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François-Désiré Mathieu

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

François-Désiré Mathieu
Archbishop Emeritus of Toulouse
Matthieu Francois-Désiré Mariani t IX 1908 portrait.jpg
Mathieu as depicted in a 1908 portrait.
ChurchRoman Catholic Church
Appointed25 June 1896
Term ended27 November 1899
PredecessorFlorian-Jules-Félix Desprez
SuccessorJean-Augustin Germain
Other postsCardinal-Priest of Santa Sabina (1899-1908)
Ordination30 May 1863
Consecration20 March 1893
by Guillaume-René Meignan
Created cardinal19 June 1899
by Pope Leo XIII
Personal details
Birth nameFrançois-Désiré Mathieu
Born27 May 1839
Einville-au-Jard, Meurthe-et-Moselle, Kingdom of the French
Died26 October 1908(1908-10-26) (aged 69)
London, England, United Kingdom
ParentsFrançois Mathieu
Felicité George
Previous post
MottoObesse nemini prodesse omnibus

François-Désiré Mathieu (27 May 1839, Einville-au-Jard, Meurthe-et-Moselle – 26 October 1908, London) was a French Bishop and Cardinal.


He made his studies in the diocesan school and the seminary of the Diocese of Nancy, and was ordained priest in 1863. He was engaged successively as professor in the school (petit séminaire) of Pont-à-Mousson, chaplain to the Dominicanesses at Nancy (1879), and parish priest of Saint-Martin at Pont-à-Mousson (1890). Meanwhile, he had won the Degree of Doctor of Letters with a Latin and a French thesis, the latter being honoured with a prize from the Académie française for two years.

On 3 January 1893, he was nominated to the Bishopric of Angers, was preconized on 19 January, and consecrated on 20 March. He succeeded Charles Émile Freppel, one of the most remarkable bishops of his time, and set himself to maintain all his predecessor's good works. To these he added the work of facilitating the education of poor children destined for the priesthood. He inaugurated the same enterprise in the Diocese of Toulouse, to which he was transferred three years later (30 May 1896) by a formal order of Pope Leo XIII. In his new see he laboured, in accordance with the views of this pontiff, to rally Catholics to the French Government.

With this aim he wrote the Devoir des catholiques, an episcopal charge which attracted wide attention and earned for him the pope's congratulations. In addition he was summoned to Rome to be a cardinal at the curia (19 June 1899).

Having resigned the See of Toulouse (14 December 1899), his activities were thenceforward absorbed in the work of the Roman congregations and some secret diplomatic negotiations. Nevertheless, he found leisure to write on the Concordat of 1801 and the conclave of 1903.

In 1907 he was admitted to the Académie française with a discourse which attracted much notice. Death came to him unexpectedly next year in London, whither he had gone to assist at the Eucharistic Congress.


Under a somewhat commonplace exterior he had an inquiring mind. His works include

  • "De Joannis abbatis Gorziensis vita" (Nancy 1878);
  • "L'Ancien Régime dans la Province de Lorraine et Barrois" (Paris, 1871; 3rd ed., 1907);
  • "Le Concordat de 1801" (Paris, 1903);
  • "Les derniers jours de Leon XIII et le conclave de 1903" (Paris, 1904).

A new edition of his works began to appear in Paris, July, 1910.


 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "François-Désiré Mathieu". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.

This page was last edited on 30 June 2020, at 14:05
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