Photograph sometime between 1870-90.
|Born||23 June 1817|
Plancy, Aube, Kingdom of France
|Died||2 February 1908 90) (aged|
Plancy, Aube, French Third Republic
|Venerated in||Roman Catholic Church|
|Beatified||22 September 2012, Troyes Cathedral, France by Cardinal Angelo Amato|
Louis Brisson (23 June 1817 – 2 February 1908) was a French Roman Catholic priest and the founder of both the Oblate Sisters of Saint Francis de Sales and the Oblates of Saint Francis de Sales. He founded the female branch alongside Léonie Aviat and the male branch alongside the Servant of God Thérèse Chappuis. Brisson's founding of the orders stemmed from his desire to improve the working conditions of middle-class girls and to ensure their protection and the promotion of their faith.
His beatification received approval from Pope Benedict XVI and it was celebrated in France on 22 September 2012.
Louis Alexander Alphonse Brisson was born on 23 June 1817 in Aube as the sole child to Toussaint Grégoire Brisson (1785–1875) and Savine Corrard (1795–1881); he was baptized "Louis Alexandre Sosthène" on 29 June in the village parish church.
He received his initial education at home from his parents and the local priest and while being schooled from 1823-31 became interested in the natural sciences. He made his First Communion on 22 March 1829 and that June received his Confirmation.
He desired to become a priest and studied for it from 1831-35 before the reception of the tonsure on 13 July 1835. He continued his studies from 1836-40 before being given the minor orders on 6 July 1838. He was made a sub-deacon in Sens on 25 May 1839 as his own bishop could not do it due to illness. Brisson was elevated into the diaconate on 21 December 1839.
He received his ordination on 18 December 1840 and celebrated his first Mass on 22 December. He received his ordination from Bishop Marie-Joseph-François-Victor Monyer de Prilly because the bishop of his diocese was ill and could not ordain him. On 1 October 1843 he was appointed as the spiritual director for the convent of the Visitation Sisters and did this at the request of the convent's superior Venerable Thérèse Chappuis.The Superior was convinced that Brisson would be the priest to establish a religious order of men in the spirit of Francis de Sales. Chappuis soon managed to convince Brisson to establish an order to that design despite the fact that the priest was not enthusiastic about it. In addition to his activities as a priest he served as a teacher to seminarians and continued his interest in natural sciences; this passion saw him construct an astronomical clock used at the motherhouse of the Oblate Sisters of Saint Francis de Sales.
Brisson became concerned with the welfare of the working class girls in the textile mills and so established shelters where those girls could become women of conscience and faith.In 1866 he co-founded (alongside Léonie Aviat) the Oblate Sisters of Saint Francis de Sales to provide for their education; and in August 1875 established the Oblates of Saint Francis de Sales for priests and religious brothers performing similar apostolate work.
Father Brisson met Pope Leo XIII on 6 November 1881 who encouraged his work and encouraged him to send Oblates into the missions. The 1905 legislation on Church-State relations and complete secularization of France saw the secularization of the religious houses which included exiling the occupants. The Oblates of Saint Francis de Sales transferred their General House near Rome but Brisson returned to his birthplace.
Brisson soon became ill due to his advanced age and his condition deteriorated more so after collapsing on 16 January 1908. He was no longer able to receive the Eucharist as of 23 January and was confined to his bed.He lost his speech on 28 January. Léonie Aviat learned of his dire condition from her fellow religious and rushed to his bedside after receiving a formal telegram. The nun was at his bedside for the next fortnight until 2 February 1908 when Brisson died at 10:34am and she attended the funeral on 6 February in which he was buried in his parents' tomb. His remains were later relocated on 10 April 1961 and entombed on 11 April.
The informative process for the beatification opened on 11 February 1938 and this was later finished on 15 December 1949. His spiritual writings received theological approval on 1 March 1955. The documentation accumulated from these two processes were sent to the Congregation for Rites but were held in Rome until 6 October 1995 when the Congregation for the Causes of Saints validated both processes via a decree. The Positio came to the C.C.S. in 1998 while theologians approved it on 25 November 2005 as did the C.C.S. later on 29 September 2009. Pope Benedict XVI titled Brisson as Venerable on 19 December 2009 after issuing a decree that recognized the late priest lived a model life of heroic virtue according to the cardinal and theological virtues.
The miracle for beatification was investigated in Guayaquil from 20 June 1981 until 27 July 1981 but did not receive formal validation from the C.C.S. until 7 March 2008 at which point a medical panel of experts approved the miracle on 10 February 2011. Theologians likewise approved it on 7 June 2011 as did the C.C.S. members on 13 December 2011. Benedict XVI approved this healing to be a legitimate miracle on 19 December 2011 and thus approved that Brisson would be beatified. Cardinal Angelo Amato presided over the beatification on 22 September 2012 on the pope's behalf; more than 3000 people attended the service with 1500 people watching it on television screens in Brisson's birthplace.
The current postulator for this cause is Madeleine-Thérèse Dechambre.
