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Hermann Cohen

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A Discalced Carmelite (Augustin-Marie of the Blessed Sacrament, generally known as Father Hermann), born at Hamburg, Germany, 10 November, 1820; died at Spandau, 20 January, 1871. The son of a Jewish merchant, he devoted himself to music, which he studied under Liszt at Paris, where he joined a brilliant but frivolous circle, to the detriment of his morals. One day, in May, 1847, while leading the choir at Benediction in the church of Sainte-Valérie, he felt himself touched by Divine grace, and, after a short sojourn at Ems, resolved to become a Christian. Baptized 28 August, he instituted with De la Bouillerie the pious practice of the nocturnal adoration ; he entered the Carmelite novitiate at Broussey, made his profession 7 October 1850, and was ordained priest 19 April of the following year. His fiery eloquence and the stir caused by his conversion made him a favorite preacher, notwithstanding insufficient studies. He was instrumental in the foundation of convents at Bagnères-de-Bigorre (1853), Lyons (1857), the Desert of Tarasteix near Lourdes (1857), and in London (1862), where he had been known during his artistic career. After some years spent in England he went on a preaching tour through Germany and France and ultimately to Tarasteix. At the outbreak of the Franco-German War he fled to Switzerland, and later on took charge of the lazaretto at Spandau, where he contracted smallpox. He was buried in St. Hedwig's church, Berlin. Among his works are Le Catholicisme en Agnleterre , a speech delivered at Mechlin, also in English (Paris, 1864); Gloire à Marie (1849); Amour à Jésus (1851); Fleurs du Carmel ; Couronnement de la Madonne ; Thabor (1870), five collections of sacred songs with accompaniment, pious but somewhat shallow; this also holds good of his Mass (1856).

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