Saint Vincent and the Church in his time (3, end)

Francisco Javier Fernández ChentoAt the time of Vincent de PaulLeave a Comment

Author: Luigi Mezzadri, C.M. · Year of first publication: 2008 · Source: Third Asian Vincentian Institute (Mother House, Paris, September-December 2006).
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Church, Eucharist and the priesthood

Models of the Priesthood

Saint Vincent tells the story of a meeting with a Huguenot. The path of conversion of the latter had proceeded well, when the interlocutor of the saint brought up for discussion a question: “You have told me that the Church of Rome is guided by the Holy Spirit but I cannot believe it because, on one side, are seen Catholics of the countryside who are abandoned to depraved and ignorant pastors, ignorant of their own duties, so much so that a great part do not even know what is the Christian religion and, on the other side, are seen the cities full of priests and monks who do nothing; in Paris there would be perhaps ten thousand who nevertheless leave those poor country folks in frightful ignorance, in which they are lost. And you would like to persuade me that all this is ruled by the Holy Spirit! I will never believe it!”1

Christians were accustomed to seeing such a clergy who exer­cised their trade for which no particular requirements — cultural or moral, or pastoral—were needed. Or better still, the criteria existed but were not controlled by anyone because no one was in charge of formation and because the ills of the priesthood originated from those of the episcopate.

The Church of France, after having experienced the useless­ness of a military option (the religious wars) was tempted at the beginning of the 17th century by politics (through affiance with Spain or by the activity of the Cardinal Ministers), by the controversialists (they argue in order to convert) and by the Tridentine Reformers.

But the way was blocked in various manners. As for the Tridentine reformers, it was a fact that the clergy had “accepted” the Tridentine decrees in a unilateral way. But they did not become laws of the state because of the noted reluctance of Gallicanism.

Something more was needed. In order to be efficacious, the reform needed talent and sanctity. This was found in a small nucleus of priests who focused on an extraordinary theology, rich in thought and spiritual inspiration, original and traditional that was called the “French school.”2 Much has been written on the existence of such school. It was easy to deny it on the basis of a concept of a school that was a little too reductive. More than a school of a philosophical character in which the disciples elaborated common and consequent doctrines, we must refer to the French School of Spirituality as artistic. School in this case is not therefore an institution but a style, an in­spiration, and a magic moment. Thus, it was not so much a school of thought but a training ground for holiness.

We will not, therefore, address the problem of the diverse conceptions of the priesthood in these authors. For this there are different works.3 We will look instead at the spirituality of the priest­hood of this school. The spiritual doctrine of this school is not born from an abstract reflection. Berulle, Vincent de Paul, Condren, Olier and Eudes were not professors or “official theologians” in love with abstract strategies of thought. They were pastors who turned to the church and not to an elite. Their spirituality was for all. It would be reasons from life and from history that would push them to be preoccupied with the clergy. They did it then in thought and deed.

A spirituality of adoration

The doctrine of this school was based on Pseudo Dionisius that at that time was considered not an author of the 5th century but the disciple and practically the spokesman of Saint Paul. From Mistica Teologia (Mystical Theology) comes the apophatic (cannot be said) character of the knowledge of God, a profound “ignorance” in which is perceived what God is not. Here then comes the necessity of overcoming and purifying all affections and knowledge in order to penetrate the darkness and to arrive at the experience of the Encoun­ter. From the gerarchie (hierarchy) came the image of the realization of union and of sanctification that is carried out in two movements: ascending (that is purification, illumination and divinization) and descending (that is communication of grace to inferior orders).

The result is a vigorous consciousness of the greatness and holiness of God that requires an attitude of adoration and of total oblation. Man is nothing, Berulle wrote, he must empty and annihilate himself in order to be filled with God. A force of mutual attraction like that between a planet and the sun is established between man and God. Man then must “adhere”4 to Christ in order to realize a relationship of intimacy, a “bond” that expresses belonging, offering, obedience and union.

