Forbin-Janson, Charles de
FORBIN-JANSON, CHARLES DE
Bishop, founder of the Holy Childhood Association; b. Paris, Nov. 3, 1785; d. Aygalades, his family's castle near Marseilles, July 11, 1844. After being appointed auditor of the Council of State by Napoleon I (1805), he joined the congrÉgation, and perhaps the knights of the faith. He entered the Saint Sulpice seminary (1808), and was ordained (1811). He modified his intention to go to China after consulting Pius VII, who urged him to help re-Christianize France after the french revolution. Together with Abbé Jean Bauzan he founded the Missionnaires de France, later known as Fathers of mercy, and served with them until 1823, except in 1817 when he was sent on a mission to Syria. Consecrated bishop of Nancy (1824), he was zealous in preaching but neglected diocesan administration and alienated his clergy. As an opponent of gallicanism he refused to sign the Gallican declaration of the french clergy. When the revolution of 1830 unseated King Charles X, Forbin-Janson, an ardent monarchist, fled France, leaving to a coadjutor the administration of his diocese. At the request of bishops Benedict flaget and John purcell, Gregory XVI encouraged him to undertake a missionary tour in the U.S. Between 1839 and 1841 he preached widely and successfully in many cities, including Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Detroit, St. Louis, and New Orleans. At the invitation of the American bishops he attended the Fourth Provincial Council of baltimore (May 1840). During the next two years he preached very frequently in Canada and the U.S. and evangelized the Native Americans. He helped Pauline jaricot establish the Society for the propagation of the faith. In 1843 he founded the Pontifical Association of the Holy Childhood.
Bibliography: f. royer, "Charles de Forbin-Janson, Missionary Bishop," Americas 10 (1953) 179–196. p. lesourd, Un Grand coeur missionnaire, Monseigneur de Forbin-Janson (Paris 1944). p. guilday, "Four Early Ecclesiastical Observers in America," Amercian Ecclesiastical Review 85 (1931) 239–244. j. leflon, Catholicisme. Hier, aujourd'hui et demain, ed. g. jacquemet (Paris 1947–) 4:1442–43.
[e. g. drouin]