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BRIDAINE


780


BRIDAINB


Bacrificing the Pisans, allies of France, to their ene- mies, the Florentines, and had he not hidden hnn- self from the furj- of the soldiers they would have taken his life. I'pon this occasion, as upon others, Bri(;onnet's ambition led him into conduct at variance -n-ith his motto: Ditat servaUi fidex. Charles had entered Rome as a conqueror, greatly irritated against Alexander VI who had stirred up opposition against him; but the adroit Bri^onnet reconciled his royal master with the pope, and for reward received the cardinal's hat. This honour was conferred in a special consistorj' held in the king's presence, 16 Jan- uarj-, 1495, the new cardinal taking the title of Cardinal of St.-Malo, from his episcopal see.

Bri^onnet soon had cause to repent the ad\-ice he had given to invade Italy. A formidable league was formed for tlie purpose of cutting off the French retreat, and neither the diplomacy nor the entreaties of the French cardinal had any effect on the hostile generals. The prowess of Charles and the invincible valour of his troops alone saved the French from a humiliating defeat. With 8,000 men the king de- feated, at Tornovo, an army of 40,000, and opened a road to France. Soon after this Briijonnet, in- duced by a tempting promise of preferment for one of his sons, tried to persuade Charles to break off the peace negotiations and support with an army the Duke of Orleans' claims to the Duchy of Milan. Charles, however, preferred the counsels of Philippe de Comines and sacrificed the interests of the duke, and the king's premature death put an end to the influence of Bricjonnet, Louis XII giving his confi- dence to the Cardinal d'Amboise. But whilst serving his king and the State, the Cardinal of St.- Malo had not overlooked his own interests; he had obtained from Alexander VI the Bishopric of Nimes. His title being disputed by the nominee of the chap- ter, there arose a litigation which lasted until the year 1507, when Bri^onnet was awarded the title. In 1497 he had received in commendam the Bishopric of Toulon, and in the same year succeeded his brother in the archiepiscopal See of Reims. On the 27th of May, 1498, he crowned Louis XII in his cathedral and followed the king to Paris. As a peer of France, he assisted at the session of the Council of State at which the marriage of Louis with Jeanne, the daughter of Louis XI, was annulled.

When he had ceased to be a minister of State, Bri?onnet retired to Rome for two years. Louis then made use of his talents to check what he called the arrogance of the warrior pope, Julius II. By his king's direction Bri^onnet took steps to assemble at Pisa a council of cardinals opposed to the policy of Julius, and bent on the reformation of the head and hierarchy of the Church. He left Rome suddenly and secretly with a group of cardinals whom he had won over, "and opened his co\incil at Pisa, but soon transferred it to Milan, and thence to Lyons. He w-as, however, summoned to appear before the pope, was deprived of the Roman purple and excomniuni- cated. Louis, on his side, bestowed upon him in commendam the rich Abbey of St.-Germain-des-Pr& and the government of Languedoc. At the death of Julius II Brifonnet was absolved from all censures and excommunication, and restored by I-eo X to the Sacred College. He then retired to end his days at Narbonne, for which see he had exchanged Reims. He was buried in a superb mausoleum which he had built for himself in the church of Our Lady.

■V^'hilst in power, Brigonnet showed himself a patron of men of letters; they dedicated their works to him and became his panegjTists. He was called oraculum regis and regni columna. His life was in fact swayed by ambition and occupied by intrigues. He composed a manual of Latin prayers, dedicated to Charles VIII. At Saint>-Malo he issued several sjTiodal instructions.


(2) Guil.L.\rME, Bishop of Meaux, France, b. at Tours in 1472; d. at the chateau of Esmant near Montereau, 24 Januarj', 1.534. He was a son of Cardi- nal Brigonnet (see above), and before entering the ecclesiastical state was known as the Count de Mont- brun. In 1489 he was named Bishop of Lod&ve. Dis- tinguished by remarkable judgment, great learning, and a love of study, he received from Louis XII several preferments, and was named as chaplain to the Queen. In 1507 he succeeded his father as Abbot of St.-Germain-des-Pres. The king entrusted him with delicate and difficult missions, and sent him, in the same year that Guillaume became abbot, to Rome as extraordinarj- ambassador for the purpose of justifjnng the conduct of his prince against the accu- sations of the Emperor Maximilian. In an eloquent Latin speech pronounced in the presence of the pope and of the Sacred College, the bishop fully \nndicated Louis. Guillaume enjoyed equally the confidence of Francis I, who transferred him to the See of Meaux, and sent him as ambassador to Leo X to Rome, where he resided for two years. As Abbot of St. -Germain, he displayed a great zeal for the reform of abuses, put an end to disorders, and re\'ived monastic regularity, spirit, and fervour. As Bishop of Meaux, he held a number of sjmods, and made wise regulations against the depravity of morals and the relaxation of ecclesiastical discipline, and promoted among his clergj- a taste for learning, to bring back to the Catholic Faith the disciples of the new doctrine, who were already numerous in his diocese. He was no less zealous in opposing the encroachments of the religious and in directing them back to the spirit of their state. The Cordeliers, a branch of the Franciscan Order, accused the bishop of heresy, basing their accusation on the protection given by him to the partisans of Humanism. The bishop defended himself and was declared innocent. His love of letters caused him to increase consider^ ablv the librarj- of the Abbey of St. -Germain. He translated into'French the " Contemplationes Idiotse de amore divino".

(3) Robert, Archbishop of Reims, France, fifth son of Jean Brigonnet, an elder brother of the Cardinal [see (1)]. Date of birth uncertain; d. at Moulins, 3 June, 1497. He owed to the credit which Guillaume had with Charles VIII his rapid elevation to public offices and dignities. He was named Canon of St.-Aignan at Orl&ins. Abbot of the rich Abbey ol St.-Vaast at Arras, and in 1493 he was raised to tht archiepiscopal See of Reims, four years before the Cardinal was appointed to that see. Charles ap- pointed him President of the Superior Tribunal ol Finances, and Chancellor of France. He enjoyec this new dignitv for only twenty-two months befor( his death. He" showed "himself, as did his brothen and nephews, a patron of men of letters.

FlSQCET, La France pontificale (Pans); Biographic unirer selle. ancienne el modeme (Paris, 1S12); Feller, Bwgraplu, universelle (Paris. 1847); Guerin, Dictionnaire des dictum umre3 (Paris, 1S92). t, ,f t -r.

F. M. L. DuMONT.

Bridaine, J.^cques, preacher, b. at Chusclan France, 21 March, 1701 ; d. at Roquemaure, 22 Decern ber, 1'767. Having completed his studies at thi Jesuit college of A^•ignon he entered the Seminar of the Royal Missions of St. Charles of the Cross His oratorical ability announced itself before hi ordination to the priesthood bv the remarkabl talent he brought into play in awakening interest an< exciting emotion even iii the catechetical instruc tions which he was deputed to give. When only ii minor orders, he was assigned as Lenten preacher ii the Church of Aigues-Mortes. It was there he firs made use of his peculiar methods. His extrem youth provoked the derision of the people and whei Ash Wednesday arrived, the church was emptj