Girard, Francois

Girard, Francois a French ecclesiastic, was born about 1735 at La Guillotiere (at that time dependent upon Dauphiny, and still one of the suburbs of Lyons). He established himself in Paris, where he was appointed, in 1781, rector of the parish of St. Landry. At the commencement of the revolution he showed great enthusiasm for the new ideas, and was one of the first rectors of Paris to submit to the civil constitution of the clergy. These patriotic sentiments gave him a kind of popularity, which, after the suppression of his church, in 1791, caused his election to one of the episcopal vicarages of bishop Gobel. Two years later the convention appointed him to assist Marie Antoinette in her last moments, and to conduct her to the scaffold. Appointed canon of the Church of Notre Dame, at Paris, after the restoration of Catholic worship, at his own expense he repaired the chapel and gave an annuity for its preservation. He died at Paris, November 7, 1811. An anonymous treatise, entitled Instruction sur la Constitution Civile du Clerge, etc., published at Paris in 1791, is cited by Barbier in his Diet. des Anonymes, No. 8721, and given to an author named Gerard. See Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, s.v.

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