Against the abstract tendency of certain Nordic spirituality that claimed an effacement of the humanity of Christ, the French School proposed the centrality of the Incarnation and focuses on the immense and unexpected reality of the coming in flesh of the Son of God which constitutes Christ as the only mediator, the adorer of the Father. With the hypostatic union “God will be man as long as God will be God and there will always be a Man-God.”5 In the Incarnate Word dwell the religious and the servant, the adorer and the missio­nary, that is, the different faces of the Catholic priesthood.

The spirituality of the priesthood oscillates in fact between two different theologies, from which are born different ways of under­standing the same figure and ministry of the priest.

On dne side, there is the theology of Pseudo Dionysius (Pseudo Dionigi); in this theology the priest comes from among men and is placed over them, inasmuch as he is inserted in that complex celestial-terrestrial hierarchy from which the sanctification of men comes and through which the glorification of God passes.

On the opposite side, there is the Augustinian vision that puts the accent not so much on the priest as head, but on his service. The priest, taken from among men, is not above them but is for them in fraternal service. More than being head, he is a brother; more than commanding, he helps them from within.

In the Augustinian line, the priest is a man for the mission; while in that of the opposing view, he is rather a man for worship. It is clear that there are two polarizations that are very schematic; that define a tendency rather than enclose the thought of an author. It would be useful to gather the different facets of the so called French school of spirituality.6

The great reformers of the French clergy of the 17th century (Berulle, Condren, Vincent de Paul, Olier, Eudes) introduced into empty lamps the oil of prayer, but these lamps were made to illumine the steps of men.

The consequences for spirituality were exciting. It put in relief, first of all, the need for sanctity. Saint Vincent said: “There is nothing greater than a priest to whom God bestows every power over his natural body and on the mystical, the power to remit sins, etc. 0 God, what power! Oh! What dignity!”7 And he added: “It is doubtful if all the disorders that we see in the world are not to be attributed to priests. This might scandalize some, but the argument requires that I show, with the greatness of the evil, the importance of the remedy. Many conferences have been made on such question and it has been treated in depth in order to discover the sources of so many misfor­tunes; but the conclusion was that the priests are the worst enemies of the Church. From them have come the heresies, the proof of which were the two heresiarchs, Luther and Calvin who were priests, and for the fault of priests, the heretics prevailed, vice reigned and ignorance established its throne among the poor people and this for their own dissipation (intemperance, disorder) and for not having opposed with their own strengths as their duty required, to these three torrents that have flooded the earth.”8 It was necessary “to terrorize the souls” of the aspirants to the priesthood showing them the greatness of how much they would have received.

A priest who is not holy is a false priest. Pierre de Berulle (1575­1629)9 had recourse to the Pseudo Dionysius in order to prove such exigency. In the pyramidal areopagetic vision, the bishops and the priests must purify, illumine and light the fire in their subordinates. But to achieve this result, the priest must be an “instrument united” to the Son of God and must act in the Spirit of Jesus10 United sacra­mentally to Christ, the priest must find in the Word his spiritual “sustenance,” he must be “pure capacity for Him, filled with Him, tending toward Him.” Like the humanity of Christ, he is the instru­ment of God on earth. Priests are like an assumed humanity that renders the priests (as a) place of adoration of the Word. For him, “the sacerdotal state is at the origin of every sanctity that must be there in the Church of God.”11 The priest must make “solemn profession of piety.”12

Jean-Jacques Olier (1680-1657) confided in his Memoires having received this consignment from Christ: “I want that you live in perennial contemplation… I want that you bring contemplation among the clergy.”13

This did not deal only with teaching the priests how to pray, as if it would be sufficient to transform them into men of the rite but to render them “experts in the mysteries of Christ.” The underlying idea is that the Word of God wanted to “deny himself as God,” to give himself a human face enveloped in fragility, dressed in the sorrows and the limitations of man in order to enkindle in the world a great desire for prayer.

