Daniel Papebroch

Last updated
Daniel Papebroch
Daniel Papebroch 2.jpg
An image of Daniel Papebroch, S.J. (1680)
Born(1628-03-17)March 17, 1628
DiedJune 28, 1714(1714-06-28) (aged 86)
Other namesDaniel van Papenbroeck
Occupation Hagiographer
Organization Bollandists

Daniel Papebroch, S.J., [1] (17 March 1628 28 June 1714) was a Flemish Jesuit hagiographer, one of the Bollandists. He was a leading revisionist figure, bringing historical criticism to bear on traditions of saints of the Catholic Church.



Papebroch was born in 1628 in Antwerp, then in the Duchy of Brabant, part of the Spanish Netherlands, and attended the Jesuit college in his hometown. He came from a pious family that had chosen Jesuit Jean Bolland as its spiritual director. Bolland took a great interest in Daniel's education and encouraged him to learn Greek and other languages and to study literary composition. From 1644 to 1646 Papebroch studied philosophy at Douai, after which he entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus. [2] He was ordained a Catholic priest in 1658.

In 1660 Papebroch began his work with Bolland, in the scholarly study of the hagiography of the Catholic saints. He was assigned to work on the records of those saints celebrated in the month of March. [2] In July of that year, Bolland sent the 32-year-old Papebroch to Italy, along with Godfrey Henschen, to collect documents, [3] but by the time he returned Bolland had died. Paperbroch, together with Henschen, then continued the work in the tradition of the Bollandists. He continued this work until his death in 1714.


Herbert Thurston considered Pabenbroch "the ablest of all the early Bollandists." [4] According to Friedrich Heer, Pabenbroch "...by dint of hard work established the laws of historical criticism, the methodology of the study of sources and of the historical auxiliary sciences. [5] Hippolyte Delehaye called Papebroch "the Bollandist par excellence". [2]

Papebroch prefixed a Propylaeum antiquarium, an attempt to formulate rules for the discernment of spurious from genuine documents, to the second volume (1675) of the Acta Sanctorum . He instanced in it as spurious some charters of the Abbey of St-Denis. Dom Jean Mabillon was appointed to draw up a defense of these documents, and was provoked into another statement of the principles of documentary criticism, his De re diplomatica (1681). [6]

Another controversy Papebroch had was with the Dominican friar, Jean-Antoine d'Aubermont, over some major liturgical texts traditionally attributed to St. Thomas Aquinas. [7]

Related Research Articles

Pope Adrian III pope

Pope Adrian III or Hadrian III was Pope from 17 May 884 to his death. According to Jean Mabillon, his birth name was Agapitus. He served for little more than a year, during which he worked to help the people of Italy in a very troubled time of famine and war.

Bollandist group of humans

The Bollandists or Bollandist Society are an association of scholars, philologists, and historians who since the early seventeenth century have studied hagiography and the cult of the saints in Christianity. Their most important publication has been the Acta Sanctorum. They are named after the Flemish Jesuit Jean Bolland or Bollandus (1596–1665).

<i>Acta Sanctorum</i> encyclopedic text in 68 folio volumes of documents examining the lives of Christian saints

Acta Sanctorum is an encyclopedic text in 68 folio volumes of documents examining the lives of Christian saints, in essence a critical hagiography, which is organised according to each saint's feast day. The project was conceived and begun by Jesuit Heribert Rosweyde. After his death in 1629, the Jesuit scholar Jean Bolland continued the work, which was gradually finished over the centuries by the Bollandists, who continue to edit and publish the Acta Sanctorum.

Diplomatics, or diplomatic, is a scholarly discipline centred on the critical analysis of documents: especially, historical documents. It focuses on the conventions, protocols and formulae that have been used by document creators, and uses these to increase understanding of the processes of document creation, of information transmission, and of the relationships between the facts which the documents purport to record and reality.

Jean Mabillon French Benedictine monk, medievist, paleographer, diplomatics and theologian

Dom Jean Mabillon, O.S.B., was a French Benedictine monk and scholar of the Congregation of Saint Maur. He is considered the founder of the disciplines of palaeography and diplomatics.

