Jesuit historian and patristic scholar; b. Riom, Auvergne, France, Oct. 12, 1559; d. Paris, Oct. 7, 1651. He studied at the Jesuit college of Billom, and became a Jesuit (1576) and a priest. From 1581 to 1590 he taught literature at Pont-à-Mousson and Paris (where SS. Francis of Sales and Peter Fourier were his students), and from 1590 to 1608 he was secretary to the Jesuit general C. Acquaviva in Rome, also aiding Cardina Baronius in his historical works. In 1608 he returned to Paris and in 1617 became rector of the college of Clermont there. From 1637 to 1643 he was confessor to Louis XIII. As one of the most learned men in France in his day, he edited the texts of many early authors, especially those pertaining to the history of France, such as texts of Geoffrey of Vendome, Flodoard of Reims, Sidonius Apollinaris, Paschasius Radbertus, Avitus of Vienne, Hincmar of Reims, and Theodulf of Orleans; the lives of Leo IX and Charles of Flanders; the capitularies of Charles the Bald, and the Concilia antiqua Galliae. His editions of works of Eusebius of Caesarea, Theodoret of Cyr, and fulgentius of ruspe are noteworthy. He also discovered and edited the ecclesiastical constitutions of the Theodosian Code. Many of his texts were later adopted for the collections of labbe, mansi, and migne. Sirmond's distinction between Dionysius the Areopagite and pseudo-dionysius was an important correction of traditional opinion. He wrote or published other works of interest in the history of dogma and theology, e.g., on predestination, public penance, and the Sacraments of Confirmation and the Eucharist.
Bibliography: Opera, ed. j. de la baume, 5 v. (Paris 1696, Venice 1728), including a biography. c. sommervogel, Bibliotèque de la Compagnie de Jésus, 11 v. (Brussels-Paris 1890–1932) 7:1237–61,11:1910–11. p. galtier, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, ed. a. vacant, 15 v. (Paris 1903–50; Tables générales 1951–) 14.2:2186–93.
[f. x. murphy]