From here was born that sacerdotal school of prayer that, soaked in grace, gave back life to the French Church. The priest must live in a “spirit of prayer” to guide all that he does: “Nothing is obtained from God and from the neighbor without the virtue of the Holy Spirit that is activated in prayer.” And again, “it is in prayer that the priest draws life for himself and for the people. In prayer lie his peace and his joy…. Finally, it is in holy prayer that the priest, full of charity, is found to be clothed with all the magnificent riches of God. By means of it he enters not only into the consciousness of the mysteries of God the Father and of his Son, but in the enjoyment and participation of their ‘state.’ He enters into the strength of the Father, the splendor of the Son and the ardor of the Holy Spirit.”14

Saint John Eudes (1601-1680) in his numerous writings15 al­ways had pastoral aims, coming from a great vision of baptism that he calls “contract of affiance” in which God makes us children in the Son, gives us our own life and establishes a mystery of universal communion. He wants that “we continue and contemplate” his earthly life according to the example of Mary. The summit of communion is attained in Jesus, God and man, the one and eternal priest, host and sacrificer.

By virtue of baptism, all the faithful “offer” and are “offered.” They are victims and priests. The ministerial priesthood is not, how­ever, “something more” but is an existence that is changed from “within,” in order to realize fully the role of shepherds (pastors). The priest is a being made Church who exists “for the Church.” He who signed Saint Vincent de Paul “missionary priest” teaches that “his principal exercise is that of announcing without fear, in public and in private, in words and in deeds, the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”16 In another passage, he wrote: “You are living in the priesthood of Jesus Christ, who walk on the earth… representing His person, are made His substitutes.”17 The priest is, after the Virgin, the most precious in the hands of Christ: “You are the saviors of the world whom the Savior had left here below in His place to continue and to accomplish the work of universal redemption.”18

This role of “added” humanity, of “extended” existence, is translated in these very attractive images: “You are the noblest part of the mystical body of the Son of God. You are the eyes, the mouth, the tongue, and the heart of the Church of Jesus: or to say it better, you are the eyes, the mouth, the tongue, and the heart of this Jesus himself…. You are his heart: for it is by means of you that he gives true life, the life of grace on earth and the life of glory in heaven to all the true members of his body.”19

A spirituality of sacrifice

Condren (1588-1641)20 was the successor of Berulle as guide of the Oratory. While the founder spoke of “elevation,” Condren organized his teaching on sacrifice. He took back the ideas of his time on sacrifice: sanctification, oblation, putting to death (uccisione), con­summation and communion.

Nothing is worthy of God except the unique sacrifice of Jesus. For this, the Father sent His Son in order to offer the perfect sacrifice because only God and an act of God are worthy of God. Christ was completely conformed to the mind of the Father in the sacrifice of the cross which is therefore the “title of the infinite greatness of the Father.”21 It is with the Incarnation that the way of Christ’s sacrifice begins. First, the Son of God had as his home the bosom of the Father. Abandoning it, he took on mortal flesh destined for sacrifice.

But there is no sacrifice without “separation.” It is here then that Christ appears not enveloped by the pleasure of the Father but as object of his justice. The Incarnation means exile from richness, greatness and Trinitarian glory in order to abase himself in ignominy, in poverty and in suffering. In this abasement there is no diminution of sanctity, inasmuch as the greatness of Christ dwells in humility.

