BÉRULLE, PIERRE DE (1575–1629), French cardinal and statesman, was born at Sérilly, near Troyes, on the 4th of February 1575. He was educated by the Jesuits and at the university of Paris. Soon after his ordination in 1599, he assisted Cardinal Duperron in his controversy with the Protestant Philippe de Mornay, and made numerous converts. He founded the Congregation of the French Oratory in 1611 and introduced the Carmelite nuns into France, notwithstanding the opposition of the friars of that order, who were jealous of his ascendancy. Bérulle also played an important part as a statesman. He obtained the necessary dispensations from Rome for Henrietta Maria’s marriage to Charles I., and acted as her chaplain during the first year of her stay in England. In 1626, as French ambassador to Spain, he concluded the treaty of Monzon. After the reconciliation of Louis XIII. with his mother, Marie de’ Medici, through his agency, he was appointed a councillor of state, but had to resign this office, owing to his Austrian policy, which was opposed by Richelieu. Bérulle encouraged Descartes’ philosophical studies, and it was through him that the Samaritan Pentateuch, recently brought over from Constantinople, was inserted in Lejay’s Polyglot Bible. His treatise, Des Grandeurs de Jésus, was a favourite book with the Jansenists. He died on the 2nd of October 1629. His works, edited by P. Bourgoing (2 vols., 1644) were reprinted, by Migne in 1857.
See M. de Bérulle et les Carmélites; Le Père de Bérulle et l’oratoire de Jésus; Le Cardinal de Bérulle et Richelieu (3 vols., 1872–1876), by the Abbé M. Houssaye; and H. Sidney Lear’s Priestly Life in France in the Seventeenth Century (London, 1873).