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Varin d’Ainville, Joseph Désiré


Priest who influenced the religious renewal and the founding of religious congregations after the frenchrevolution; b. Besançon, Feb. 7, 1769; d. Paris, April 19, 1850. Born of a wealthy family prominent in the government of Franche-Comté, he had received minor orders at Saint-Sulpice in Paris before the Revolution. In 1794, after two years in Condé's army, he joined several former fellow seminarians in the newly established Society of the sacred heart of jesus. He was its superior from 1797 until 1799 when the Society merged with the Paccanarists. Varin directed the Paccanarists in France from 1804 until their disbandment by Napoleon I in 1808. He joined the jesuits upon their restoration (1814) and played a prominent role in rebuilding the order in France. Varin was largely instrumental in founding the Society of the sacred heart, the Sisters of notre dame denamur, the Sisters Faithful Companions of Jesus, and other religious congregations of women, and continued to act as spiritual director to these groups and their foundresses. Militant, vigorous, and cheerful, he left his constantly reiterated "Courage and confidence!" as a family motto to the groups of religious whose formation was his most lasting accomplishment.

Bibliography: a. guidÉe, Vie du R. P. Joseph Varin (2d ed. Paris 1860). m. k. richardson, Joseph Varin, Soldier (London 1954). l. koch, Jesuiten-Lexicon (Paderborn 1934; Louvain-Heverlee 1962) 179495.

[c. e. maguire]

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