Massillon, Jean Baptiste (16631742)

Massillon, Jean Baptiste, celebrated French pulpit orator, born at Hières, in Provence; entered the congregation of the Oratory, and became so celebrated for his eloquence that he was called to Paris, where he gathered round him hearers in crowds; Bourdaloue, when he heard him, said, “He must increase, but I must decrease,” and Louis XIV. said to him, “When I hear others preach I go away much pleased with them, but when I hear you I feel displeased with myself”; he was made bishop of Clermont, and next year preached before Louis XV., now king, his famous “Petit Carême,” a series of ten sermons for Lent; he was a devoted bishop, and the idol of his flock; his style was perfect, and his eloquence was winning, and went home to the heart (16631742).

Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

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