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Francois Bourgoing

Third Superior General of the Congregation of the Oratory in France (1585-1662)

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Bourgoing, FRANCOIS, third Superior General of the Congregation of the Oratory in France and one of the ten early companions of Cardinal de Berulle, the founder of the French Oratorians, b. at Paris, 1585; d. in 1662. Bourgoing came from a family of which many members had been magistrates. Before joining the Oratorians he was cure of Clichy and resigned this position in favor of St. Vincent de Paul, who was also a disciple and friend of de Berulle. After entering the congregation he was soon occupied in founding and directing new houses of the Oratorians, being called in all directions by the bishops of France and Flanders. In 1631 he was made assistant to the Superior General, Pere de Condren, and in 1641, upon the death of the latter, he was appointed to the vacant office. As superior general he toiled with unceasing zeal in organizing and developing the congregation. He was also an energetic opponent of the Jansenist heresy. After his death Bossuet delivered the funeral oration. Father Bourgoing was a writer of the first rank on asceticism, as Bossuet testifies. His principal work, “Writes et excellences de Jesus Christ notre Sauveur”, has been issued more than thirty times, including an edition in 1906, and has been translated into several languages. Equally remarkable is his work, “Exercices de retraites”, of which he published four series.


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