The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Bridaine, Jacques
BRIDAINE, Jacques, a French preacher and missionary, born at Chuslan, March 21, 1701, died at Roquemaure, Dec. 22, 1767. He studied for the priesthood in the Jesuit college at Avignon, and the seminary of the royal missions of St. Charles of the Cross in the same town, and on taking orders began to preach at Aigues-Mortes. Failing to secure a large congregation by ordinary means, he one day went into the streets ringing a bell, and continued to walk through the town until he had collected nearly all its inhabitants, whom he induced to follow him to church. Here he addressed them with extraordinary eloquence, and from that time he enjoyed a constantly increasing reputation. He travelled through the villages of the south of France, and his “missions” to different towns reached the number of 256. He was asked to go to Paris, and delivered there, in the church of St. Sulpice, a sermon on eternity, rousing the audience to the highest pitch of excitement, and making, as it has been described, “a terrible impression” on all who heard him. His language was simple, direct, and often rough; but his power over an audience was remarkable. There is a complete edition of his sermons (5 vols., Avignon, 1821).