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Jean Baptiste Abbeloos

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Orientalist, born 15 January, 1836, at Goyck, Belgium; died 25 February, 1906. He was educated in the seminary of Malines, 1849-60. After his ordination to the priesthood, 22 September, 1860, he studied at Louvain and Rome, devoting himself especially to Syriac language and literature. He received the degree of Doctor in Theology from the University of Louvain , 15 July, 1867, spent the following winter in London, and on his return to Belgium was appointed Professor of Holy Scripture in the seminary of Malines. Failing health obliged him to abandon the work of teaching, and he became, in 1876, pastor at Duffel. He was appointed in 1883 vicar-general under Cardinal Dechamps and help that position until 10 February, 1887, when he was appointed Rector of the University of Louvain. During his administration the University grew rapidly in equipment and organization. Abbeloos, although in the midst of his official duties, was always the scholar and the man of high ideals, whose word and example stimulated younger men to earnest work. Modest and unassuming, he realized nonetheless the significance of his position as rector of a great Catholic university, and he exerted his influence in behalf of Church and country so effectually that his retirement in 1900 occasioned regret both in the University and in the whole kingdom.

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His published work are: De vitâ et scriptis S. Jacobi Sarugensis (Louvain, 1867); Gregorii Barhebraei Chronicon Ecclesiasticum (Paris and Louvain, 1872-77); aacta Santi Maris (Brussels and Leipzig, 1885); Acta Mar Kardaghi Martyris (Brussels, 1900).


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