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Hermann Cohen

Discalced Carmelite (1820-1871)

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Cohen, HERMANN, a Discalced Carmelite (Augustin-Marie of the Blessed Sacrament, generally known as FATHER HERMANN), b. at Hamburg, Germany, November 10, 1820; d. at Spandau, January 20, 1871. The son of a Jewish merchant, he devoted himself to music, which he studied under Liszt at Paris, where he joined a brilliant but frivolous circle, to the detriment of his morals. One day, in May, 1847, while leading the choir at Benediction in the church of Sainte-Valerie, he felt himself touched by Divine grace, and, after a short sojourn at Ems, resolved to become a Christian. Baptized August 28, he instituted with De la Bouillerie the pious practice of the nocturnal adoration; he entered the Carmelite no-vitiate at Broussey, made his profession October 7, 1850, and was ordained priest April 19 of the following year. His fiery eloquence and the stir caused by his conversion made him a favorite preacher, notwithstanding insufficient studies. He was instrumental in the foundation of convents at Bagneres-de-Bigorre (1853), Lyons (1857), the “Desert” of Tarasteix near Lourdes (1857), and in London (1862), where he had been known during his artistic career. After some years spent in England he went on a preaching tour through Germany and France and ultimately retired to Tarasteix. At the outbreak of the Franco-German War he fled to Switzerland, and later on took charge of the lazaretto at Spandau, where he contracted small-pox. He was buried in St. Hedwig’s church, Berlin. Among his works are “Le Catholicisme en Angleterre”, a speech delivered at Mechlin, also in English (Paris, 1864); “Gloire a Marie” (1849); “Amour a Jesus” (1851); “Fleurs du Carmel“; “Couronnement de la Madonne”; “Thabor” (1870), five collections of sacred songs with accompaniment, pious but somewhat shallow; this also holds good of his mass (1856).

B. ZIMMERMAN


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