La Rochefoucauld, Francois De

La Rochefoucauld, Francois de a French prelate, was born at Paris, December 8, 1558, being the son. of Charles I, of La Rochefoucauld, count of Randan, and of Fulvie Pic de la Mirandole, lady of honor to the queen. He was destined by his uncles for the priesthood, and completed his studies at the College of Clermont in a very brilliant manner. At the age of fifteen he was invested by the cardinal of Guise with the rich abbey of Tournus, and scarcely had he reached his twenty-seventh year when Henry III appointed him bishop of Clermont. Being a partisan of the Holy League, he sought to excite Auvergne in revolt against the king; but the inhabitants of Clermont revolted against their bishop, and he was obliged to take refuge at his chateau in Mozun. In 1589 the bishop of Clermont called an assembly of the states of his province at Billom. La Rochefmocauld addressed them in a vehement discourse, in which he accused the king of being in harmony with the Protestants. This led the Assembly to embrace the side of the sacred union. His father, who governed in the League, was killed in 1590, and Henry IV abjured some years later. The bishop of Clermont yielded, and composed a work upon the spiritual authority of the popes, remaining silent upon the temporal power. Some time after Martha Brossier excited the wonder of the credulous world. Frangois de la Rochefoucauld and his brother, Alexander, travelled from city to city, interrogating the evil spirits concerning the real presence of Jesus Christ in the eucharist. They were at length obliged to desist from this ridiculous business. Francois de la Rochefoucauld yielded, and in 1607 was made cardinal and bishop of Senlis. In 1618 he became grand almoner of France, and in 1619 of the abbey of St. Genevieve. In 1622 he was made president of the Council of the States, and charged with the reformation of the abbeys of France. This reform occupied the rest of his life. He died at the abbey of St. Genevieve, February 14, 1645, and an elegant tomb was erected for him. Full of zeal for literature, La Rochefoucauld enriched various libraries with Greek and Latin MSS. He wrote, Statuts Synodaux pour l'Eglise de Clermont (1599): — Statuts Synodaux pour l'Egilise de Senlis (Paris, 1621): — De l'Autorite de l'Eglise en ce gui Concerne la Foi et la Religion (ibid. 1603, 1604). His Life was written by La Mariniere (Paris, 1647). See Hoefer, Naouv. Biog. Generale, s.v.

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