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Charles Joseph Tricassin

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One of the greatest theologians of the Capuchin Order, b. at Troyes ; d. in 1681. There is but little positive information about his life. By continued study he acquired a profound knowledge of the writings of Augustine, and explained and defended with success his doctrine of grace against the Jansenists. Tricassin's writings were violently attacked; they treat exhaustively both the Augustinian doctrine of grace and that of St. Bonaventure. They comprise in the main: "De praedestinatione hominum ad gloriam" (Paris, 1669 and 1673), to which was added "Supplementum Augustinianum" (1673), the work being intended to prove predestination for foreknown merits ; "De indifferenti lapsi hominis arbitrio sub gratia et concupiscentia" (Paris, 1673), a thorough explanation of many Augustinian tenets; "De necessaria ad salutem gratia omnibus et singulis data" (Paris, 1673), proof of the sufficient grace for every individual, with special emphasis upon difficult passages in Augustine's writings on which a full understanding of his doctrine depends; "De natura peccati originalis" (Paris, 1677); "De causa bonorum operum" (Paris, 1679), a proof of the virtue of the hope of eternal life and of the fear of hell ; a "Supplementum" (Paris, 1679) shows that attrition in connection with the Sacrament of Penance is sufficient according to Augustine and the Council of Trent. Tricassin also published a commentary to several of Augustine's works to prove that Augustine calls the Pelagians heretical teachers, because they do not concede any necessity of grace for the will. Tricassin published at Paris in 1678 a French translation with explanations and applications of Augustine's books, "De gratia et libero arbitrio", "De correptione et gratia" and also a treatise to prove that the Cartesian philosophy was contrary to faith. The importance of the author and his writings is best shown by the fact that the Jansenists bought up his books and burned them because they could not answer them.

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