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MERCIER


198


MERCY


took a considerable part in political affairs; Fernando de Orio, general of the order, wlio translated and learnedly commented on Tcrtvillian's treatise "De Poenitentia"; Fernando de Santiago (1639), one of the favourite preachers of his time; Francisco Henrfquez; Francisco de Santa Maria; Francisco Zumel; Gabriel de Adarzo (lt)74), theologian, preacher, and states- man; Gabriel T(511ez (1650), dramatic author; Gaspar de Torrez, Bishop of the Canary Islands; Pedro de Ona, whom Philip III sent on important missions both in America and in the Kingdom of Naples.

"RxMoN, Historia ncneral de la Ordcn de Nuestra Sciiora de la Merced, 2 vols, (.\ladrid, 1618, 163a); de V.irg.is. Chronica sancti ct militaris Ordinis Bcatce Marice de Merccde redemptionis captivorum, 2 vols. (Palermo, 1619); Sinao, Bullarium cwlestis ac rcgalis Ordinis Beatw Marim Virginia de Mercede (Barce- lona, lti96); Pedro de Sant.\ Cecilia, Annates de los Descalsos de la Orden de Nuestra Sei'iora de la Merced, 2 vols. (Madrid, 1699); Gari y Sidmell, Bibtiotheca mercedaria (Barcelona. 1875); Hkltot. Histoire des urdres monastiques. III, 266-296; CuRKiER, Hist, oj Religious Orders (New York, 1896), 180-4. J. M. Besse.

Mercier, IjOuis-HoNonE, a French Canadian states- man, b. 15 October, 18-10, at Iberville, Quebec, of a family of farmers; d. 30 October, 1894. He received his classical education at the Jesuit college, Montreal, and prepared for the Bar in the employ of a prominent legal firm of St-Hyacinthe, acting meanwhile (1862), when onh' 22, ag editor of "Le Courrier de St-Hya- cinthe ". His views were then opposed to the confed- eration of the provinces, which he considered as the death-blow to French Canadian influence. In his later years he inclined towards annexation to the United States. In 1873 Rouville county elected him for the Federal Parliament; anil, in 1881, St-Hyacinthe re- turned him to the local House of Assembly, Quebec. The general indignation caused among the Canadians of French origin by tlie execution of the half-breed leader, Louis Kiel, at Regina, an act rightly attributed to Orange fanaticism and vindictivencss, provided Mercier with the opportunity of founding the National party (1885) which comprised elements from the ranks of both Liberals and Conservatives. It was during his premiership (1887 to 1892), that was passed the fa- mous Jesuit Estate Bill, partly indemnifying the Society for the properties confiscated by the British Crown after the cession of Canada. It was Mercier's honour and merit to have brought to a successful con- clusion the negotiations to that effect pursued under his predecessors in office — an event almost unparal- elled in modern legislation, and to which the Ottawa Federal Parliament, with its conservative majority, lent its concurrence. His devotedness in behalf of W.e interests of his former teachers proved his fidelity and attachment to his Alma Mater. In recognition of this act of justice, he was knighted by Leo XIII. A vig- orous and redoubtable debater rather than an elo- quent orator, Mercier spoke with great clearness and force. He possessed a remarkable talent of exposition and argumentation, which gave him a prominent rank in the Canadian Bar. Certain utterances in some of his published speeches unfortunately betray the influ- ence of a reprehensible school of thought and too great intimacy with the literature of its representative minds. The Legislature of Quebec has voted (1910) a monument to his memory.

Pelland, Bicaraphie, discours, conferences, etc., de VHon. Honore Mercier (Montreal, 1890): Le Courrier du Canada (Que- bec, 1894).

LioNELi Lindsay.

Mercuriali, Gehonimo, better known by his Latin name Mercurialis, famous philologist and physician, b. at Forli, 30 September, 1530; d. there, 13 Novem- ber, 1606. His preliminary studies and some of his medical courses were taken at Bologna, but he re- ceived his degree at Padua and then settled down to practice in Forli. He was sent by his townfolk on a political mission to Paul IV and made such good


friends at Rome that he was persuaded to take up hia residence there. He studied the old classic medical writers for some seven years and then wrote his "De arte gymna-stica", in which he gathered all that the ancients had taught with regard to the use of natural methods for the cure of disease. This gave him a great reputation throughout Europe. Appreciation of it by the Venetian senators led to his call to the chair of medicine of Padua in 1569. Here he devoted himself to the critical study of the works of Hippo- crates. His exhaustive monograph, "Censura et dis- positio operum Hippocratis" (Venice, 1583), enhanced his reputation and he began the preparation of a critical study of Hippocrates' works in Greek and Latin, which was published at Venice, 1588. In the meantime his reputation had gone abroad, and in 1573 he was called to Vienna for consultation during the ill- ness of Emperor Maximilian. The emperor was so pleased with his service that he made him Count Palatine. After the publication of further works on the medical classics, he was called in 1587 to the chair of medicine in Bologna. The Grand Duke of Tuscany was sparing no effort to increase the prestige of the University of Pisa, so he tempted Mercurialis to accept the chair of medicine there by the offer of a salary prob- ably the largest ever paid to a professor up to this time, 1800 gold crowns to become 2000 cro^vns after the second year. He remained at Pisa till his seventy- fifth year when he retired to Forli. His great merit is his critical study of the ancient medical classics, espe- cially Hippocrates and his disciples. He wrote many other medical works including text books of the dis- eases of children, of women, of the skin, and on prac- tical medicine; all of which were widely read and used in many of the medical schnnls of his time.

Dictio'nnaire historiijtie ih- hi M,,l,rine (.Mons, 1778); Bham- BlLLA, Storia delle scop< rlr fnllr ilnjiU uomini illustri Italiani (AMilan, 1780); Biographu midinilr (Paris, 1824).

James J. Walsh.

Mercy, Brothers of Our Lady of, founded at MechUn in 1839 by Canon J. B. Cornelius Scheppers for the instruction and care of prisoners and of the sick. They were invited to S. Balbina at Perugia by Car- dinal Pecci, afterwards Leo XIII, who had witnessed their work while he was nuncio at Brussels. It was at his instance that Pius IX confirmed the constitution of the Brothers in 1854. In 1855 Cardinal Manning invited them to London, where they have undertaken the care of the prisoners in Catholic reformatories and are also occupied with the education of the children of poor. They are under simple vows and the term of the novitiate is one year. They wear a black habit and scapular with a broW'n cross on the breast.

Heimbucher, Die Orden und Kongregationen, III, 361; Steele, Monasteries and Religious Houses of Great Britain (London, 1903), 51.

Blanche M. Kelly.

Mercy, Corporal and Spiritual Works of. — Mercy as it is here contemplated is said to be a virtue influencing one's will to have compassion for, and, if possible, to alleviate another's misfortune. It is the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas that although mercy is as it were the spontaneous product of charity, yet it is to be reckoned a special virtue adequately distin- guishable from this latter. In fact the Scholastics in cataloguing it consider it to be referable to the quality of justice mainly because, like justice, it controls rela- tions between distinct persons. It is as they say ad alterum. Its motive is the misery which one discerns in another, particularly in so far as this condition is deemed to be, in some sense at least, involuntary. Obviously the necessity which is to be succoured can be either of bcxly or soul. Hence it i.s cus- tomary to enumerate both corporal and .spiritual works of mercy. The traditional enumeration of the corporal works of mercy is as follows: (1) To feed the hungry; (2) To give drink to the thirsty; (3) To