Arnauld, Angelique

Arnauld, Angelique, abbess of Port-Royal, a daughter of Robert Arnauld d'Andilly, was born November 28, 1624. From her earliest years she exhibited an extraordinary force and resoluteness of character, and excited much anxious speculation concerning her future career among her relatives. When not quite twenty years of age she became a nun at Port Royal des Champs, where she had been educated by her aunt, Marie Jaqueline Angelique Arnauld, sister of the great Arnauld. Nine years after she was made sub-prioress; and on removing some years later to Port-Royal de Paris, she held the same office. During the persecution of the Port-Royalists, Angelique, by her piety and courage, sustained the spirit of the sisterhood. The whole family, male and female, were determined Jansenists, and none more so than Mere Angelique de St. Jean (her conventual name). She had much to endure, but she met misfortune with earnest intrepidity. A royal order was issued to break up the nunnery. The police arrested the inmates, who were dispersed in various convents throughout France, and constant efforts were made by the Jesuits to induce them to sign the "Formulary of Alexander VII." Angelique was alone exempted from listening to their arguments and solicitations, her "obstinacy" being supposed invincible. At length, by command of the Archbishop of Paris, the nuns were restored to Port Royal des Champs; but for some years they were subjected to a strict surveillance by soldiers, who watched all their movements, and allowed them no intercourse with persons out of the convent. In 1669, however, was issued the edict of Clement IX for the peace of the church, which was a kind of compromise on this vexed question of Jansenism and Jesuitism. The nuns received back the privileges of which they had been stripped, and constituted their society anew. Angelique was again elected prioress. In 1678 she was made abbess. The next year her protectress, the Duchesse de Longueville, died, and the persecution recommenced by the prohibition to receive any more novices. Still Angelique did not despair. She consoled the nuns, and exerted all her influence with persons in power, but with little effect. At last she sank under a complication of griefs, and expired on the 29th of January, 1634, leaving behind her as bright and beautiful a memory as any of her countrywomen. She was learned without being pedantic, pious without bigotry, and gentle to others in proportion as she was severe to herself. Angelique wrote several works. Of these, one, perhaps the most valuable work relative to Port-Royal, is entitled Mienoirespour servir a l'Histore de Port-Royal, et a la Vie de la Reverende Mre Mari Audaite deeie Alique de Sainte Adeleine Arnauld, Reformatrice de ce Monastere (Utrecht, 1742, 12mo, 3 vols.). While the Memoires of Du Fosse, Fontaine and Lancelot detail the external history of Port-Royal, these Memoires represent its internal history, with the mind and habits of its members, particularly of the elder Angelique. The Memoires were edited by Barbeau de la Bruyere in 1742. The originals, from which Barbeau de la Bruyere printed the Memoires, were preserved in the library of Saint Germain des Pres at Paris. Angelique also took a great part in the composition of the Necrologe de Port-Royal des Champs (Amst. 1723, 4to), and wrote other works in defence of the monastery.--Memoires pour server a l'Histoire de Port-Royal, iii, 498, etc.; Querard, La France Litteraire; Reuchlin, Geschichte v. Port-Royal (Lips. 1839); Edinb. Review, No. cxlviii; Methodist Quarterly, April, 1853; Princeton Review, 21:467; English Cyclopcedia.

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