Therefore, he does not wait for the cross to offer Himself. He experiences four “baseness”: littleness, indigence (poverty), depend­ence and uselessness, from infancy, “exiled from the Holy Land and exiled in a foreign land and enemy of God.”22 He who “was from eternity independent from His Father,” on earth “is destitute in a certain way from his eternity in order to restore the honor taken away from the Father by man who wanted to become eternal and similar to God.”23 At baptism in the Jordan in particular, Christ was weighed down by our faults. It was, therefore, a “baptism of humiliation,” or “a ceremonial confession that he who receives it is a sinner.”24 Condren defines the liturgy of John the Baptist as a “true investiture,” sees in the water the sign of the purifying blood of the Cross. In the desert Christ is “exiled” into solitude unworthy of Him: “the Holy Spirit sends Him away into a solitude of humiliation.”25 Again on the cross “He is abandoned to the beasts, that is, to the pagans.” Yet from the abandoned Christ comes a glance of love and obedience to the Father. It is on the cross that He shows Himself as king. He cannot be king like God, because the king is of the same nature as his subjects, there­fore He is king like man, but a man of sorrows who burns with love for the Father, suffers in order to honor Him and suffers because He is pierced with love for us.26

The same conditions are realized in the mass. The priest must be clothed with sentiments of self-oblation, annihilating himself in Christ and dying in his unique immolation. Therefore, sacerdotal (priestly) sanctity is greater than that of the simple Christian. In communion he shares in Christ as His members, in the sacrifice he consecrates himself in His person. It is Christ Himself who consecrates in us; the priest does nothing else but lends his own tongue, his own hands, his own spirit for an action so divine. And because there is one priest and one sacrifice, the priests form one and only priest, and they are associated with Christ’s priesthood. Therefore, the priest must offer the mass like Christ, with love for the cross, and with the disposition of sacrificing his own self, and of dying for God.

In the Holy Sacrament, Condren sees the extreme of the sacrifice. The abasement of the Incarnation, the abandonment of the cross would not be sufficient: in the tabernacle He wants to dwell with us forever. For this Condren wrote: “I believe that in this century God will give to His Church an understanding of the Holy Sacrament much more than before.”27 Christ cannot abase Himself much lower than in “making Himself visible as bread.”28

For this theology, he was accused of pessimism. But such a judgment does not take into account the particular sense of the Catholic mystical tradition. Like other mystics, Condren’s position is in the logic of gift, of offering, of abandonment and of welcome. He recommended to his priests: “Remember that the sacrifice that you offer is not only the sacrifice of the Son of God, but that of the Head and of His members, of Jesus and of His Church: since he communi­cates his priesthood, and this he offers with Him and him with it.” The priests have therefore an expanded life; they are members of Christ and of the Church, in a state of offerers and victims, but for the honor of the Father and the salvation of souls.

A spirituality of mission

The sublimity of these considerations must not make us con­clude that the ideal of the French school would be that of a priest far from the world. The zeal for souls is a constant for these teachers.

Olier, a mystic because he is a parish priest and parish priest because he is a mystic, offers us a marvelous passage: “The priest must live in a state of intimate resurrection and of profound recollection in God, with our Lord Jesus Christ, so that he may feel himself infinitely far from every creature…. (However,) the priest, living interiorly with God, busy in his divine essence, heeds all the needs of his neighbor, listens to all, feels the ills of all, without having taken anything upon himself, without any object changing his sanctity and his concentra­tion in God…. He listens only to conceive, sees in order to know, feels in order to have greater pity on the afflicted, and to share in every sorrow, because he would like to carry them all.” It is, therefore, the “vocation of heaven on earth… of an immortal and risen man,”29 that, in adoration he finds the need for the mission.

Saint Vincent’s view of the priesthood completes and enriches this panorama not on the level of ideas but of realization. Berulle intended to found a company of priests to render homage to the eternal condition of the priesthood of Christ. Vincent instead wanted “to honor” Christ seen mystically in the poor. The encounter with the poor becomes the memory of Christ.

