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Jean de Brisacier

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Controversialist, b. at Blois, France, 9 June, 1592; entered the Society of Jesus in 1619, d. at Blois, 10 September, 1668. On the completion of his studies, he gave himself to preaching for many years, with great zeal and success. Afterwards he was in turn Rector of the colleges of Aix, Blois, and Rouen, Visitor to the province of Portugal, Procurator of the Society for Foreign Missions and Superior of the Professed House in Paris. His love for missionary work was such that shortly before his death, he remarked that he counted as nothing all the years he had not spent in it. Brisacier was an ardent opponent of Jansenism, and never lost an opportunity of attacking it. In a sermon preached at Blois, in 1651, he denounced the deceit practiced by the Jansenists, particularly in the district around his native town, where the curé of Cour-Cheverny, M. L'Abbé Callaghan, was very active in promoting the heresy. This gave rise to a spirited controversy, in which Brisacier displayed activity and courage. In reply to the Jansenists' answer to his sermon, he repeated his indictment, and offered proof of it, in a publication entitled "Le jansénisme confondu dans l'advocat du sieur Callaghan, par le P. Brisacier, avec la deffense de son sermon fait à Blois, le 29 Mars, 1651, contre la response du Port Royal". This work was quickly condemned by Jean François de Gondi, Archbishop of Paris, because of its personal attacks directed especially against the Jansenistic religious of Port Royal. After this censure the dispute continued for some time, and called forth a long series of pamphlets. As late as 1862, the controversy was kept up by Abbé Pletteau and G. Bordillon.


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