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Jacques-Denis Cochin

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A preacher and philanthropist, born in Paris, 1 January, 1726; died there 3 June, 1783. His father, Claude-Denis Cochin (d. 1786), was a famous botanist. Jacques-Denis followed a course of theological studies in the Sorbonne and was graduated with the degree of Doctor. In 1755 he was ordained priest. The next year he was given charge of the parish of Saint-Jacques-du-Haut-Pas. There he spent his whole life working for the material as well as the spiritual betterment of his people. He won great fame for the unction and strength of his preaching. His published works include: Four books of Sunday sermons (Paris, 1786-1808); "Exhortations on the Feasts, Fasts and Ceremonies of the Church" (Paris, 1778); "Retreat Exercises" (Paris, 1778); "Spiritual Writings", a posthumous work published by his brother (Paris, 1784). Cochin is noted especially for his philanthropy. The needs of his own parish suggested the foundation of a hospital. The idea, conceived in 1780, resulted in the completion of a building of which The Sisters of Charity took charge. The inscription on the building, Pauper clamavit et Dominus exaudivit eum , is an index of Cochin's intentions. He devoted his whole fortune to the work. The hospital was inaugurated with thirty-eight beds; today the number is nearly four hundred. It was originally called Hopital Saint-Jacques. In 1801 the General Council of the Paris hospitals gave it the name of its charitable founder, which it still preserves.

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