Maurice of Sully

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Bishop of Paris, theologian, preacher, builder of the cathedral of Notre Dame; b. Sully, near Orléans, France, c. 1120; d. Saint-Victor, Paris, Sept. 11, 1196. Born of peasant parents, he was educated in the schools of Paris, where he was a student of abelard. By 1147 Maurice was canon and subdeacon of the cathedral chapter at Notre Dame. He became professor of theology at the University of paris and was famous as a preacher. peter lombard, Bishop of Paris, died in July 1160, and Maurice succeeded him in October. Maurice, a practical administrator, quickly decided to replace the 300-year-old, small Carolingian cathedral church with one in the new Gothic style. He developed the financial resources of his wealthy diocese and collected funds for the project for three years before the ground was broken for Notre Dame in 1163. He built also the episcopal palace. Maurice worked hard to reform the clergy of his diocese. While bishop he retained an enthusiasm for study and preaching, and between 1168 and 1175 wrote his Sermons on the Gospels that became models for young priests. They form the oldest original prose in French and are a literary masterpiece. They were later translated into Latin and English. He wrote also a treatise on the Canon of the Mass. A close friend of Kings louis vii and philip ii augustus, he acted as a royal legate and a papal judge delegate. In 1196 Maurice retired to the monastery of saint-victor where he died the same year. There is no critical edition of his works.

Bibliography: maurice of sully, Maurice of Sully and the Medieval Vernacular Homily, ed. c. a. robson (Oxford 1952). v. mortex, "Maurice de Sully: Étude sur l'administration épiscopale pendant la seconde moitié du XIIe siècle," Mem. Soc. Hist. de Paris 16 (1889) 105318. j. b. schneyer, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche 2 7:189.

[j. a. corbett]

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Maurice of Sully

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