His ideal of the priest is situated within the mystery of charity. Like Christ, the priest must have as his only preoccupation the salva­tion of souls. He does not insist on the sacrificial character, on being “victim and priest;” the axis of his priestly (sacerdotal) spirituality is that which passes from Christ and reaches out to the poor. “It is not enough for me to love God if my neighbor does not love Him.”30

Here is the idea of a priesthood that makes itself evangelizer and bread, in order to meet the twofold hunger of man. Here is the welding of corporal and spiritual assistance: “When the priests dedi­cate themselves to the care of the poor, they do the office of our Lord and of many great saints, who not only counselled the poor, but they themselves consoled them, served them, healed them. Are not the poor the afflicted members of Our Lord? Are they not our brethren? And if the priests abandon them, whom do you want to assist them? Therefore, if among you there would be someone who thought of belonging to the Mission in order to evangelize the poor and not to help them, in order to provide their spiritual and not their temporal needs, I answer that we should assist them and have them assisted in every way by us and by others…. This is evangelizing with words and with works and it is also what our Lord practiced and what those who represent him on earth should do by virtue of their character and ministry as priests.”31

The priest envisioned by Vincent is a man for others, not bound to a place, to a church, but with a missionary dimension in his heart. “The priests are called to the most holy ministry that there is on earth, in which they must exercise the two great virtues of Jesus Christ, that is, religion towards the Eternal Father and charity towards men.”32

The universal dimension is born from his being the one who offers the sacrifice, who preaches the Word, who conducts those who are far to the Church and the lost to the faith. That which is proper to the priest is not commanding, organizing, judging, but spreading love. The priest is an instrument of love. He wants to speak of love in order to evoke love. “We priests are chosen by God as instruments of His immense and paternal charity, whiCh Ae wants to be established and spread in souls…. Our vocation is therefore to go, not in a parish only and not even only in a diocese, but to all the earth; and to do what? To inflame the hearts of men to do what the Son of God did, He who came to bring fire into the world in order to enkindle it with His love. What can we desire if not that it burns and consumes all? Brethren, let us reflect, I pray you. It is, therefore, true that you are sent not only to love God, but to make Him loved. It is not enough to love God if my neighbor does not love Him also….

Well, if it is true that we are called to bring far and near the love of God, if we must inflame the nations with it, if our vocation is to go spreading this divine fire in all the world, if it is so, I say, if it is so brethren, how much I should be kindled myself with this divine fire.”33

It implies a new way of understanding the Church that it is not a place for the exercise of authority but for charity. This does not deal with destroying but with constructing, not with sending away men, but of making them feel an atmosphere of a Church animated by love and warm with love. For this I repeat that we are called (there­fore to be missionary is a vocation to love and for love) to “bring far and near the love of God.” It does not deal with making followers, with rendering men subjects of the Word, but with rendering them capable of loving. The great poverty of man is not to know how to love. Therefore, the missionary service is that of giving love, so that the poor may be capable of loving, of giving charity because from it charity can be generated. After all, when he helped the provinces devastated by the war, the saint was attentive not only to helping the poor get out from their situation of need, but also to enabling them to help others in return. The first thing the missionaries he sent should have done was to found the “charities.” He understood one very beau­tiful thing: the poor of yesterday must be the rescuers of tomorrow. The priest is like Moses: he is sent to save his own people, because even he had been saved.

Eudes, a missionary who never denied himself the difficulties of the mission, described in pages vibrant with love the picture of the missionary priest: “He is an evangelizer and an apostle whose prin­cipal obligation is to announce tirelessly, in public and in private, with works and words the gospel of Jesus Christ.” Or even: “He is a living image of Jesus Christ in this world, of Jesus Christ who watches, prays, catechizes, works, perspires, cries, goes from one city to another, from one village to another, suffers, agonizes, dies and sacrifices Himself for the salvation of all souls created in His image and likeness.”34


