Brou, Alexandre

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Jesuit spiritual writer and historian of the missions;b. Chartres, April 26, 1862; d. Laval, France, March 12, 1947. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1880, and after completing his studies, made for the most part in England, he taught literature at Canterbury (189497, 190710, 192023), on the Isle of Jersey (190206, 191119), and at Laval (18991901, 1924). He was a man of broad and scholarly interests, but his most outstanding writings were in the fields of the mission history of the Far East and Ignatian spirituality. He wrote numerous articles on St. Francis Xavier and Matteo Ricci for Les Études, with whose editorial staff he was associated until his death. His monograph S. François Xavier: Conditions et méthodes de son apostolat (Bruges 1925) illustrates his basic insight in relating spiritual principles and practical method in mission apostolate. An earlier study, S. François Xavier (2 v. Paris 1914), was a landmark in accurate hagiography. The same happy blend of sound scholarship and historical sense is likewise found in Brou's writings on Jesuit spirituality. His study of the Jansenist controversy, for example, in Les Jésuites de la légende (Paris 190607), is a mine of historical information. Notable among his other works are Les Exercices spirituels de S. Ignace, histoire et psychologie (Paris 1922); La Spiritualité de S. Ignace (Paris 1914), tr. W. Young, The Ignatian Way to God (Milwaukee 1952); S. Ignace, maître d'oraison (Paris 1925), tr. W. Young, Ignatian Methods of Prayer (Milwaukee 1949).

Bibliography: m. scaduto and e. lamalle, Archivum historicum Societatis Jesu 16 (1947) 223225, with complete chronological bibliography of his works. Index bibliographicus Societatis Iesu, ed. j. juambelz (Rome 1938), for works 193750.

[t. j. joyce]