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Frayssinous, Denis


French bishop, apologist; b. Curières (Aveyron), May 9, 1765; d. St. Géniez (Aveyron), Dec. 12, 1841. He was a Sulpician (17881806) and was ordained in 1789. After engaging in pastoral work secretly during the French Revolution, he taught dogmatic theology at the seminary of St. Sulpice in Paris (180006). In 1801, he began to attract wide attention for his outstanding sermons and conferences, which were suspended from 1809 to 1814 by order of Napoleon I. Louis XVIII named him court preacher and royal almoner. In 1819, he became vicar-general of the Archdiocese of Paris, and in 1822 titular bishop, grand master of the university (minister of public instruction), member of the French Academy, and of the Chamber of Peers, with the title of count. From 1824 to 1828 he acted as minister of ecclesiastical affairs. During the July Revolution (1830) he retired from public affairs and lived in Rome for two years. From 1833 to 1838, Frayssinous, a royalist in politics, dwelt in Prague and Görz as tutor for Count Henri de Chambord, who was later a claimant to the French throne, supported by the Legitimists. From 1838 to 1841 he resided at St. Géniez.

In 1818, Frayssinous published Les Vrais principes de l'Église gallicane, reflecting his moderate gallicanism similar to that of bossuet. His conferences, published as Defense du christianisme (3 v. 1825), went through many editions and were translated into English, Italian, Spanish, and German. Frayssinous was the outstanding Catholic apologist during the early Restoration period.

Bibliography: a. garnier, Frayssinous: Son rôle dans l'Université sous la Restauration, 18221828 (Paris 1925); Frayssinous et la jeunesse (Paris 1931). l. grimaud, Histoire de la liberté d'enseignement en France, v.5 (Paris 1950). j. dutilleul, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, ed. a. vacant (Paris 190350) 6:794797. c. ledrÉ, Catholicisme 4:157475.

[l. p. mahoney]

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