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François de Pâris was born on 3 June 1690 in Paris to Nicolas de Pâris and Charlotte Rolland—a very wealthy family. as a young boy, he was tutored by Augustinians at Nanterre. Destined for a career in law, against his father’s wishes he chose a career in the Church instead. In 1712 a bout of smallpox left his face horribly scarred, “an affliction for which he thanked God”.
After the death of his mother in 1713, at the age of 23, he entered the seminary of the Oratory of St. Magloire, where he studied the scriptures. François opposed the bull Unigenitus, which condemned Pasquier Quesnel‘s annotated translation of the Bible. He gave further support to the Jansenists. After three years at the Oratory, He was ordained a deacon] While there he gave the poor his annual family pension, During his later career, he was associated with the College of Bayeux [fr] in Paris, a haven for Jansenist priests and follows, disturbed by the Church hierarchy or the authorities.
François retired to a modest house Faubourg Saint-Marceau [fr], Paris, where he led a very strict life. His living condition was observed to be so lowly that he “lodged in a hutch of planks set up in a courtyard, wore a hair shirt, and ate one meal a day, all while knitting stockings for the poor and giving advice to those who asked for it. He modeled himself after St. Francis and was apparently considered a local saint by many. His life has been described as one of “heroic humility”.
During the final years of his life, Francois became increasingly reclusive, and his ascetic lifestyle became increasingly severe. Only 36 years old, he died on 1 May 1727. He was buried at the graveyard there on the Rue Mouffetard in the 12th arrondissement of Paris, not far from the Jardin des Plantes. Large numbers of people from across the social spectrum, including the Cardinal Archbishop Noailles, came to attend his funeral in the small chapel at Saint-Médard. In 1731, a phenomenal series of events began being reported at the graveyard which reportedly brought about extraordinary cures, apparently after people visiting experienced “violent convulsive movements which overtook the patients soon after their bodies touched the marble of the tomb, sometimes even without approaching it, Shortly after the funeral, his tomb became the site of religious pilgrimages and purported wonder-working. Miracles were said to have been performed before his tomb which left people in a state of ecstasy.
- Cavendish, Richard; Innes, Brian (1997). Man, Myth & Magic: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Mythology, Religion and the Unknown. Marshall Cavendish. p. 454. ISBN 978-1-85435-731-1. Retrieved 15 March 2012.
- McManners, John (23 September 1999). Church and Society in Eighteenth-Century France: The Religion of the People and the Politics of Religion. Oxford University Press. p. 436. ISBN 978-0-19-827004-1. Retrieved 15 March 2012.
- Jump up to: Gouzi, Christine (2005). “L’image du diacre Pâris: portraits gravés et hagiographie”. Chrétiens et sociétés. pp. 29–58. Retrieved 15 March 2012.
- Jump up to: “Paris, François de” . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 20 (11th ed.). 1911. pp. 804–805.
- ^ Strayer (2008), 237–38; Garrioch (2002), 142.
ALSO ON THIS DAY
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1942 – Archbishop Edward Mooney, the new leader of the Catholic Church in Detroit, instructs Father Charles Coughlin to cease all non-pastoral activities on pain of being defrocked. Coughlin, a popular radio broadcaster and an ardent supporter of Roosevelt and the New Deal, had increasingly sided with German socialism (Nazism) and attacked Jews and Communists in his radio broadcasts.