Apostate French priest, sectarian leader; b. Orléans, March 10, 1827; d. Paris, Feb. 9, 1912. He entered the seminary of Saint-Sulpice in Issy (1845) and joined the sulpicians (1850). After ordination (1851) he taught philosophy in Avignon and theology in Nantes until he became a curate in the church of Saint-Sulpice, Paris (1856). In 1859 he entered the Dominicans and took the name Hyacinthe. Five months later he transferred to the Discalced carmelites. Père Hyacinthe was a dynamic pulpit orator who won wide acclaim for his sermons in the cathedral of Notre Dame, Paris (1864), and also in Rome. His Advent sermons of 1868 and some exaggerated remarks concerning marriage and non-Catholic groups brought him into conflict with his religious superiors. His connection with a religiously pathological woman from the U.S., Emily (Butterfield) Meriman, whom he converted in 1868, contributed to his difficulties. He seized upon the agitation concerning papal infallibility previous to vatican council i as an occasion to leave the Church. After he was excommunicated (1869), he entered into a civil marriage with Emily in London (1872). He joined the old catholics and became their pastor in Geneva (1873–1874), but his restless and eccentric nature soon alienated him from them. In 1879 he founded in Paris his own church, the Église catholique gallicane, after fruitless attempts to do so since 1872. Despite his great oratorical gifts, he was unable to give life to the movement,
which survived precariously until 1893. Periodic efforts thereafter to revive it failed. After journeys in America and in Palestine, Loyson settled in Paris. modernism did not interest him. More and more he tended toward an undogmatic type of mysticism and rationalism that degenerated into a cult of his wife. His principal writings are listed below.
Bibliography: Works. De la Réforme Catholique, 2 v. (Paris 1872–73); Ni cléricaux ni athées (Paris 1890); Mon testament … (Paris 1893), Eng. tr. f. ware, My Last Will and Testament (London 1895). Du sacerdoce au mariage (letters and diaries), ed. a. houtin and p. l. couchoud, 2 v. (Paris 1927); synopsis by o. knapp, Hochland 24.2 (1927) 520–531. Literature. g. riou, Le Père Hyacinthe et le libéralisme d'avant le Concile (Paris 1910). a. houtin, Le Père Hyacinthe, 3 v. (Paris 1920–24). m. de lanzac de laborie, Le Correspondant 25 (April 1925) 240–265.