In conclusion I would like to remember two books of one confrere of ours, Jose Maria Ibanez Burgos (1937-1998). In his first work,35 he maintained that the appeals of misery were appeals of God. A vision of faith opened the eyes of the saint and induced him to continue the mission of Christ and to be invested with His spirit. The axis of his thought was therefore Christ-Church-Poor, where the poor are caught in the twofold material and spiritual poverty. Therefore, first of all, “the Vincentian Christ,” he writes, “is the Son of God incar­nated in history, descended from heaven on earth to do the Father’s will and to save men. The Father’s love and the misery of men led Him to the annihilation of the Incarnation, to the infamous torture of the cross. For Saint Vincent it is not possible to continue the mission of Christ if Christianity is not inserted in this movement of the incarnation.” Naturally, so that the action of man might be assumed by God, union of the will of man with that of God is indispensable. When man is united in the same will and not wanting any but God, human action is “not anarchic development and conquest of the instinct of conservation and power, but a display of the vitality that enriches the others at the same time that it realizes human existence.” From here springs the full value of the theme of work that is never an end in itself: “the value and driving force behind the work are orien­ted and supported by the contemplation of the divine life and the earthly existence of Jesus Christ.” For Saint Vincent, the Father and the Son have the face of the worker: they are dedicated to an eternal work, that is that “domination of man over nature” and at the same time “submission to the Creator.”

The second pole of his attraction was the Church. It was not certainly Vincent that would “invent” charity according to what Anouilh put on the lips of the chancellor Seguier (in the film “Monsieur Vincent”). Together with the “mission” dimension, it is natural for the Church to open herself up to “charity.” The initiatives were multiplied. Many initiatives for the poor were streaked with pessimism and severity. The severity utilized against the poor reflects the pessimism that invaded the French Catholic culture of the 17th century. “The poor were converted into victims of a process of purification of the absolutist society and of the abstract and disincarnated theology that dominated in the Church. This society forgets that if the prison is opened for introducing the poor inside; it is itself closed in the prison of her obsessions and resists the one who wants to discover the true face of the poor, Jesus Christ, who solicits help and removes from us egotistical pleasure.” The error committed by the century of assistance had been that of desiring the structures without filling them with content, as Saint Vincent did. The latter “from the experience of a badly organized charity” drew out the motive to initiate “a charitable movement of mercy, of tenderness, of feminine love.”

He put into focus the importance of the evangelization of the poor, who were for him a sign, a presence and a call. The encounter with the poor was for him the moment of discovering the Gospel of Jesus, sent to the poor. He worked for a radical conversion of the attitude of the Church that was tempted to be the “center of power.” “It was the poor,” he (Ibanez) concludes, “who marked the rhythm of his existence; they emptied him of himself in order to be filled with God.” The poor led him to show a movement of compassion, of action, of life and of faith. The saint was therefore led to love the poor as God loves them “who does not love them according to their merits but because they are poor and he is the liberator from every oppression.” What the author calls “the Vincentian revolution of charity” was not made up of words but it was the result of thought and action together and had as its aim to unite men in order to bring them to God.

In 1982, the same author (Ibanez) resumed the line of his reflections.36 According to him, Saint Vincent, despite having the temperament and the flair of a statesman, was essentially a “mystic of action.” It was his profound, living, dynamic faith and together with his openness to life and to his encounters that opened him to “realism.” He understood that in prayer he encountered not only God but also His love. But this love is open even to men. Here he discovers that the will of God is “a will to serve man.” He reverts to a text of Saint Francis de Sales who wrote: “Ecstasies are of three kinds: one intel­lectual, the other affective, the third operative. The first is light, the second fervor, the third action; the first is made of admiration, the second of devotion, the third of works.” Taking inspiration also from Bergson, Maritain and Bremond for whom mysticism is not only ecstasies, visions, raptures, the author concluded to have discovered in mysticism the secret of the saint’s action. Terms like “indifference,” passivity,” “not doing” reveal a great, mystical depth “lived and experienced in action.” “The originality of Saint Vincent’s spirit—of the mystic or Vincentian spirituality — is rooted in Jesus Christ incar­nated and annihilated in history in order to realize the will of the Father that is a will to serve man.” Only by entering into the dynamism of the Incarnation does man “empty” himself, redeem himself and enter into the movement of salvation that saves because it renders us saviors.

