Lamothe, Pierre Lambert De

Lamothe, Pierre Lambert De, a French Roman Catholic missionary, was born at Bucherie, in the diocese of Lisieux, January 18, 1624. After being for some time connected with the chancellery of the Parliament at Rouen, he entered the Church. His talents caused him to be distinguished among a number of priests who had formed in 1652 the plan of Christianizing China and neighboring countries. In 1660 he was consecrated bishop of Berythe. He embarked at Marseilles for China November 27, 1660, and, passing through Malta, Antioch, Aleppo, Bassora, Chalzeran, Shiraz, Ispahan, Lara, Surate, Masulipatam, Tenasserim, Yalinga, Pram, and Pikfri, arrived at Jutlica, the capital of Siam, April 22, 1662. Here he found some 1500 Christians of different nations and two churches, the one administered by the Dominicans, the other by the Jesuits. He was at first well received, but had subsequently to submit to many annoyances from the archbishop of Goa, who claimed the primacy of the whole East Indies, and Lamothe finally sailed for Canton in July 1663, with two other missionaries. A severe tempest obliged them, however, to return to Siam. Here they were exposed to all sorts of ill treatment at the hands of the Portuguese, and owed their safety only to the aid of the Cochin Chinese. Lamothe sent to the pope and to Paris for more missionaries and other assistance. Alexander VII, in consequence, extended the jurisdiction of apostolic vicars over the kingdom of Siam, Japan, and other neighboring countries, which action freed Lamothe from the control of the archbishop of Goa. He was now joined by Pallu du Pare, bishop of Heliopolis, who reached Siam January 27, 1664, with other missionaries. The two apostolic vicars held a synod, and Lamothe received permission from the king to establish a Church at Siam, which he intended should become the center of communication between the extreme Eastern missions. He also established a seminary for the education of native priests and instructors, a college, and a hospital. Lamothe died June 15, 1679. — Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, 29:250 sq.

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