Berland Pierre

Berland Pierre a French prelate, known to this day at Bordeaux under the name of Pey- Berland, was born about 1375, and was the son of a poor laborer of Medoc. He commenced by keeping the flocks, and advanced by his own merit so as to secure a place in history. He distinguished himself while a child by his precocious talents, his love of study, and his piety. It is supposed that the young shepherd was sent to a school at Bordeaux, where he studied the classics. From thence he went to a university at Toulouse, where he took the degree of bachelor of canonical law. On his return, in 1409, he became secretary of the archbishop and canon of the cathedral. After a trip to the Holy Land, he became rector of Soliac, and acquired a great reputation by his ability and moral character. The see of this great province became vacant in 1430, and Pierre Berland was appointed to fill the position. In 1440 he constructed at Bordeaux the grand tower of the Church of St. Andrew, which still bears the name of Pey-Berland. In 1441 he contributed largely to the municipal foundation of the University of Bordeaux, the legal existence of which was definitely confirmed by Louis XI in 1472. He also established at his own expense the College of St. Raphael, in which he established twelve scholarships for the benefit of poor pupils. The invasion of the French troops, who came to recover Guyenne in the name of Charles VII, and accomplish the expulsion of the English, brought to this prelate matters of serious importance. The capital was finally, however, surrendered to the representatives of Charles VIL The archbishop of Bordeaux still played a part, though less important, in the revolt of 1453, raised by the English, and which terminated in the submission of Guyenne. Bowed under the weight of years, he resigned his see in 1456. He died soon after, Jan. 17, 1457, in the enjoyment of public veneration and regarded as a saint, and was buried with great honor in the cathedral. See Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, s.v.

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