Writer on the ascetical and mystical life; b. St. Lambert du Latay, near Angers, France, Jan. 17, 1859; d. Angers, Nov. 20, 1946.
Auguste Saudreau was ordained for the Diocese of Angers in 1883. He was parish priest in Saumur until 1895, when he was appointed chaplain at the mother-house of the Good Shepherd Sisters, at Angers, where he remained until his death. When he became chaplain, Saudreau began to write on spiritual theology. He was a prolific writer and soon acquired an international reputation as a spiritual director through his books and his articles in periodicals. Many of his books were translated into several languages.
Saudreau followed the doctrines of St. Thomas Aquinas and St. John of the Cross on the structure of the spiritual life and the growth of the soul in grace. He taught that the mystical state embraced infused contemplation, which proceeds from faith illumined by the gifts of knowledge, understanding, and wisdom, and also an infused love, the fruit of a special, operating grace, to which the gift of piety renders the soul increasingly docile. The mystical life thus described is not an extraordinary phenomenon, but the normal development of the virtues and the gifts.
His principal books were: Les Degrés de la vie spirituelle (Angers 1896; 6th ed. 1935); La Vie de l'union à Dieu et les moyens d'y arriver, d'après les grands mîitres de la spiritualité (Paris 1900; 3d ed. 1921); L'État mystique, sa nature, ses causes (Paris 1903; 2d ed. 1921); La Voie qui mène à Dieu (Paris 1904; 3d ed. 1920); Les Faits extraordinaires de la vie spirituelle (Paris 1908); Manuel de spiritualité (Paris 1908; 3d ed. 1920); L'Idéal de l'âme fervente (Paris 1920; 2d ed. 1923); La Piété à travers les âges (Paris 1927); La Pratique de l'oraison (Paris 1932); and La Spiritualité moderne (Paris 1940). Among the numerous articles he contributed to reviews of spiritual theology, two are especially significant: "L'Oraison d'après Ste. Jeanne de Chantal," in La Vie Spirituelle 13:199–234, 302–320; and "L'Oraison d'après S. Fran-çois de Sales," in La Vie Spirituelle, Supplément 17:1–31.
Bibliography: c. baumgartner, Dictionnaire de spiritualité ascétique et mystique 2:2159–71. Revue d'ascétique et de mystique 23 (1947) 97. r. garrigou-lagrange, Vie Spirituelle 76 (1947) 458–462, i. noye, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche 2 9:346–347.