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Clorivière, Joseph Pierre Picot de


Soldier, priest; b. Brittany, France, Nov. 4, 1768; d. Washington, D.C., Sept. 29, 1826. He was the son of Michel Alain Picot and Renée Jeanne Roche, and for many years was called simply Joseph Picot de Limoëlan. He studied at the College of Rennes and the Royal Military School in Paris. He was assigned to the Régiment d'Angoulême, but resigned his commission early in 1791 and from then until 1799 was associated with the counterrevolutionists, taking an active part in the abortive plot to assassinate Napoleon on Dec. 24, 1800. He escaped to Savannah, Georgia, and henceforth was known as Joseph Picot de Clorivière. In 1808 he entered St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore; he was ordained Aug. 1, 1812. Charleston, South Carolina, with many refugees from Santo Domingo, needed a French priest, and he was sent there to assist Simon Felix gallagher. In 1814 he went to France, and on his return to Charleston he found that Gallagher and the vestry of the church had replaced him with another priest and would not honor his appointment from Abp. John Carroll. Archbishops Carroll, Leonard Neale, and Ambrose Maréchal in turn upheld him against the trustees and interdicted the church. To restore peace, Maréchal sent Benedict Fenwick, SJ, to Charleston in 1818, and Clorivière was appointed chaplain at the Visitation Convent in Georgetown, Washington, D.C. He also helped in founding St. Joseph's School in the District of Columbia. He was generous to the Visitation Convent and is considered its second founder.

Bibliography: d. h. darrah, Conspiracy in Paris: The Strange Career of Joseph Picot de Limoëlan (New York 1953). p. k. guilday, The Life and Times of John England, 2 v. (New York 1927). g. p. and r. h. lathrop, A Story of Courage: Annals of the Georgetown Convent of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Cambridge, Mass. 1895).

[r. c. madden]

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