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Pollien, François de Sales


Carthusian spiritual writer; b. Chèvenoz (Haute-Savoie), France, Aug. 1, 1853; d. Calabria, Italy, Feb. 12, 1936. He was ordained at Annecy in 1877, became a novice at La Grande Chartreuse in 1884, and took his vows the following year. He was coadjutor (i.e., guest master and spiritual adviser) in several charterhouses, became prior at Mougères in 1901, and at Pleterjé (now in Slovenia) in 1911. In 1914 he retired to St. Bruno's in Calabria.

Dom Pollien was accustomed to write as he meditated upon what he had been reading. The Scriptures and SS. Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, and Francis de Sales provided his favorite reading material, but he had the capacity to find inspiration for devout meditation even in juridical documents. His written meditations were sometimes given or lent to those who came to him for counsel, and in this way they began to circulate through Europe, often in more or less inaccurate copies. Several of his works were published, in some cases without his knowledge. He edited none of these writings himself. His La Vie intérieure simplifyée [he preferred unifiée ] et ramenée à son fondement, edited by Joseph Tissot in 1894, became a spiritual classic that contributed greatly to the renewal of ascetical and mystical doctrine in the first quarter of the 20th century.

His voluminous La Plante de Dieu (cf. Is 61.3) is a sequel to La Vie intérieure. Whereas La Vie treats mainly the rational "creational" foundations of that life, La Plante is a powerful synthesis of the entire Christian life as far as mystical union, dealing with Christocentric aspects.

Bibliography: For a list of Pollien's works see f. de sales pollien, La pianta di Dio (Florence 1949). p. broutin, "Les 'Élévations monastiques' de Dom Pollien," Revue d'ascétique et de mystique 34 (1963) 196221, with extensive extracts. d. mondrone, "Un solitario della vita e della penna, Don Francesco Pollien," La civiltà cattolica 104.4 (1953) 681693, a critical study.

[b. du moustier]

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