All this makes us understand how, at the origin of the charity of Saint Vincent, there was prayer, but especially the Eucharist. It opened him to value the gift of the Church and in the Church he found the poor. He intuited the mystery of the Church of the Poor. And it is this that he wanted to transmit to us.


  1. Conferences to the CM’s, Conference 18, p. 44.
  2. Cespressione coniata da G. Leturneau, e stata ripresa da H. Bremond, ma ha avuto fasi di favore alterni. Da parecchi e stata contestata per la sua indeterminatezza.
  3. J. Galy, Le sacrifice d’apres l’Ecole franca/se de spiritualite (Paris, 1951); M. Dupuy, Berulle et le sacerdoce. Etude historique et doctrinale. Textes inedits (Paris, 1969); Le Traite des Saints Ordres (1676) compare aux ecrits authentiques de Jean-Jacques Olier (1657), a cura di G. Chaillot R Cochois, I. Noye (Paris, 1984); S. Nowak, J. J. Met; docteur du sacerdoce dans l’Ecole francaise, in Bulletin de Saint Sulpice10 (1984), pp. 25-60; L Mezzadri, Jesus-Christ, figure du Pretre-Missionnaire, dans POeuvre de Monsieur Vincent, in Vincentiana 30 (1986) pp. 323-356; A lode della gloria. II sacerdozio nell’Ecole francaise. XVII-XX secolo, a cura di L Mezzadri (Milano, 1989), J. Parafiniuk, tinsegnamento di S. Vincenzo de’ Paoli sul sacerdozio alla lute del Vatican II (Romae, 1990).
  4. G. Moioli, Teologia della Devozione berulliana al Verbo Incamato (Varese, 1964).
  5. Ibid., p. 16.
  6. G. Moioli, Sulla spirituality sacerdotale ed episcopale in s. Agostino. in La Scuola Catolica 93 (1965), pp. 211-222; L. Mezzadri, La spirituallta delleccIesiastico seicentesco in alcune fonti letterarie, in AA.VV., Problemi di storia della chiesa nei secoli XVII-XVIII (Napoli, 1982), pp. 45-89.
  7. Conference to CM’s, Conference 195, p. 606.
  8. Ibid.
  9. Opere: CEuvres completes (Paris, 1644; n.ed. Paris, 1960); Opuscules de piete, a cura di G. Rotureau (Paris, 1944); Correspondance, a cura di J. Dagens, 3 vol. (Paris-Louvain, 1937-39). Lavori fondamentali: A. Molien, Le cardinal de Berulle, 2 vol. (Paris, 1947); J. Dagens, Berulle et les origins de la restauration catholique (1575-1610) (Paris, 1952); P. Cochois, Berulle et l’Ecole francaise (Paris,1963); M. Dupuy, Line spiritualite de l’adoration (Paris, 1964); G. Moioli, Teologia della devozione berulliana al Verbo incarnato (Varese, 1964); J. Orcibal, Le cardinal de Berulle: evolution d’une spiritualite (Paris, 1965), M. Dupuy, Berulle et /e sacerdoce. Etude historique et doctrinale. Textes inedits (Paris, 1969); F. G. Preckler, ”Etat. chez le cardinal de Berulle (Roma, 1974); id., Berulle aujourd’hui (1575-1975). Pour une spiritualite de l’humanite du Christ (Paris, 1978).
  10. P. Cochois, Berulle et l’Ecole francaise (Paris, 1963), p. 31.
  11. M. Dupuy, Berulle et le sacerdoce, 410s.
  12. Ibid., 348s. Pieta e lo stesso the perfezione.