A martyrology is a catalogue or list of martyrs and other saints and beati arranged in the calendar order of their anniversaries or feasts. Local martyrologies record exclusively the custom of a particular Church. Local lists were enriched by names borrowed from neighbouring churches. Consolidation occurred, by the combination of several local martyrologies, with or without borrowings from literary sources.

Antoine Daniel 17th-century Jesuit missionary and martyr

Saint Antoine Daniel was a Jesuit missionary at Sainte-Marie among the Hurons, and one of the eight Canadian Martyrs.

Jean Bolland Jesuit hagiographer

Jean Bolland was a Jesuit priest and prominent Flemish hagiographer.

Hippolyte Delehaye, S.J., was a Belgian Jesuit who was a hagiographical scholar and an outstanding member of the Society of Bollandists.

Nicolas-Hugues Ménard was a French Benedictine scholar.

Jacob Keller was a German Jesuit theologian, author, and religious instructor.

Jacques-Philippe Lallemant was a French Jesuit, of whom little is known beyond his writings. He took part in the discussion on the Chinese rites, and wrote the “Journal historique des assemblées tenues en Sorbonne pour condamner les Mémoires de la Chine”, a defense of his confrère Lecomte against the Sorbonnist, Jacques Lefèvre.

François Baert was a Belgian Jesuit hagiographer, one of the Bollandists.

Saint Cyprian of Toulon was bishop of Toulon during the 6th century. Born at Marseilles, he was the favorite pupil of St. Caesarius of Arles by whom he was trained. Caesarius ordained him in 506 to the diaconate, and, in 516, consecrated him as bishop of Toulon.

Thierry Ruinart French historian

Dom Thierry Ruinart (1657–1709) was a French Benedictine monk and scholar. He was a Maurist, and a disciple of Jean Mabillon.

Godfrey Henschen Jesuit hagiographer

Godfrey Henschen, 21 June 1601 – 11 September 1681, was a Belgian Jesuit hagiographer, one of the first Bollandists.

Heribert Rosweyde was a Jesuit hagiographer. His work, quite unfinished, was taken up by Jean Bolland who systematized it, while broadening its perspective. This is the beginning of the association of the Bollandists.

Papal diplomatics is the scholarly and critical study (diplomatics) of the authentic documents of the Papacy, largely to distinguish them from spurious documents. The study emerges in the Middle Ages and has been further refined in the centuries since.

Jean Gamans (1606–1684) was a German Jesuit hagiographer.

Conrad Janninck was one of the Bollandists who worked on the Acts of the Saints. Appointed to the task in 1679, he became one of the editors of the many volumes in the series. When his colleague, the Jesuit Daniel van Papenbroeck was under attack from the Spanish Inquisition and others opposed to the rigorous scholarly work of the Bollandists, Janninck spent several years in Rome on his behalf.


  1. Daniel van Papenbroeck, Papebrock, Papebrochius.
  2. 1 2 3 Delahaye, Hippolyte S.J. (1922). The Work of the Bollandists through Three Centuries 1615-1915. Princeton University Press. p. 32-33. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  3. Musto, Ronald G. (1986). "Daniel Papebroch SJ and the Letters of Angelo Clareno". Arcivum Franciscanum Historicum. 79 (2–3). Retrieved 18 June 2019 via Academia.edu.
  4. Thurston, Herbert (27 July 1907). "The Bollandists and Their Work". The Tablet . p. 6. Archived from the original on 31 March 2016. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  5. Heer, Friedrich (1966). The Intellectual History of Europe: The Counter-Reformation to 1945. Doubleday & Company. p. 271. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  6. Toke, Leslie Alexander St. Lawrence (1913). "Jean Mabillon". Catholic Encyclopedia . New York: Robert Appleton Company. 9. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  7. Shahan, Thomas Joseph (1913). "Jean-Antoine d'Aubermont". Catholic Encyclopedia . 2. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved 18 June 2019.