Belsunce de Castelmoran, Henri François Xavier de
BELSUNCE DE CASTELMORAN, HENRI FRANÇOIS XAVIER DE
Bishop of Marseilles, foe of Jansenism; b. Chateau de la Force, Périgord, 1671; d. Marseilles, 1755. He was the son of the Marquis de Castelmoran and Ann de Caumont de Lausun. After classical studies at the Collège de Clermont (Louis-le-Grand), he entered the Society of Jesus, but left to become vicar-general of Agen in 1699, and bishop of Marseilles in 1709. By his heroic care of plague victims in 1720–21, he earned the title of "Good Bishop" and mention in Pope's Essay on Man. Louis XV offered him the See of Laon, with first ecclesiastical peerage in France, and the office of metropolitan of Bordeaux. Both rewards Belsunce refused. As bishop, he fought Jansenism by participating in the synod of Embrun (1727), by ordering his priests to refuse absolution to appellants against unigenitus, and by pastoral letters (although these may have been the work of the Jesuit Lemoire). His writings include a biography of his aunt, Vie de Suzanne-Henriette de Foix (Agen 1702); Antiquités de l'Église de Marseille et la sucession de ses évèques (Marseilles 1747–51); and translations of St. Augustine's De agone christiano and St. Robert Bellarmine's De arte bene moriendi.
Bibliography: Oeuvres choisies, ed. a. jauffret, 2 v. (Metz 1822). t. bÉrengier, Vie de Mgr. Henry de Belsunce, évèque de Marseille, 2 v. (Lyon 1886–87). p. barbet–massin, Éloge de Belzunce (Paris 1821). p. calendini, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques 7:951–53.