  13. R. Deville, Jean-Jacques Olier maitre d’oraison, in Jean-Jacques Ober (1608-1657): Bulletin de Saint Sulpice14 (1988) 98. Sui Memoires (sono 8 volumi autografi, conservati nell’Archivio di S. Sulpice a Parigi): M. Dupuy, Se laisser a l’Esprit. Ihneraire spirituel de Jean-Jacques Olier (Paris, 1982). Su Olier: CEuvres completes, ed. Migne (Paris, 1856); i Memoires finora mss. sono accessibili grazie a M. Dupuy, Se laisser a lesprit L’itineraire spirituel de Jean-Jacques Ober (Paris, 1982); Traite des saints ordres (1676) compare aux ecrits authentiques de Jean-Jacques Ober (+1657), a cura di G. Chaillot, R Cochois, I. Noye (Paris, 1984); Lettres, a cura di E. Levesque. 2 vol. (Paris, 1935). Fra le biografie da ricordare quelle di E. M. Faillon (3 vol., 31873), P. Pourrat (1932), A. Portaluppi (1947). Sintesi molto densa in DS.
  14. R. Deville, Jean-Jacques Oiler maitre d’oraison, 99s.
  15. Opere: auvres completes, 12 vol. (Vannes, 1905-11); auvres choisies, 8 vol. (Paris, 1931-37); II Cuore di Gest) fornace d’amore (Roma, 1965). Fra le opere sul sacerdozio ricordare it Memorial de la vie ecclesiastique (1681), Le predicateur apostolique, e quella dal titolo Du bon confesseur. J. Arragain, Le cceur du Seigneur: Etudes sur les &fits et l’intluence de saint Jean Eudes (Paris, 1955); J.M.Alonso, El corazon de Maria en san Juan Eudes, 2 vol. (Madrid, 1958); P Milcent, Saint Jean Eudes. Introduction et choix de textes (Paris, 1964); id., Pasteur clans le Christ Pasteur; le pretre selon saint Jean Eudes, in Vocation 240 (1967), pp. 501-14; id., Lin artisan du renouveau chretien au XVIreme siecle. Saint Jean Eudes (Paris, 1985); C. Berthelot Du Chesnay, Les missions de saint Jean Eudes (Paris, 1967); DS 8 (1974), pp. 488-501.
  16. DS 8 (1974), p. 497.
  17. Ibid., p. 30.
  18. Ibid., p. 29.
  19. Ibid., p. 26s.
  20. Ch. De Condren, Lettres, a cura di P. Auvray-A. Jouffrey (Paris, 1943); D. Amelote, La vie du p. Charles de Condren. 2 vol. (Paris, 1643); J. Galy, Le sacrifice clans l’Ecole francalse de spiritualite (Paris, 1951); L. Cognet, La spiritualita, pp. 210-226; C. Pouillard, Le Pere de Condren. Le Mystique de l’Oratoire (Paris, 1994).
  21. D. Amelote, La vie, I, p. 136.
  22. C. Pouillard, Le Pere de Condren, p. 44.
  23. Ibid.
  24. Ibid., p. 45.
  25. Ibid., p. 46.
  26. Ibid., pp. 47-51.
  27. Ibid., p. 75.
  28. Ibid., p. 77.
  29. J. J. Olier, Gil ordini sacri. a cura di M.Manzotti (Roma, 1932), pp. 338-361.
  30. Conference to the CM’s, Conference 207, p. 583.
  31. Op. cit., Conference 195, pp. 607-608.
  32. Coste VI, Letter 2334, p. 413.
  33. Conferences for CM’s, Conference 207, p. 583; Coste XII, pp. 262-263 (French).
  34. P Milcent, lin artisan du renouveau chretien au XVIrm’siecle. Saint Jean Eudes (Paris, 1985), p. 428s.
  35. J. M. Ibanez Burgos, Vicente de Paúl y los pobres de su fiempo (Salamanca, 1977).
  36. Id., Realismo y encarnación (Salamanca, 1982).

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