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Barrière, Jean de la

BARRIÈRE, JEAN DE LA

Founder of the feuillants; b. Saint-Céré, France, April 29, 1544; d. Rome, April 25, 1600. His parents were nobles. After studying in Toulouse and Bordeaux, he was granted the Cistercian Abbey of Les Feuillans in commendam in 1565. He went to Paris to complete his studies and, influenced by Arnaud d'Ossat (a future cardinal), resolved to reform his abbey. In 1573 he became a Cistercian and was ordained. In 1577, after initial difficulties about the severity of his reforms, he became regular abbot with two novices and two professed clerics. Vocations multiplied until in 1587 there were 140 members. As an independent reform congregation, the Feuillants spread in France and Italy. Barrière became the first general superior but was deposed in 1592, unjustly accused for his part in the civil war raging in France. He bore the humiliation patiently, spending his last years in confinement in Rome. He was rehabilitated a few months before his death by the intervention of Cardinal Robert bellarmine. Pope Clement VIII, recalling the heroic nature of his asceticism, called him blessed.

Bibliography: j. m. canivez, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques (Paris 1912) 6:924926. s. lenssen, Hagiologium cisterciense (Tilburg 194849) 1:173176. e. g. krenig, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche (Freiburg 195765) 2:2. m. standaert, Dictionnaire de spiritualité ascétique et mystique (Paris 1932 ) 5:274287.

[l. j. lekai]

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