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Blessed Louis Allemand

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Cardinal, Archbishop of Arles, whose name has been written in a great variety of ways (Alamanus, Alemanus, Almannus, Alamandus, etc.), was born at Arbent in the Diocese of Belley in 1380 or 1381 (Beyssac, p. 310); d. 16 September, 1450. Through the influence of a relative, François de Conzié, who was papal chamberlain, Allemand soon became prominent in the ecclesiastical world. He was named Bishop of Maguelonne in 1418 by Martin V, who entrusted him with important missions, regarding for example the transference from Pavia to Siena of the council which was convoked in 1423. In December, 1423, he was made Archbishop of Arles and in 1426 Cardinal. Later on and especially after 1436 he began to play a most important part in the Council of Basle, where he made himself the head of the party which maintained the supremacy of the council over the pope (a doctrine already much ventilated at Constance where Allemand had been present), and which eventually proceeded to the deposition of Eugenius IV.

In 1439 Allemand was primarily responsible for the election of Felix V, the antipope, and it was Allemand who, sometime later, consecrated him bishop and crowned him as supreme pontiff. During the continuance of the assembly at Basle the cardinal showed heroic courage in tending the plague-stricken. He was also a diligent promoter of the decree passed by the council in favour of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady . In the years which followed Allemand discharged several diplomatic missions in behalf of Felix V, while he openly disregarded the decrees of Eugenius IV, which pronounced him "excommunicated" and deprived him of his dignity as cardinal. After the resignation of Felix V, brought about by the assembly of bishops which met at Lyons in 1449, Allemand was reinstated in his dignities by Nicholas V. His violent action at Basle seems to have resulted from an earnest desire for the reform of the Church, and having made his submission to Nicholas V, he is believed to have done penance for his former disloyal and schismatical conduct. He died shortly after in the odour of sanctity. His private life had always been a penitential one, and many miracles were reported to have been worked at his tomb. In 1527 a Brief of Clement VII permitted him to be venerated as Blessed.

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