preventive zeal had saved and consoled thousands of young women. Father du Lac had been for many years, in the eyes of the ignorant anti-Catholic multitude, the personification of the scheming Jesuit, while the Catholics who knew him best thought him only too frank, too apt to waste his kindness on men whose hatred of the Church was implacable. He wrote two books: "France" (Paris, 1888), which vividly portrays the affectionate relations between the Rector of St. Mary's, Canterbury, and his French boys; and "Jésuites" (Paris, 1901), a defence of the Society of Jesus, containing many autobiographical reminiscences. In the last long months of illness God took him away from the strife of tongues into the solitude of a religious house which was not his own, a hospital where he died in poverty and perfect trust.

More Encyclopedia

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.

Catholic Encyclopedia

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


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ecclesiastes 11:9--12:8
9 Do not wrangle about something that does not concern you, do not ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 90:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 14, 17
3 You bring human beings to the dust, by saying, 'Return, children of ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 9:43-45
43 and everyone was awestruck by the greatness of God. But while everyone ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 24th, 2016 Image

Martyrs of Chalcedon
September 24: A group of forty-nine Christians slain in ... Read More