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Jean Chapeauville

Priest; Belgian theologian and historian (1551-1617)

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Chapeauville, JEAN, a Belgian theologian and historian, b. at Liege, January 5, 1551; d. there May 11, 1617. He made his philosophical studies at the Universities of Cologne and Louvain, and at the latter received the degree of Licentiate of Theology. He then entered the priesthood, and in 1578 was appointed one of the synodal examiners for the Diocese of Liege, and in 1579 parish priest of St. Michael’s in the same city. He performed the functions of the latter office for about ten years. Having been a canon of the collegiate church of St. Peter’s in Liege since 1582, he was elevated in 1599 to the dignity of a provost of the same church. In 1587, Pope Sixtus V appointed him the first penitentiary canon of St. Lambert’s Cathedral. On June 12, 1600, he was promoted to the archdeaconship of Famenne. Meanwhile, in 1582, he had been nominated Inquisitor of the Faith, and in 1598, Ernest of Bavaria, Bishop of Liege, appointed him vicar-general, in which office he was retained, despite his protests, by Bishop Ernest’s successor, Ferdinand of Bavaria. Chapeauville was distinguished for his great charity in attending the sick, especially during the pestilence that visited Liege in 1581, and for his exemplary piety and his zeal for the progress of sacred studies. He taught theology with great success in several monasteries of Liege and published works on theological subjects. He endeavored to enforce in the diocese the reforms decided upon by the Council of Trent, particularly the establishment of a clerical seminary and the concursus for the nomination of parish priests. He also published a valuable collection of the chief works on the history of the bishops of Liege, and even wrote an account of the episcopate of Liege, commencing with Erard de la Marck (1506) and ending with the year 1613. His principal works are: “Tractatus de necessitate et modo administrandi sacramenta tempore pestis” (Liege, 1586); “Petit traite des vices et des vertus” (Liege, 1594); “Abbrege de la somme des pechez M. J. Benedicti” (Liege, 1595); “De casibus reservatis tractatus” (Liege, 1596); “Catechismi Romani elucidatio scholastica” (Liege, 1600); “Historic admirandarum curationum quea divinitus ope deprecationeque divi Perpetui Leodiensis episcopi contigerunt. Adjecta est vita B. Perpetui” (Liege, 1601; Fr. tr., 1601); “Summa catechismi Romani” (Liege, 1605); “Epistoler ad catechistas de taedio quod catechistic obrepere solet” (Liege, 1605); “Catechista, sive brevis tractatus de necessitate et motto administrandi doctrinam christianam” (Liege, 1608); “Qui gesta pontificum tungrensium, trajectensium et leodiensium scripserunt auctores praecipui” (3 vols., Liege, 1612, 1613, 1616).


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