Desmares Toussaint Gui Joseph

Desmares Toussaint Gui Joseph, a celebrated French preacher and controversial writer, was born at Vire in 1599. He entered at an early age the new Congregation of the Oratory, where Father: (subsequently cardinal) Berulle became his spiritual adviser, and, later, his friend. As a preacher, from 1638 to 1648, he met with marked success. A profound study of the works of St. Augustine made him an adherent of the Jansenists, whose doctrines he defended with a zeal which made him many enemies. He was forbidden the pulpit, and a lettre de cachet was obtained against him, but he had time to escape. By another lettre he was exiled to Quimper, whence he was in 1653 permitted to return. He then went to Rome to plead the cause of the Jansenists, and delivered in the presence of the pope a remarkable speech, which was published in the Journal de St. Amour. On his return to France he had to conceal himself until 1668, when the archbishop of Paris appointed him to preach during Advent in the church of St. Roch. But soon he was again obliged to flee, but he found a powerful protector, first in the duke of Luynes, and subsequently in the duke of Liancourt. He died at Liancourt on Jan. 19,1669. All his works that are published are of a controversial character; some others, e.g. Traite de l'Eglise, still remain unpublished. — Hoefer, Biog. Generale, 13:842.

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