Arnauld, Jeanne Catherine (1593–1671)

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Arnauld, Jeanne Catherine (1593–1671)

French abbess. Name variations: Jeanne Catherine de Sainte Agnès Arnauld, Agnès de Saint-Paul Arnauld, Mère Agnès, Mère Catherine Agnès de Saint Paul. Born Jeanne Catherine Arnauld in 1593; died of inflammation of the lungs on Feb 19, 1671; 3rd dau. of Antoine Arnauld (lawyer) and Catherine Marion Arnauld (d. 1641); younger sister of Jacqueline Marie Arnauld (Mère Angélique).

Known as Mère Agnès, joined her elder sister Jacqueline Arnould at Port Royal, serving as prior and abbess there and bravely bearing the full brunt of royal persecution after Jacqueline's death; as a child, appointed abbess of St. Cyr at age 6 but soon joined her sister at Port Royal des Champs and spent most of her life either there or in the Paris convent; often alternated with her sister in holding the office of abbess of Port Royal, though reluctant to assume the highest office; also served as abbess of Tard for 6 years; held out bravely against the persecution which enveloped Port Royal, at 1st signing and then retracting agreement to a formulary which was imposed upon the nuns; more inclined to mystical forms of devotion than her more practical sister, wrote a number of devotional works and also composed the Constitutions or Rule of Port Royal.

See also Women in World History.

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Arnauld, Jeanne Catherine (1593–1671)

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