23 Facts About Jean-Jacques Olier


Jean-Jacques Olier helped to establish the Societe Notre-Dame de Montreal, which organized the settlement of a new town called Ville-Marie in the colony of New France.


Jean-Jacques Olier was encouraged to become a priest by Francis de Sales, who predicted his sanctity and great services to the Catholic Church.


In preparation for this career, Jean-Jacques Olier first studied philosophy at the College of Harcourt in Paris, then scholastic theology and patristics at the College of Sorbonne.


Jean-Jacques Olier preached during this period, by virtue of a benefice which his father had obtained for him.


Jean-Jacques Olier lived in the grand manner of the day, having two carriages and many servants.


When his eyesight began to fail, Jean-Jacques Olier made a pilgrimage to the Shrine of the Holy House in Loreto, Italy, where his official biographies attest not only to a cure, but a complete religious conversion.


Jean-Jacques Olier's aims were to reform the parish, establish a seminary, and Christianize the Sorbonne, then very secular in its instruction.

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In 1645, Jean-Jacques Olier founded the Society of St Sulpice, which established seminaries throughout France that became known for their moral and academic teaching.


At times, as many as 60 to 80 priests were ministering together in the parish, of whom the most illustrious, a little after Jean-Jacques Olier's time, was the Abbe Fenelon, later Archbishop of Cambrai.


Jean-Jacques Olier perceived that the reform of boys' schools could be accomplished only through a religious community; which in fact came about after his death through the work of Jean-Baptiste de la Salle, a former pupil of St Sulpice.


Jean-Jacques Olier gathered under one roof the nuns from many different communities and Orders who had been driven out of their monasteries in the countryside and had fled to Paris for refuge.


Jean-Jacques Olier cared for them till the close of the war.


Jean-Jacques Olier led the movement against duelling, formed a society for its suppression, and enlisted the active aid of military men of renown, including the marshals of France and some famous duellists.


Jean-Jacques Olier converted many of noble and royal blood, both men and women.


Jean-Jacques Olier worked to overcome the common idea that Christian perfection was only for priests and religious orders, and inspired many to the practices of a devout life, including daily meditation, spiritual reading and other exercises of piety, and to a more exact fulfillment of their duties, whether at the court, in business or at home.


The second great work of Jean-Jacques Olier was the establishment of the seminary of St Sulpice.


Jean-Jacques Olier's seminarians were initiated into parochial work, being employed very fruitfully in teaching the catechism.


The rules of Jean-Jacques Olier's seminary, approved by the General Assembly of the Clergy in 1651, were adopted in many new establishments.


Jean-Jacques Olier wished it to remain a small company, decreeing that it should never consist of more than seventy-two members, besides the superior and his twelve assistants.


Jean-Jacques Olier's influence was powerful with the Queen Regent, Anne of Austria, to whom he spoke with great plainness, yet with great respect, denouncing her prime minister, Cardinal Mazarin, as responsible for simoniacal and unworthy nominations to the episcopate.


Jean-Jacques Olier's zeal led to his helping in the foundation of the Society of Our Lady of Montreal.


Jean-Jacques Olier resigned his pastorate into the hands of Abbe de Bretonvilliers and, when he regained sufficient strength, on the orders of his physicians he visited various spas of Europe in search of health, as well as making many pilgrimages.


Diocesan attempts to canonize Jean-Jacques Olier were introduced in Paris and Montreal between 1865 and 1867, but the Vatican did not proceed with the cause.