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Jean Druys

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( Latin DRUSIUS)

Thirtieth Abbot of Parc near Louvain, Belgium, b. at Cumptich, near Tirlemont; d. 25 March, 1635. He studied successively at St-Trond, Liège, Namur, and Louvain, and entered the Norbertine Abbey of Parc in 1587. Ordained priest, he was sent to the Norbertine College at Louvain and obtained his licentiate in 1595. Recalled to the abbey, he was made sub-prior and professor of theology to the young religious at the abbey, chaplain to Abbot Ambrose Loots at the Refuge, which the abbey possessed at Brussels during the troublous times at the end of the sixteenth century, and at the death of Abbot Loots his successor. Four years later he was appointed vicar-general to the Abbot-General of Prémontré, and was later named by Archduke Albert a member of the States of Brabant and of his private council. The University of Louvain having suffered much from the religious and political disturbances of the time, Druys was appointed, with a layman, visitor to the university, with full power to reform abuses, a task which was not completed until 1617. He was also made visitor to the University of Douai (1616) and to the Celestine monastery at Héverlé. In addition he restored and enlarged his own abbey, which had suffered much from the vandalism of the soldiers, and provided better educational advantages for his religious. At the general chapter held at Prémontré in 1628, Abbot Druys was commissioned to revise the statutes of the order and conform them to the prescriptions of the Council of Trent, a revision which was approved at the general chapter of 1630. Druys prefixed a preface, "Praefatio ad omnes candidissimi et canonici ordinis religiosos", which Foppens characterizes as longam, piam, eruditam . He had a tree of the saints of the order made by the skilful engraver, C. Mallery. He also published a small work entitled "Exhortatio ad candidi ordinis religiosos". Abbot Druys was deputed by the general chapter of 1630 to bring back several abbeys of Spain into union and observance, but was unsuccessful. While on this mission he conferred with Phillip IV on the sad state of affairs in Brabant. A ring presented to him by this monarch is preserved at Parc, as is also a letter from Henrietta Maria, Queen of England.

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