Rainssant, Jean Firmin

Rainssant, Jean Firmin a noted French Benedictine monk, was born at Suippes, near Chalons- surMarne, in 1596, and took the monastic vow in 1613 at Verdun. In 1627 he became prior of Breuil, in the diocese of Rheims, and so distinguished himself by austerity and purity that he was by cardinal Richelieu selected in 1630 as one of the thirty who were to reform the Cluegny Congregation. In 1633 he became prior of Ferrieres, in Gatinais; but after the union of the Clugniacs and Maurists ceased in 1644, he gave the preference to the last congregation. In 1645 he was elected prior of the abbey of St. — Germain- des-Pres, at Paris. In 1651 he was elected visitor of the province of Bretagne. On his very first journey in the country he fell from his saddle and broke a leg; from the injuries thus sustained he sickened and died, Nov. 8,1651, in the convent of Lehon, near Dinan. He contributed largely to the literature on monasticism in later mediaeval times; and whatever he wrote is valuable to the student of this subject, because Rainssant freely oonfessed the failings of the ascetics of the Church of' Rome, and earnestly sought their reform. We have not room here to insert a list of his writings, but refer to Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, xli, 497, and Le Cerf, Biblioth. des Auteurs de la Congregation de St. Maur.

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