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Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 10.djvu/413

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MISSION


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MISSION


to the districts surrounding Sedan almost depopu- lated by war and they helped the people by exliorta- tions and alms. Their charity thus helped their preaching and gained the hearts of those that were least disposed. At Sedan as elsewhere they aided the Protestants as well as the Catholics as Brother Sirven testifies whose eulogium Vincent wrote in a letter to Laudm in Mans, 7 Aug., 1G60: "The whole city and surrounding coimtry regret him, even the heretics who were edified by his modesty and aided by his charity."

(3) The Semuiaries.— The Congregation of the Mis- sion founded by St. Vincent has for its chief object together with the missions devotion to the service of ecclesiastics. In France m his day there were in the cities a certain number of well educated and distinguished clergymen, but the great majority especially in the country places had no practical means of formation. Many zealous priests of this period, Condren and Berulle of the Oratory, Bour- doise of St. Nicholas, above all Olier of St. Sulpice were preoccupied with the matter. Vincent used to say, as it is of the utmost importance for a military commander after he has conquered a coxmtry to leave behind him garrisons to maintain his conquest, so when apostolic men have led the people to God, or brought them back to Him, it is a vital matter to preserve this conquest, by procuring worthy and zealous priests to labour among them. He arranged with the Btshop of Beauvais as early as 1628 for a re- treat for those to be ordained ui that city. During the days preceding ordination they were assembled for exercises of piety and for immediate preparations for the pastoral ministry. These exercises were estab- lished at the house des Bons Enfants, afterwards at St. Lazare for the Diocese of Paris. The archbishop made them obligatory for all who received orders in Paris. At Rome, enjoined by the pope, they have been held at the house of the Lazarists at Montecitorio up to the present day. At Paris in the house des Bons Enfants in February, 1042 Vincent de Paul established an ecclesiastical seminary and gave it a rule for the exercise of piety and for the order of studies. It is no doubt the same that was put in practice by the Laza- rists when they began the theological seminary at Annecy in 1641, and in the seminary at Alet. Itwas in substance that which is in vogue in the seminaries of France at the present day. The rule, as given in Maynard (op. cit., II, 211), exhibits an excellent compromise between the secular and the cloistered life and a wise mingling of study, piety, and discipline. The object is to fit the cleric for his sacred functions. In the seminary as conceived and actually established by St. Vincent students of classics were separated from students of theology. He withdrew the former pupils at Bons Enfants and placed them in a separate estab- lishment at St. Lazare, in what constituted the pre- paratory seminary of St. Charles. The beneficial effect was immediately apparent.

As early as 1647, Vincent de Paul could write what he afterward embodied in his "Constitutions": "Our institute has but two chief ends, the instruction of the poor country people and the seminaries." After the first successes of Vincent and 01ier_ there was a rivalry among the bishops to endow their dio- ceses with these most useful establishments. In 1643 the Lazarists were entrusted by Alain de Solmin- hac. Bishop of Cahors, with a mission house and the direction of the seminary of that city. In 1044 the Bishop of Saintes placed them in charge of his semi- nary ; in lri4.^> those of Mans, of St. Malo and St. Meen were confided to them; that of Agen in 1050, and of Montaubon in 1600. After the death of the saint until the time of the Revolution the following seminaries were directed by the Lazarists: Narbonne and Metz (1661); Amiens, Troyes, and Noyon (1062); Saint- Brieuc (1060); Mansei'lles (1672); Saint-Flour (1074); Sens(1675);Arras(1677);B6ziersandAlet(1078);Beau-


vais (1079) ; Tours, Chartres, Toul, and Auxerre (1680); Poitiers, Boulogne, and Chalons (1681); Bayeux and Bordeaux (16S2); Sarlat (1683); Pau (1084); Ma- nosque(1085) ; Saint-Pol-de-L^on(16S9) ; Notre-Dame- de-la-Delivrande (1692); Vamies (1701); Angouleme (1704); Avignon (1705); Notre-Dame-de-Buglose (1706) i Toulouse (1707) ; Poitiers (1710) ; Saint-Servan (1712); Pamiers and Tours (1715); Mornant (1717); Chartres (1719); Villefranche (1723); Figeac (1735); Aries (1752); Lurs (1753); La Rochelle and Metz (1763) ; Rodez (1767) ; Lu^on (1771) ; Cambrai (1772) ; Albi(1774) ; Nancy (1780) ; Soissons(17S6) ; finally, Cas- tres ( 1 788) , the last seminary that was given to the Con- gregation before the Revolution. In all 43 theological and 9 preparatory seminaries (Maynard, II, p. 234). The Lazarists soon spread outside of France. In Italy, in 1041, a papal Bull authorized an establishment in Rome, and the Duchess of Aiguillon gave them a dona- tion to devote their time to missions for the rural popula- tion, to labour for the clergy, the spiritual retreats for those to be ordained, etc. In 1097 the pope gave them the house and church of Sts. John and Paul on the Ca>lian Hill, but this has been exchanged for St. Sylvester's on the Quirinal. In 1645 they were called to Genoa, to Turin m 1655, to Naples in 1668. In St. Vincent's time they went to preach in Ireland and m the Hebrides; later Charles II called them to London for his chapel as Louis XIV had done in France for his chapel at Versailles. In Poland, in the time of John Casimir and his cjueen Louise Marie de Gonzaga, they were called to Warsaw in 1051, to Krakow in 1656, to Culm in 1677, to Vilna in 1087, and to many other cities, so tliat before the Revolu- tion Poland was one of the most flourishmg provinces. In Spain they were established in Barcelona and from there settled in several other cities. They reached Portugal ill 1718 though not recognized by the king, John V, who up to this time was opposed to their dependence upon the superior general in Paris, but who afterwards favoured them and built them the magnificent house of Rilhafolles in the suburbs of Lisbon, a house which was confiscated by the Revolu- tion. At the Revolution of 1834 there were six estab- lishments of the Portuguese tongue.

(4) Foreign Missions among the Infidels. — Foreign missions had a place in the schedule of apostolic works drawn up by St. Vincent de Paul, and although this sort of labour did not develop among his sons before the Revolution to so great an extent as it did in the nineteenth century, yet from the beginning they gave themselves to this work. In 1045 the missionaries set out for Barbary, as they then called it. The regencies of Tmiis and Algiers in the power of the Turks were a den of pirates where a great number of Christians taken prisoners by Turkish Corsairs were held captives. The Lazarists did mission work there, and from time to time they even fulfilled the duties of consul, when it was too difficult to find a layman for this office. Some were imprisoned by the Deys of Algiers, some were put to death at the cannon's mouth as John Le Vacher and Francillon. They kept this duty till, finally, in 1830, France destroyed that stronghold of pirates. The Lazarists of the seven- teenth century also preached the Gospel in the Island of Madagascar, and in the eighteenth century in Bourbon Island and the Isle de France. Tliey passed over into China, at first one by one, like Appiani and Pedrini during the nunciature of Cardinal de Tournon, and like Mullener who became Vicar Apostolic of Se-Tchuen. They were called to Macao, a possession of the Portuguese, by the Portuguese Government in 1784, and directetl many houses of education there. After the suppression of the Society of Jesus and de- spite the refusal of the superior general because of the inadequate number of sulijects, through an agree- ment between the King of France and the Propaganda at Rome, the Lazarists weic charged with the duty of