Alignan, Benoit D
Alignan, Benoit D', a learned French Benedictine and a traveller in Palestine, was priest of Notre Dame of Grasse, in the diocese of Carcassonne, until, in 1229, he was appointed bishop of Marseilles. This city was at that time agitated by internal dissensions, occasioned by both the viscounts and the monks laying claim to civil jurisdiction. In 1239 D'Alignan associated himself at Thibet with the king of Navarre and the count of Champagne in order to make a journey through the Holy Land, and while in the East he contributed towards the construction of a castle. In 1248 he assisted at the Council of Valencia. Under his prelacy, he introduced a new religious order called the "Brothers of the Holy Mary, the Mother of Christ," which Clement confirmed in 1266, and which the Council of Lyons suppressed in 1276. In 1260 he again visited the Holy land, where he remained three years. He died in July, 1268. He left some works printed and others in MS. Among those published we find, Prcefationes Benedicti, Episcopi Massiliensis, in Commentarium suum, de Sancta Trinitate et Fide Catholica (by Baluze): — Sententia Lata in Sysnodo, de Decimis: — Epistola ad Innocentiumn Papam IV, in the Spicilegium of D'Achery: — De Constructione Castri Saphet, a work also inserted by Baluze in his Miscellanea. This is concerning the building of the fortress of Saphet in the Holy Land, in which he asserts that its power extends over two hundred and seventy villages, the site of which villages he claims to have been the place where Joseph was sold, where Christ first preached, where Peter paid the tribute- money, and many other events of sacred history transpired. This castle, the boulevard of the Christians of the Holy Land, fell into the hands of the Babylonians in 1266, and the templars were driven out. Great effort was made to regain this, but two of their number proving traitors led to their defeat. The MS. (Bibliothique Nationale, No. 4224) which contains the principal work of D'Alignan is a large volume in parchment. The title of the work is Tractatus Fidei Diversos Errores super Titulum: De Summa Trinitate et Fide Catholica in Decretalibus. This is a great exposition of Christian doctrine, or a treatise on practical theology. In connection with this the author has several brief treatises, as, Exposition de 'Oraison. Dominicale: — Salutation Angelique. See Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, s.v.