Spondanus, Henri (de Sponde)

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Ecclesiastical author, reforming bishop; b. Mauléon (Basses-Pyrénées), Jan. 6, 1568; d. Toulouse, May 18, 1643. A Calvinist, Spondanus, after an excellent education in humanities and law, became maître des requêtes of Henry, King of Navarre. In 1595, led by his brother Jean's conversion, Robert bellarmine's writings, and Jacques-Davy du Perron's influence, he became a Catholic. After moving to Rome in 1600, he made learned friends, and was ordained in 1606. He was assigned duties at the Roman Curia and made rector of Saint-Louis des Français; he was esteemed for his knowledge, virtue, and aid to diplomats. Made bishop of Pamiers (Ariège) in 1626, he labored diligently for peace, pastoral reform, and conversion of Protestants. In 1637, ill and weary, he retired to Paris, where he continued his writings. These include apologetics, history, biography, and pastoral works. The most noteworthy are Les Cimetières sacrés (1597; fuller Latin ed., 1638), Epitome of Caesar Baronius' Annales (1613), Annales sacri (1637), and Annalium Baronii continuatio (1641).

Bibliography: j. contrasty, Cinq visites "ad limina" aux XVI e -XVII e siècles (Paris 1913). j. m. vidal, Henri de Sponde, recteur de Saint-Louis des Français, évêque de Pamiers 15681643 (Paris 1929). p. broutin, La Réforme pastorale en France au XVII e siècle, 2 v. (Tournai 1956) 1:141153. j. mercier, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, ed. a. vacant, 15 v. (Paris 190350; Tables générales 1951) 14.2:255051.

[w. h. principe]