The name of a family whose many members were involved in the French Jansenist movement. The Arnaulds came of middle-class stock from Herment in Auvergne. Their rise to political power began with Henri Arnauld (1485–1564), who served Pierre de Bourbon and his nephew the constable, who owed much, possibly his life,
to Henri's loyalty. This connection assisted the brilliant career of his son, Antoine de la Mothe-Arnauld (?–1585), who moved to Paris, where he reached high legal office at the Parlement and was ennobled in 1577. A Huguenot, he had converted back to Catholicism after the st. bartholomew day massacre (1572). Several of his children and their families remained Protestants. His son, Antoine II (1560–1619), surpassed his father's reputation at the bar, while leaving his descendants the so-called "original sin of the Arnaulds." This was the Plaidoyer pour l'Université de Paris contre les jesuites (Paris 1594–95), which started the quarrel with the Jesuits that Jansenist theologians, particularly his own children, continued with untiring relish. Antoine is remembered chiefly as the father of almost all the first leaders of the French Jansenist party. Ten of the twenty children whom he had by Catherine Marion, his wife, reached maturity. The six girls entered the Cistercian convent of port-royal. Jacqueline (Mother Angélique) and Jeanne Catherine Agnès (Mother Agnès) were most prominent in making Port-Royal the center of French Jansenism. Their eldest sister, Catherine (1590–1651), as the wife of Antoine Le Maistre before entering Port-Royal, bore two famous Jansenist theologians, Antoine Le Maistre and Le Maistre de Saci (see le maistre). The three other sisters were Anne de Sainte Eugénie de l'Incarnation (1594–1653), Madeleine de Sainte-Christine (1607–49), and Marie de Sainte-Claire (1600–42), who for a short time threatened to upset the peace of Port-Royal by heading an opposition to Jean Duvergier de Hauranne, Abbé Saint Cyran. The sons, apart from Simon (1603–39), a lieutenant in the French army, were distinguished in the story of jansenism: Antoine, the "Great Arnauld," became the chief theologian of the sect in France; Henri was Bishop of Angers; Robert Arnauld d'Andilly was the influential solitaire.
This distinguished legal family continued to produce several lawyers during the 17th century, and there is much to suggest that some of the theologians and ascetics in the family remained lawyers at heart. This is apparent particularly in the "Great Arnauld's" theological distinctions and argumentations. With their legalistic outlook the Arnaulds seemed to thrive on controversy. The Arnaulds' very prominence as theologians and spiritual leaders hurt the young Jansenist party by making it seem the possession of a family clique.
Jacqueline Marie Angélique. Mother Angélique, abbess and reformer of Port-Royal; b. Paris, Sept. 8, 1591; d. Port-Royal, Aug. 6, 1661. At the age of seven she was named coadjutrix with the right of succession to Jeanne Boulehart, Abbess of Port-Royal, and she assumed government of the convent at Jeanne's death in 1602. She shared the worldly life of her spiritual charges until converted by a Capuchin friar in 1608. Ruthless reforms followed, culminating in the famous "day of the grating," when her father and brothers were turned away from the convent cloister. Reform was carried to many other foundations, beginning with Maubuisson, where Mother Angélique spent five years from 1618. The following year Saint francis de sales influenced her so strongly that she tried impetuously, but unsuccessfully, to join his Visitation nuns. After she was replaced as abbess in 1630, she remained influential and was instrumental in introducing the abbot of Saint-Cyran as the convent's spiritual director from about 1636. In 1633, under the guidance of Sebastian Zamet, Bishop of Langres, she established the Institute of the Blessed Sacrament, whose orthodoxy was questioned because of the writings of Mother Agnès. As abbess from 1642 to 1655, Mother Angélique ensured the permanence of Saint-Cyran's work. Mother Angélique's spiritual teaching can be studied in papers that were written either by her or under her immediate inspiration. They include: Mémoires pour servir à l'histoire de Port-Royal …, 3 v. (Utrecht 1742–44); Entretiens ou conférences de la Révérende Mère Angélique Arnauld …, 3 v. (Utrecht 1757); Mémoire et relations sur ce qui s'est passé à Port-Royal des Champs … (Utrecht 1716); and Lettres de la Rév. Mère Marie-Angélique, 3 v. (Utrecht 1742).
Jeanne Catherine Agnès. Mother Agnès de Saint-Paul, Abbess of Port-Royal; b. Paris, Dec. 31, 1593; d. Port-Royal, Feb. 19, 1672. At the age of six she was nominated abbess of Saint-Cyr. In 1608 she joined her sister, Mother Angélique, at Port-Royal, where she gave valuable help in carrying out reforms. She was abbess of Tard at Dijon from 1630 to 1636, of Port-Royal from 1636 to 1642, and again at Port-Royal from 1658 to 1661. After refusing repeatedly to accept the "Formulary" of Alexander VII against Jansenism, she was banished to the Visitation Convent in 1664, but returned to Port-Royal the next year. Although Agnès lived in the shadow of her sister Angélique, her own deep spirituality greatly impressed contemporaries. Her manuscript work of 1627, Le Chapelet secret du Saint Sacrement, which was championed by Saint-Cyran in a lively debate, was her most important writing. It interjected into traditional Augustinianism what Jean Orcibal in Les Origins … described as "the negative theology of the mystics" (2.311). Many other of her spiritual writings, mainly in manuscript, are summarized in C. J. Goujet's Mémoires (3.241–250). Her Lettres (ed. A. P. Faugère, 2 v. Paris 1858) are a useful source for the history of Port-Royal.
