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MEIGNAN


147


MEILLEUR


sent by Abbot. William of Hirsau, and the Benedictine rule was introduced. It is probable that when the reform was effected the convent for women was sup- pressed. In 1097-98 the abbey was rebuilt by Count Ulrich of Bregenz, its secular administrator and pro- tector. During the twelfth and thirteenth centuries the abbey acquired much landed property; up to the middle of the sixteenth century it had the right of patronage for sixty-five parishes. In the era of the Reformation the abbey was a strong support of the old Faith in Vorarlberg. In particular Ulrich Motz, afterwards abbot, exerted much influence in Bregen- zerwald (a mountainous district of northern Vorarl- berg) by preaching with great energy against the spread of religious innovationo while he was provost of Lingenau (1515-3.3). During the Thirty Years War the abbey suffered from the devastation wrought by the Swedes, from the c|uartering upon it of soldiers, and from forced contributions; it was also robbed of nearly all its revenues. Nevertheless, it often offered a free refuge to religious expelled from Germany and Switzerland. At a later date it was once more in a very flourishing condition; in 17.38 the church was completely rebuilt, and in 1774-81 the monastic build- ings were also entirely reconstructed. The existence of Mehrerau was threatened, as was that of other re- ligious foundations, by the attacks upon monasteries in the reign of the Emperor Joseph II. However, Abbot Benedict was able to obtain the withdrawal of the decree of suppression, although it had already been signed. The Peace of Presburg (1805) gave Vorarl- berg, and with it the abbey, to Bavaria, which in April, 1806, took an inventory of the abbey. In reply to the last attempt to save the abbey, namely the offer to turn it into a training-school for male teachers, the State declared in August, 1806, that on 1 September the monastic organization would be dissolved and the monks would have to leave the abbey. The valuable library was scattered, part of it was burnt. The forest and agricultural lands belonging to the monas- tery were taken by the State; in February, 1807, the church was closed, and the other buildings were sold at auction. In 1808-09 the church was taken down and the material used to build the harbour of Landau. When the district came again under the rule of Aus- tria, the monastic buildings were used for various pur- poses. In 18.53 they were bought from the last owner, along with some pieces of land connected with them, by the abbot of the Cistercian Abbey of Wettingen in Switzerland (see Wettingen). This monastery had been forcibly suppressed by the Canton of Aargau in 1841, and for thirteen years the abbot had been seeking a new home ; on 18 October, 1854, the Cistercian Abbey of Wettingen-Mehrerau was formally opened. In the same year a monastery school was started. In 1859 a new Romanesque church was built; its greatest orna- ment is the monument to Cardinal Hergenrother (d. 1890), who is buried there. About the middle of the last century, during the fifties and sixties, the build- ings were gradually enlarged. In 1910 besides the abbot (from 1902 Eugene Notz) the abbey had 32 priests ; including those that had been connected with the abbey but were at that date engaged in work out^ side, 64 priests; in addition there were 5 clerics, .30 lay brothers, and 4 novices. The monastery has a house of studies, and a college, in which some 200 pupils are taught by the monks of the abbey. The periodi- cal "Cistercienserchronik", edited by Father Gregor Muller, has been issued since 1889.

Bergmann, Nekrologium Augi(E majoHs Brigantinm Ord. S. Benedicti (Vienna, 185.3); Brunner, Ein Benediktinrrbuch (Wurzburg, 1880), 10-18; Idem, Ein Cistercienserbuch (Wurz- burg, 1881), 453-97, gives an account of Wettingen-llehrcrau ; Cistercienserchronik (1904). 289-31.3; Lindner, Album Augim Brigantince {I90i) ; Sc?tematismus von Brizen (1910).

Joseph Lins.

Meignan, Guillaume-Rene, Cardinal Archbishop of Tours, French apologist and Scriptural exegete, b.


at Chauvign^, France, 12 April, 1817; d. at Tours, 20 January, 1896. Having ascertained his vocation to the priesthood, on the completion of his academic studies at the Angers hjcie and at Chateau-Gontier, he studied philosophy in the seminarj- of Le Mans, where he received the subdiaconate in 1839. From this in- stitution he passed to the College de Tess6, which be- longed to the Dioce-se of Le Mans, where, wliile teach- ing in one of the middle grades, he continued his own ecclesiastical studies. All through liis career he seems to have been blessed with the friendship and sympa- thetic counsel of the most eminent men among the Catholics of his time and country. The Abbe Bercy, an Orientalist of some distinction, whose notice he at- tracted at Le Mans and later at Tesse, advised him to make Scriptural exegesis his special study. Mgr Bouvier ordained him priest (14 June, 1S40) and sent him to Paris for a further course in philosophy under Victor Cousin. Meignan made the acquaintance of Ozanam, Montalembert, and others like them, who urged him to prepare for the special controversial needs of the day i ly continuing his studies in Ciermany. Following this advice, he became the pupil at Munich of such teachers as Gorres (q. v.), Dollinger, and Windschmann; and when his earlier attraction for Scriptural studies was thoroughl.y reawakened under the stimulus of the then fresh Tubingen discussions, he repaired to Berlin where he attended the lectures of Neander, Hengstenberg, and Schelling. In, or soon after May, 1843, Meignan returned to Paris to be num- bered among the clergy of the archdiocese, but was soon (1845) obliged to visit Rome for the good of his health, which had become impaired. He seemed to recover immediately, and was able to prosecute his sacred studies so successfully that he won a Doctorate of Theology at the Sapienza (March, 1846). Here again he was helped by the friendly interest and ad- vice of many eminent men. of Perrone and Gerbet, as well as by the teaching of Passaglia, Patrizzi, and Theiner. Between this period and 1861, when he be- came professor of Sacred Scripture at the Sorborme, he filled various academical positions in the Arch- diocese of Paris, of which Mgr Darboy made him vicar-general in 1863. In 1864 he was elevated to the Bishopric of Chalons, in 1882 transferred to the See of Arras, and in 1884 to the Archbishopric of Tours.

By the logic of circumstances he was one of the cliief antagonists of Ernest Renan. In his work he aimed to enlighten the lay mind on current topics of controversy and, while giving a knowledge of the assured results of criticism, to supply his readers with the Christian point of view. His aggressive and tri- umphant career as an apologist began as early as 1856 with the publication of " Les proph^ties messianiques. Le Pentateuque" (Paris). In 1860 appeared "M. Renan et le Cantique des Cantiques" (Paris); in 1863 "M. Renan refute par les rationalistes allemands" (Paris) and "Les Evangiles et la critique au XIXe siecle " (Paris) ; in 1886 " De I'irr^ligion systematique, ses influences actuelles " (Paris); in 1890 "Salomon, son rfegne, sesccrits" (Paris); in 1892 "Les prophetes d'Israel et le Mes.sie, depuis Daniel jusqu'a Jean-Bap- tiste' ' (Paris) . He wrote many other works on kindred topics. His treatment of Messianic prophecy ex- tends far beyond mere verbal exegesis, and includes a critical examination of historical events and condi- tions. Like other great Catholic controversialists of Ms time, he had to suffer adverse criticism; these crit- icisms were finally an.swered by the action of Leo XIII, who raised him to the cardinalate, 15 Dec, 1892.

Boisso.vNOT, Le cardinal Meignan (Paris, 1899).

E. Macpherson.

Meilleur, Jean-Baptlste, a French Canadian phy- sician and educator, b. at Sf^Laurent, P. Q., 9 May, 1796; d. 7 Dec, 1878. He studied the classics at the