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Poullart des Places, Claude François

POULLART DES PLACES, CLAUDE FRANÇOIS

Founder of the Seminary and the Congregation of the Holy Ghost; b. Rennes, Brittany, France, Feb. 26, 1679;d. Paris, Oct. 2, 1709. He was educated at various Jesuit schools. Intellectually gifted, well-born and rich, Poullart des Places gave up his original plan to become a priest and studied law at Nantes and Paris. After obtaining his licentiate in law (1700), however, he made a serious retreat and decided to study for the priesthood at the Jesuit College of St. Louis-le-Grand, Paris. His attention was soon drawn to the many needy ecclesiastical students roaming the streets of Paris for food and lodgings, because the Tridentine type of seminary was still largely unknown in France. His charities to these students led him almost imperceptibly to the foundation of the Seminary of the Holy Ghost (May 27, 1703), in which he took care of their spiritual and material welfare, and provided for their solid training in ecclesiastical sciences. To secure the continuation of this work, the youthful founder associated carefully selected students with his work, thereby laying the foundation of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost. He was ordained in 1707, and died less than two years later.

Bibliography: c. f. poullart des places, Spiritual Writings, ed. h. j. koren (Pittsburgh 1959). h. j. koren, The Spiritans: A History of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost (Pittsburgh 1958). j. michel, Claude-François Poullart des Places (Paris 1962). j. rath, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10 v. (2d, new ed. Freiburg 195765) 8:650.

[h. j. koren]

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