Antoine. Called the "Great Arnauld"; b. Feb. 5, 1612; d. Brussels, Aug. 2, 1694. He came increasingly under the influence of his mother after his father's death (1619), and through her, of Saint-Cyran. After studying law, he entered the Sorbonne and in 1635 presented his Bachelor's theses on the doctrine of grace. Force of argument and lyrical eloquence, together with the fortuitous attendance of many bishops, gave it a brilliant success. This success, despite the fact that Arnauld's views were essentially those that Jansen developed five years later in his augustinus, shows the prevalence of augustinianism among French theologians. That Jansenist ideas had already made headway before they were branded as heretical explains much of the bitterness and confusion of Jansenist controversy.
A new phase in Arnauld's life began in 1638 when he put himself completely under the spiritual direction of Saint-Cyran, who insisted on his ordination in 1641 and inspired him to write De la Fréquente communion (Paris 1643). This became probably the most influential of all the Jansenist writings. It established Arnauld after Saint-Cyran's death (1643) as the undisputed head of the Jansenist sect in France. While Jansen himself had written almost exclusively about predestination and grace, Arnauld elaborated the Jansenist position on the Sacraments, particularly Penance and the Eucharist, on the ecclesiastical hierarchy, and on papal infallibility. His defense of Jansenius's Augustinus, his resistance to papal condemnations lead to his expulsion from the faculty of theology (1656) and self exile in 1679, after a period of intense intellectual activity following the "Peace of the Church" (1669). Most of his writings are collected in Oeuvres de Messire Antoine Arnauld (43 tomes, ed. G. Dupac and J. Hautefage, 38 v. Lausanne 1775–83). These show that, although Arnauld's chief interest lay in theology, he wrote also important works on mathematics, science, and philosophy.
Henri. Bishop of Angers; b. Paris, October 1597; d. Angers, June 8, 1692. To please his father, Henri practiced at the bar until his parent's death in 1619. The Papal Nuncio Cardinal Guido Bentivoglio took Henri with him to Rome in 1621. Meanwhile, Louis XIII appointed Henri Abbot of Saint-Nicolas d'Angers in 1622; later, Henri was ordained in 1624. On his return from Rome in 1625, Henri would certainly have had a fine career but for Richelieu's implacable hostility toward the Arnauld family. For about 20 years Henri lived in retirement, following a life of prayer and austerity in the shadow of Port-Royal, while taking a leading part at the literary salons of the Hôtel Rambouillet. In 1645 Mazarin charged him with the delicate task of reconciling the Barberini, clients of France, with Clement X. His great skill as a diplomat emerged from his Négotiations à la cour de Rome (1645–48; 5 v. Paris 1748). In 1649 he was rewarded for his services by nomination to the See of Angers. Henri was a devoted pastor, tireless in carrying out visitations and in raising standards among the clergy. His codified Statuts de l'évêché d'Angers (1680) became a model for the French episcopate. Henri's position made him one of the most prominent French Jansenists. He was among the 11 bishops to protest that the five propositions condemned by Innocent X in the bull cum occasione (1653) were not in the works of Jansen. Together with bishops Caulet of Pamiers, Buzenval of Beauvais, and Pavillon of Alet, he refused for several years to accept the "Formulary." Henri's Jansenist sympathies involved him in protracted disputes, particularly with the University of Angers. Nonetheless, this saint of the Jansenist calendar disliked controversy and, with age, cooled in his affections toward Jansenism.
Robert Arnauld d'Andilly. Celebrated solitaire of Port-Royal; b. Paris, 1588; d. Port-Royal, Sept. 17, 1674. Andilly married Catherine Le Fèvre de la Boderie (1613). Of his 15 children the most famous were: Mother Angélique de Saint-Jean (1624–84), Abbess of Port-Royal, and considered by Sainte-Beuve the most brilliant after Pascal of Port-Royal's second generation; and Simon, Marquis de Pomponne (1618–99), who was Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs to Louis XIV at the height of his power. Five others, Catherine de Sainte-Agnès (1615–43); Marie Charlotte de Sainte-Claire (1627–78); Marie Angélique de Sainte-Thérèse (1630–1700); Anne Marie (1631–60); and Charles Henri (1623–84), a solitaire under the name of M. de Luzancy, were associated with Port-Royal. Andilly's own political career under Gaston d'Orleans was ended by Richelieu's rise to power. Nonetheless, his likeable nature won him many influential friends, including the Queen Mother (Anne of Austria) and Mazarin. It appears that only his Jansenistic connections decided them against making him tutor to Louis XIV. In 1643, after much indecision, Andilly went into semiretirement at Port-Royal. In addition to tending the convent's gardens, he showed himself to be an industrious and talented writer. Besides his chief writings that appear in the three folio volumes of Oeuvres diverses … (Paris 1675) are several translations that include The Confessions of Saint Augustine, The Lives of the Desert Fathers, The Meditations of Saint Teresa, and Josephus's History of the Jews.
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[j. q. c. mackrell/
j. m. gres-gayer]