Francis de Sales was a Bishop of Geneva and is honored as a saint in the Catholic Church. He became noted for his deep faith and his gentle approach to the religious divisions in his land resulting from the Protestant Reformation. He is known also for his writings on the topic of spiritual direction and spiritual formation, particularly the Introduction to the Devout Life and the Treatise on the Love of God.
The Oblates of St. Francis de Sales are a congregation of Roman Catholic priests and brothers who follow the teachings of St. Francis de Sales and St. Jane de Chantal. The community was founded in Troyes, France in 1875 by Louis Brisson and are affiliated with the Oblate Sisters of St. Francis de Sales.
Saint Filippo Smaldone was an Italian Roman Catholic priest and the founder of the Salesian Sisters of the Sacred Hearts. Smaldone is best known for his extensive work with the deaf during his lifetime. Father Smaldone was a gifted preacher known for his commitment to proper catechesis and to the care of orphans and the mute, which earned him civic recognition.
The Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious (CMSWR) is one of two associations of the leaders of congregations of Catholic women religious in the United States. As of December 2020, CMSWR includes the leaders of 112 religious congregations which have a total membership of approximately 5,700 women religious in the United States.
Venerable Marie de Sales Chappuis was a Roman Catholic nun and a spiritual leader in the Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary. She also co-founded the congregation of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales along with Blessed Father Louis Brisson.
Gaspard Mermillod was a Swiss Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Bishop of Lausanne and Geneva from 1883 to 1891, having previously served as Titular Bishop of Hebron. He was made a cardinal in 1890.
Maria Luise Merkert was a German Roman Catholic professed religious and the co-foundress of the Sisters of Saint Elizabeth. Merkert worked to help those in need including the poor and ill and tended to them with her older sister until her sudden death and the death of her other companions - this left Merkert alone to found and maintain her order as its first Superior General from 1859 until her death.
Stanisław Kazimierczyk was a Polish Catholic priest and a professed member of the Canons Regular of the Lateran. He became noted for his ardent devotions to both the Eucharist and to his personal patron saint, Stanislaus of Szczepanów, as well as for his charitable dedication to the ill and poor of Kraków.
Léonie Aviat, her religious name Françoise de Sales, was a Roman Catholic professed religious and the co-founder along with Louis Brisson of the Oblate Sisters of St. Francis de Sales.
The Oblate Sisters of St. Francis de Sales are a congregation of Roman Catholic Religious Sisters who base their spirituality on the teachings of St. Francis de Sales and St. Jane de Chantal.
Gerhard Hirschfelder was a German Roman Catholic priest. He was a vocal critic of Nazism and used his sermons to condemn Nazi propaganda and other aspects of Nazism which drew suspicion on him from the authorities who monitored him and even interrogated him on occasion. He was a staunch supporter of the role of adolescents in the life of the Church and made them a focus in his pastoral activities. In his imprisonment he became a member of the Schoenstatt Movement.
Luigi Novarese was an Italian Roman Catholic priest and the co-founder of the Apostolate of the Suffering as well as the Silent Workers of the Cross. Novarese also established the Marian Priest League and the Brothers and Sisters of the Sick; he built several homes for those who were ill and disabled. He served in the Secretariat of State until leaving that position to work alongside the Italian Episcopal Conference and to dedicate more time to the ill and to the work of his orders.
Luca Passi was an Italian priest and the founder of the Teaching Sisters of Saint Dorothy. Two brothers of his were priests – following the example of their paternal uncle – and Passi himself moved to Venice in order to dedicate himself to both his preaching and educational missions.
Jose Gabriel del Rosario Brochero was a Catholic Argentine priest who suffered leprosy throughout his life. He is known for his extensive work with the poor and the sick. He became affectionately known as "the Gaucho priest" and the "cowboy priest".
Francesco Mottola was an Italian Roman Catholic priest and the founder of the Secular Institute of the Oblates of the Sacred Heart.
Blessed María Antonia de Paz y Figueroa was an Argentinian Roman Catholic nun who later established the Daughters of the Divine Savior. She later became known as "Mama Antula" and took as her religious name "María Antonia of Saint Joseph" upon becoming a professed religious.
Bronisław Markiewicz was a Polish Roman Catholic priest and a professed member of the Salesians of Don Bosco. Markiewicz established the Congregation of Saint Michael the Archangel that devoted itself to the principles and teachings of John Bosco as well as the figure of Saint Michael the Archangel.
Salomone Leclercq – born Guillaume-Nicolas-Louis Leclercq – was a French Roman Catholic professed religious who was killed during the French Revolution for his refusal to swear an oath of allegiance to the new government. Leclercq assumed the religious name of "Salomone" after he was admitted as a professed member of the De La Salle Brothers.
Blessed Maria Troncatti was an Italian Roman Catholic professed religious from the Salesian Sisters of Don Bosco. Troncatti was from a farming family and entered her congregation in 1907; she worked as a nurse during World War I and became part of the missions in Ecuador from 1922 until her death in a plane crash in 1969.
The Blessed Martyrs of Laos are seventeen Catholic priests and professed religious as well as one lay young man venerated as martyrs killed in Laos between 1954 and 1970 of the First & Second Indochina Wars during a period of anti-religious sentiment under the Pathet Lao Theravada Buddhist-communist political movement.