Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Jean Bréhal
A French Dominican theologian of the convent of Evreux; died c. 1479. He was made Doctor of Theology at the University of Caen, 1443; Prior of St.-Jacques, Paris, 1455; and Inquisitor General of France, 1452, which office he held until 1474. At the instance of Charles VII, he was delegated to revise the acts and proceedings of the trial of Joan of Arc, and on 7 July, 1466, he solemnly declared her condemnation to have been iniquitous and unjust. His review of the case and his investigations, which are exhaustive, are given at length by the Dominican Fathers Belon and Balme in "Jean Bréhal, Grand Inquisiteur de France et la réhabilitation de Jeanne d'Arc" (Paris, 1893), and by the Jesuit Father Ayroles in "La vraie Jeanne d'Arc" (1790). Bréhal resigned his office in 1474 and retired to his convent of Evreux, where he spent the rest of his days in study, a model of conventual observance and discipline. He wrote: "De liberâ auctoritate audiendi confessiones religiosis mendicantibus concessâ", first edition, date and place of publication not given; later, 1479; and Paris, 1507.
QUÉTIF-ECHARD, Scriptores Ord. Præd. (Paris, 1719), I, 815; MANDONNET in Dict. de théol. cath. (Paris, 1903), 1127; HURTER, Nomenclator, II, 1059; Civiltà Cattol. (1894), IX, 463-467; MICHAEL in Zeitschrift f. kath. Theol. (1895), XIX, 136-140.
John R. Volz.