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MOLAI


433


MOLESME


journal " Cosmos ". In 1862 he founded " Les Mondes " and became associated with the clergy of St-Germain des Pres. In 1873 he was appointed one of the canons of the chapter of Saint-Denis. Moigno was a man of great industry and throughout his long career was a prolific writer, being distinguished rather as an ex- ponent of science than as an original investigator. He not only wrote a large number of scientific and apologetical works of merit but also translated numer- ous English and Italian memoirs on science into French. He also edited the " Actuality scientifiques". Among his more important works may be mentioned "Repertoire d'optique modeme" (Paris, 1847-50); "Traite de telegraphic eiectrique" (Paris, 1849); "Lepons de m^canique analytique" (Paris, 1868); " Saccharimetrie " (Paris, 1869); "Optique mol^cu- laire" (Paris, 1873); " Les splendeurs de la foi " (Paris, 1879-83); "Les livres saints et la science" (Paris, 1884), etc., and numerous articles in the "Comptes Rendus", "Revue Scientifique", "Cosmos", etc. Cosmos, 3ld series. VIII, 443. HenRY M. BroCK.

Molai (Molay), Jacques de, b. at Rahon, Jura, about 1244; d. at Paris, 18 March, 1314. A Templar at Beaune since 1265, Molai is mentioned as Grand Master of the Templars as early as 1298. He was, as he described himself at his trial, an unlettered soldier {miles illetleratus); profiting, however, by the collective experience of his order, he presided in 1306 or 1307 at the drawing up of a very important plan of crusade and went to Poitiers to lay it before Clement V, who had summoned him from the East. This crusading project, based upon personal knowl- edge of the Orient and the Italian cities, is considered by Renan superior to any other scheme of its kind formulated during that epoch. In it Molai shows his implicit confidence in the King of France, whose victim he was soon to become. At the same time Molai presented to the pope a memorial against the amalgamation of the Hospitallers and the Templars under discussion since the Council of Lyons and ac- cepted in principle by Gregory X. On learning from Clement V the accusations brought against his order, Molai begged the pope to do justice and re- turned to Paris. On 13 October, 1307, he was arrested there, together with all the Templars of the central house of Paris, by the lawyer Nogaret. Nogaret's captious interrogatories necessarily discon- certed Molai, who, knowing neither law nor theology, was unable to defend himself.

On 24 October, 1307, on his first appearance before the inquisitor general of the kingdom, Molai pleaded guilty to some of the imputed crimes, notably the alleged obligation of the Templars on joining the order to deny Christ and to spit upon the crucifix; but he refused to admit the crimes against chastity. On 25 October, 1307, he repeated these same admis- sions and denials. It is supposed that his object in making these partial admissions was to save his com- rades from the extreme penalty. In 1308 a commis- sion of inquiry of eight cardinals was appointed by the pope; it was a new form of procedure, and torture was excluded from it. Molai caused to be surrepti- tiously circulated in some of the dungeons a wax tablet calling upon his brethren to retract their con- fessions, and in August, 1308, appeared before this commission. What then took place is a most obscure point of history. According to the record of his trial as it appears in the Bull of Clement V, "Facicns misericordiam", Molai would seem to have repeated his admissions of guilt, but, when the Bull wa,s read to hmi on his nppcnrance before another commission in Novfiiibcr, 1309, lie was stupefied, made the sign of the Cross twice, and exclaimed: "Would to God that such .scoundrels might receive the treatment they receive from the Saracens and Tartars!" From this VioUet concludes that the cardinals of the cora- . X.— 28


mission of 1308 attributed to Molai admissions which he had not made. But did they intend to injure him? Quite the contrary, M. Viollet thinks: had they re- ported that Molai would not repeat the admissions made in 1307, Philip IV the Fair would have had a rea- son for sending him to the stake as "relapsed " ; so, from motives of humanity, they perpetrated a falsehood to save him. Before this commission of 1309 Molai displayed true courage. When they spoke to him of the sodomy of the Templars, and of their transgres- sions against religious law, he answered that he had never heard of anything of the kind, and asked per- mission to hear Mass. The trial dragged on. In March, 1313, he, with three other high dignitaries of the order, underwent a last interrogatory in Paris before a new commission of cardinals, prelates, and theologians, authorized to pronounce sentence. He was condemned to imprisonment for life, proudly denying the crimes with which the Temple had been charged. Philip the Fair sent him to die at the stake as "relapsed", and he continued unflinching until the last (see Te.mplars, Knights).

Hisl. int. de la France. XXVII, 292-3. 382-6, two chaps, written by Renan; Viollet, Les Interrogatoires de Jacques de Molay (Paris, 1910): Besson, Etude sur Jacques de Molay (Besangon, 1877) ; ScHOTTMu LLER, Der Untergang des Templerordens (2 vola., Berlin, 1S87) ; Lavocat, Proems des Freres de I'ordre du Temple (Paris, 1888); Rastoul, Les Templiers (Paris, 1905).

Georges Goyau.

Molesme, Notre-Dame de, a celebrated Benedic- tine monastery in a village of the same name, Canton of Laignes (Cote d'Or), ancient Burgundy, on the con- fines of the Dioceses of Langres and Troyes. St. Rob- ert, Abbot of St-Michael de Tonnerre, not finding his monks disposed to observe the Rule of St. Benedict in its original simplicity, left them, accompanied by a few monks and hermits, and selected a spot on the de- clivity of a hill, to the right of the River Leignes, where, having obtained a grant of land from Hugo de Merlennac, they built a house and oratory from the boughs of trees. Here they lived in extreme poverty until a certain bishop visited them, and, seeing their need, sent them a supply of food and clothing. Mem- bers of the noblest families, hearing of the saintly lives of these religious, soon hastened from all parts of the country to join them, bringing in many ca,ses their worldly possessions, which, added to numerous other benefactions, enabled them to erect a church, the most beautiful in the country around, and suitable monas- tic buildings. The increase in numbers and possessions caused a temporary relaxation in fervour, in so far that the monks ceased to relish the work of the fields, being willing to live on the alms given them. Matters hav- ing gone even so far as open rebellion, St. Robert and the most fervent religious left Molesme (1098) and founded Citeaux, which, though intended as a Bene- dictine monastery, became the first and mother-house of the Cistercian Order. The monks of Molesme, re- penting of their faults, begged Urban II to oblige St. Robert to return to them, and this request was ac- ceded to (1099); Robert continued to govern them until his death (1110). Besides Citeaux, Molesme founded seven or eight other monasteries, and had about as many monasteries of Benedictine nuns under its jurisdiction. The church and monastery were de- stroyed and their possessions confiscated in 1472 dur- ing the war between France and Burgundy. The buildings were again burned by the heretics towards the close of the sixteenth century. In (he .seven- teenth century the fervour of the moiiiistcry was re- newed on the introduction of the reform of St . Maur (1()48). All the glory of Mole.sme has now vanished. The Miagiiiliccnt church is razed to the ground, and the nion:istic Imilchnns :in' used, a small part as a school, and the rest as conunon dwellings.

Maiim.lcin, Aiiimlcs O.S.B. (Lucca, 1740); G'allia Christ.. IV (Paris, 1876); Germain. Manaslicoji gallicanum (Paris, 1882); Voyage litUrairede deux religieux bcnedictins (Paris, 1717) ; Janau-