Mascaron, Julius

, an eminent French preacher, the son of a celebrated advocate to the parliament of Aix, was born, 1634, at Marseilles. He entered early among the priests of the oratory, was employed at the age of twentytwo to teach rhetoric at Mans, and preached afterwards with such applause at Saumur and Paris, that the court engaged him for Advent 1666, and Lent 1667. Mascaroa was so much admired there, that his sermons were said to be formed for a court; and when some envious persons would have made a crime of the freedom with which he announced the truths of Christianity to the king, Louis XIV. defended him, saying, “He has done his duty, it remains for us to do our’s.P. Mascaron was appointed to the bishopric of Tulles, 1671, and translated to that of Agen in 1678. He returned to preach before the king in Advent 1694, and Louis XIV. was so much pleased, that he said to him, “Your eloquence alone, neither wears out nor grows old.” On going back to Agen, he founded an hospital, and died in that city, December 16, 1703, aged sixty-nine. None of his compositions have been printed, but “A collection of his Funeral Orations,” among which, those on M. de Turenne and the chancellor Seguier, are particularly admired. It may be proper to mention, that M. Mascaron having been ordained priest by M. de Lavardin, bishop of Mans, who declared on his death-bed, that he never intended to ordain any priest, the Sorbonne was consulted whether this prelate’s ordinations were valid. They decided “That it was sufficient if he had the exterior intention to do what the church does, and that he certainly it, because he did so: therefore it was not needful to ordain those priests again, which this bishop had ordained.” But notwithstanding this decision, M. Mascaron chose to be ordained again; which proves, says L’Avocat, that he was a better preacher than casuist, and that his conscience was more scrupulous than enlightened on this point. 1


Gen. Dict. —Niceron, vol. II. and X. —Dict. Hist. de L’Avocat.