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Pourrat, Pierre


Theologian; b. Millery (Rhône), France, Feb. 7, 1871; d. Lyons, March 12, 1957. He was one of six children of thoroughly Christian parents, farmers in modest circumstances, and at an early age felt called to the priesthood. He did his minor seminary work in Lyons, studied philosophy at Alix, and, after three years of theology at St. Irénée in Lyons, completed his course at Saint-Sulpice in Paris, where he was ordained Dec. 19, 1896. Most of his teaching work was in dogma at the major seminary in Lyons, where from 1908 to 1926 he was rector and also a vicar-general of the archdiocese. In 1926 he was named superior of the Solitude, the quasi novitiate of Saint-Sulpice at Issy-les-Moulineaux. He held this post until 1945, when for reasons of health he returned to Lyons, where he spent an active retirement at the university seminary. His first major work, Théologie sacramentaire, published in 1907 (tr. Theology of the Sacraments [4th ed. St. Louis 1930]), grew in part out of the need he felt to refute the modernism of the day. From 1917 to 1928 he labored on the four volumes of his pioneering work La Spiritualité chrétienne (tr. Christian Spirituality, 4 v. [Westminster, Md. 195355]), a concise and critically sound history of spirituality from biblical to modern times.

[j. p. mccormick]

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