Gallifet, Joseph François de
GALLIFET, JOSEPH FRANÇOIS DE
Theologian; b. Aix, France, May 3, 1663; d. Lyons, Aug. 31, 1749. He entered the Society of Jesus at Avignon in 1678. He had as spiritual director Bl. Claude la Colombière, who first taught him devotion to the Sacred Heart. As a young priest during his third year of probation at Lyons (1690), he fell critically ill. As he lay near death, one of his brethren, probably Jean Croiset, another early promoter of the devotion, made a vow in his name that should he live, Gallifet would spend his life in promoting this devotion. He recovered fully, ratified the vow, and devoted all his activities to fulfilling it. Gallifet held important positions: he was rector at Vesoul, Lyons, Grenoble, and Besançon; provincial (1719–23) and French assistant to the superior general in Rome (1723–30). He built chapels of the Sacred Heart, wrote several books, and established more than 700 confraternities of the Sacred Heart in his lifetime. He is best known for his efforts in Rome to obtain approval for the public cult and establishment of a liturgical feast of the Sacred Heart. As promoter of the cause before the Congregation of Rites, he composed the De cultu sacrosancti Cordis Dei ac Domini nostri Jesu Christi (1726), a Latin theological treatise with the autobiography of St. Margaret Mary alacoque appended, later revised and published in French as De l'Excellence de la dévotion au Coeur adorable de Jésus-Christ (1733). Its weakness, which contributed to the negative reply of the Congregation of Rites, was the explanation of the heart as seat of the emotions. Final victory came only after his death with the establishment of the feast in 1765.
Bibliography: p. mech, Catholicisme 4:1739–40. p. bernard, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, ed. a. vacant, 15 v. (Paris 1903–50; Tables générales 1951–) 6.1:1137–40. c. sommervogel, Bibliotèque de la Compagnie de Jésus, 11 v. (Brussels-Paris 1890–1932) 3:1124–31. a. hamon, Histoire de la dévotion au Sacré-Coeur, 5 v. (Paris 1923–41) 4:5–31.
[c. j. moell]