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Hyacinthe-Louis De Quelen

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Archbishop of Paris, born at Paris, 8 Oct., 1778; died there 31 Dec., 1839. He was educated at the Collège de Navarre, and under the private tuition of M. Emery and other ecclesiastics. Ordained in 1807, he served a year as Vicar-General of St. Brieuc and then became secretary to Cardinal Fesch. When the latter was sent back to his diocese, de Quelen exercised the sacred ministry at St. Sulpice and in the military hospitals. Under the Restoration of 1814 he became successively spiritual director of the schools in the archdiocese, Vicar-General of Paris, and coadjutor archbishop to Cardinal de Talleyrand-Périgord, succeeding the latter in 1821. The favours of Louis XVIII and Charles X did not make him subservient. As a peer of the realm he opposed, on behalf of the middle classes, the conversion of the national debt. At his reception into the French Academy he publicly lauded Chateaubriand, then in disgrace. While blessing the corner-stone of the Chapelle Expiatoire he demanded, though in vain, an amnesty for the exiled members of the Convention; and the ordinance of 1828, disbanding the Jesuits and limiting the recruiting of the clergy, was issued against his advice. Although de Quelen had not approved the royal ordinance of July, 1830, which aimed at restoring absolute monarchy, he was nevertheless held in suspicion by the House of Orléans. On one occasion Louis-Philippe said to him: " Archbishop, remember that more than one mitre has been torn asunder". "Sire", replied the archbishop, " God protect the crown of the king, for many royal crowns too have been shattered".

Apart from some official functions such as the christening of the Comte de Paris, the obsequies of the Duke of Orléans and the Te Deum sung in honour of the French victory in Africa, he confined himself to his episcopal duties, visiting the parishes of his jurisdiction, looking after the religious instruction of military recruits, and organizing the metropolitan clergy. In the outbreaks which followed the Revolution of 1830 the archbishop, twice driven from his palace, had to seek refuge in humble quarters and to bear in silence the worst calumnies against his person. However, when the epidemic of 1832 broke out, he nobly transformed his seminaries into hospitals, personally ministered to the sick at the Hôtel-Dieu, and founded at his own expense the "œuvre des orphelins du choléra". He died shortly after, having the joy of witnessing the conversion of the apostate Bishop of Autun, the Prince de Talleyrand. Ravignan eulogized him at Notre-Dame, and de Molé at the French Academy . From de Quelen's episcopate date the "Société de St. Vincent de Paul ", the "Conferences apologétiques de Notre-Dame" and several religious institutes, among which are the nursing Sisters of Bon-Secours. Besides the eulogies on Louis XVI (Paris, 1816), on Madame Elizabeth (Paris, 1817), on the Duke de Berry (Paris, 1830), his "Discours de réception à l'académie française" (Paris, 1824), and some 120 pastoral letters, we have from his pen "Manuels pour l'administration des Sacrements de l'Eucharistie et de l'Extrême-Onction: du Baptême des Enfants: du Mariage" (3 vols., Paris, 1837-38) collected in the "Rituel de Paris ".

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