Plus, Raoul

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Jesuit spiritual writer; b. Boulogne-sur-Mer, Jan. 22, 1882; d. Lille, Oct. 23, 1958. Plus entered the Society of Jesus at Saint-Acheul in 1899 and made his studies abroad because of the 1901 laws against religious orders in France. During his philosophical studies, his spiritual father was Germain Foch, SJ, who expounded the doctrine of incorporation into Christ that later became the core of Plus's spiritual writings. As a French army chaplain during World War I, he gave the soldiers talks that were to serve as the material for his first two books, Dieu en nous (Eng. tr., God within Us, New York, 1924), and L'Idée reparatrice (Eng. tr., Ideal of Reparation, New York, 1922). These were well received because of their style, as well as their doctrine, and were translated into other languages, as were many of his later works. For his wartime services Plus was decorated with the croix de guerre.

Between the wars Plus served as professor of religion and spiritual director at the Université Catholique at Lille, except during the years 1935 to 1939 when he taught at the Institut Catholique of Paris. This was the period of his greatest literary activity, from which eventually came more than 40 books and innumerable articles. In addition to his other work, he preached and gave retreats. After spending World War II at a retreat house, Plus returned to Lille as spiritual father for the Jesuit community and remained there until his death.

In his writings Plus popularized the principal chapters of the spiritual life, constantly reemphasizing the doctrine of the Mystical Body of Christ. A synthetic résumé of his teaching is found in his Marie dans notre histoire divine (Toulouse 1932; Eng. tr., Mary in Our Soul-Life, Cincinnati, 1940).

Bibliography: m. hoehn, Catholic Authors (Newark 1948). j. juambelz, Index Bibliographicus Societatis Jesus, 4 v. (Rome 193853).

[f. j. bergen]