Maillard, Olivier

Maillard, Olivier a celebrated French pulpit orator, was born in Bretagne in the 15th century. His early history is somewhat obscure. He became a doctor of the Sorbonne, professor of theology in the order of the "Minor Brethren," and court preacher to Louis XI and to the duke of Burgundy. In 1501 he was entrusted by the papal legate with the reform of the Paris convents of the order of "Gray Friars," and he discharged this task so energetically and independently that he incurred the displeasure of the "Gray Friars." His reputation, however, rests mainly on the wonderful power of oratory and independence of thought he displayed in his pulpit utterances. In many respects he may be likened to Bossuet, but in one he even excelled him-in dealing out truth, in criticizing the faults and failings of his hearers. It is related of him that his royal master, Louis XI, having one day been subjected by him to unusual severity, sent word that if Olivier Maillard would suffer himself to speak thus severely a second time, he should do it at the loss of his life. But, Olivier was ready to return a prompt reply even to the royal messenger. 'Tell the king that I will thus only arrive sooner in Paradise, and make the way for the king so much the harder." Louis XI never again molested Maillard, though he continued in his former course unabated. If only a moderate part of the picture Maillard has drawn of his contemporaries be true, the French of the 15th century have never had their equals in moral corruption. He died near Toulouse, according to some, June 13, 1502; but his death must have occurred much later, if it be true that he preached at Paris in 1508, as is reported. His principal works are Sermones de Adventu declamati Parisiis in ecclesia S. Johannis in Gravia anno 1493 (Paris, 1498, 4to; 1511,8vo): — Quadragesimale Opus (Paris, 1498, 4to; 1512, 8vo): — Sermones doninicales et alii (1515, 8vo): — Sermuones de sanctis (1513, 8vo): La Recolation de la tres-pieuse Passion des Notre-Seigneur, representee par les Saints et sacres mysteres de la Messe (also under the title Le Mysteie de la Mnesse, etc.): — L'Exemplaire de Confession avec la Confession generale (Rouen and Cayen, 4to; Lyons, 1524, 8vo): — Traiti envoyse a plusieurs reliqieuses pour les instruire et exhorter a se bien gouverner (8vo): — Contemplatio ad salutationem. angeliclam (1607). See Niceron, Memoires, vol. 23, s.v.; Le Bas, Dict.-Encyclop. de la France, s.v.; Gerusey, Essai d'hist. litter.; Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, 32:871 sq.

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