Chrysostom of Saint-Lô, John
CHRYSOSTOM OF SAINT-LÔ, JOHN
Franciscan spiritual director and writer; b. Saint-Fremond, near Bayeux, France, 1594; d. Paris, March 26, 1646. He entered the Third Order Regular of St. Francis at the age of 16 and rapidly advanced to high positions within the order. In 1622 he was definitor of the province of France, in 1625 definitor general, in 1634 provincial of the province of France, and in 1640 provincial of the province of Saint-Yves. He was confessor to Marie de Médicis and Anne of Austria and was esteemed highly by Louis XIII and Cardinal Richelieu. Among Chrysostom's personal friends were St. Vincent de Paul, Jean Jacques Olier, and Charles de Condren. His writings were probably more extensive than the few short works that survive. These include Divers traités spirituels et méditatifs (Paris 1651), Exercises de piété et de perfection (Caen 1654), and La Sainte désoccupation (2d ed. Paris 1890). His greatest influence, however, was as a spiritual director, and as such he is remembered as a leading figure in French spirituality of the 17th century. He was the leading figure of the school of Norman mystics associated with the hermitage of Caen, and his disciples included St. John Eudes, Jean de Bernieres-Louvigny, Marie de Vallées, Henri Boudon, and others notable in the history of spirituality.
Bibliography: h. boudon, L'Homme intérieur (Paris 1684), also in Oeuvres de Boudon, ed. j. p. migne (Paris 1856) 2:1127–1342. m. a. souriau, Deux mystiques normands au XVIIe siècle (Paris 1913), g. guillot, Les Pères pénitents a St. Lô (St. Lô 1914). r. heurtevant, Dictionnaire de spiritualité ascétique et mystique. Doctrine et histoire, ed. m. viller et al. (Paris 1932– ) 2:881–885. É. longprÉ, Catholicisme. Hier, aujour d'hui et demain, g. jacquemet (Paris 1947– ) 2:1117–19.
[j. c. willke]