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Godfrey Henschen

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Jesuit, hagiographer ; b. at Venray (Limburg), 21 June, 1601; d. at Antwerp, 11 Sept., 1681. The son of Henry Henschen, a cloth merchant, and Sibylla Pauwels, he studied the humanities at the Jesuit College of Bois-le-Duc ('s Hertogenbosch) and entered the novitiate at Mechlin, 22 Oct., 1619. He taught successively Greek, poetry, and rhetoric at Bergues, Bailleul, Ypres, and Ghent, and was ordained priest on 16 April, 1634, sent to the professed house at Antwerp the following year, and admitted to the profession of the four vows on 12 May, 1636. From the time of his arrival in the city he was associated as collaborator with Father Bollandus, who was then preparing the first volumes of the "Acta Sanctorum". As has been said in speaking of this collection (see Bolandists), it was Henschen who, by his commentary on the Acts of St. Amand, suggested to Bolandus the course to follow, and gave to the scientific work undertaken by his learned master its definitive form. The same article speaks of the literary journey, undertaken by Henschen in company with Father Papebroch, to Italy, France, and Germany (22 July, 1660-21 December, 1662). He collaborated on the volumes for January, February, March, and April, and on the first six volumes for May, that is on seventeen volumes of the "Acta Sanctorum". Several of his posthumous commentaries appeared in the succeeding volumes. A list of some other works from his pen will be found in De Backer's "Bibliothèque des escrivains de la Compagnie de Jésus". Henschen was the first librarian of the museum Bollandianum at Antwerp.

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