Astras, Paul Thirese David D

Astras, Paul Thirese David D'

a French prelate, was born at Tourves (Var), Oct. 15, 1772. The sentiments of piety which he manifested. from early youth were never abandoned in his ecclesiastical career, though beset by vicissitudes and painful tests. He bore the evils of the Revolution with a grand Christian resignation. Secretary, in 1798, of M. Portalis, his uncle, he was appointed, several years after, vicar-general of the metropolis. In 1807 he delivered a discourse at Notre Dame on the re-establishment of religion in France. At the death of the cardinal of Bellay, archbishop of Paris, he managed the vacant see until the coming of cardinal Maury. Charged by the pope, in 1809, to send to this prelate a brief enjoining him to return to his bishopric in Montefiascone, it appears that he received at the same time the bull of excommunication hurled against Napoleon. On March 16, 1850, he succeeded the cardinal of Ciermont-Tonnerre as archbishop of Toulouse and Narbonne. Liberty of instruction, reclaimed by the French clergy at first as a right, then as a promise of the charter of 1830, had in Astras an intrepid defender. He protested on this occasion against the doctrines of M. Gatien Arnoult, professor of philosophy of Toulouse. An attempt was made to reform the liturgies, but he opposed it. It is said that these difficulties at Toulouse prevented him from being made cardinal for a time, but this honor was finally accorded to him Sept. 29, 1850. He died Sept. 29,1851. He wrote, Discours sur le Retablissement de la Religion en France (1807) :-Des Appels comnme d'Abus en Matibre de Religion (Paris, 1814); Picot does not believe him to be the author of this work:-La Verite Catholique Demontree, ou Lettres de Monseigneur l'Eveque de Bayonne, actuellement A rcheveque de Toulouse, aux Protestants d'Orthez (Toulouse, 1833). See Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, s.v. Astujat, in Persian mythology, is an evil daemon sent by Ahriman to capture the souls of the dead and take them to the infernal regions. To prevent this, the nearest relatives of the deceased are obliged to watch three days after the death and unceasingly repeat certain prayers.

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