DU VERGIER (DU VERGER) DE HAURANNE, dü'var''zhyê' de hō??rān?, JEAN (usually called Saint-Cyran from the monastery of Saint Cyranen-Brenne in Touraine): French theologian; b. at Bayonne 1581; d. at Paris Oct. 11, 1643. He studied theology at the University of Louvain, where the Church Fathers and Augustine were taught to the partial exclusion of the prevailing scholasticism, and at Paris in 1605 he met Cornelius Jansen (q.v.) with whom he formed an intimate friendship that lasted throughout his life. From 1611 to 1616 they lived in retirement near Bayonne, devoting themselves to patristic studies, but in 1617 Jansen returned to Louvain, and five years later Du Vergier settled in Paris. The two were, however, in constant correspondence on the subject of the great “reforms” which were stirring in the hearts of both. To Vincent de Paul, whom he sought to win over to his cause, Du Vergier declared that he had seen a great light, and that there was no church nor had there been one for five or six centuries; once it had been a bountiful stream of pure water, but was now a muddy channel. He characterized the Council of Trent as a political assembly, and declared that the first scholastics, together with Thomas Aquinas, had been the cause of great evils. In 1624 he came into conflict with the Jesuits through a book directed against Garasse, a member of the order, and the work was condemned by the Sorbonne at the instigation, the Jansenists claimed, of the Jesuits. A more lasting struggle began in 1631 with the publication of the Opera of a fictitious theologian Petrus Aurelius. This book was generally ascribed to Du Vergier, although the greater portion of it had been written by his nephew acting under his supervision. The work was based on the conflict which had been precipitated among English Catholics by the action of the papal vicar, who had curtailed the rights and privileges of the religious orders. This especially affected the Jesuits, who had been the most steadfast champions of the Roman Catholic cause in England since the reign of Henry VIII., and had consequently acquired special prerogatives. Aurelius accused the Jesuits of attempting to set up an invisible Church with Christ as its head purely for their own purposes. He repudiated their argument that the pope was the universal bishop from whom episcopal power emanated, basing the bishop’s authority on the unction of the Holy Spirit. Against the services of the monastic orders to whom, as the Jesuits pointed out the introduction of Christianity into the British Islands had been due, Aurelius balanced the English secular clergy, who had cooperated with their French brethren in combating Pelagianism which the monks had always fostered. The Jesuit Sirmond replied to Aurelius, and the controversy soon included the entire subject of the secular clergy as opposed to the orders. The general assembly of the clergy lent its sanction to the work of Aurelius and caused it to be printed in 1641 and again in 1646; yet ten years later, in the first heat of the Jansenist conflict, it pronounced its condemnation on the book. In 1635 Saint-Cyran became confessor to the abbey of Port Royal (q.v.), and was spiritual director of the group of solitaries, among whom were the brothers Le Maître and Lancelot, who began to gather there after 1636. With characteristic zeal he preached of the sanctity of the priestly office and of the grace that should lie in the confessional and in public preaching. The hatred of envious priests roused Richelieu against him, and on May 14, 1638, he was sent a prisoner to the donjon of Vincennes. There he was confined until two months after the cardinal’s death, when he came from his prison a broken man, whom the power of an untamed spirit alone kept to his duty until his death some eight months later. See JANSENISM.



BIBLIOGRAPHY: H. Reuchlin, Geschichte von Port Royal, 2 vols., Hamburg, 1839-44; Mrs. M. A. Schimmelpenninck, Select Memoirs of Port Royal, 3 vols., London, 1858; C. Beard, Port Royal, i. 113, 121-173, ib. 1861; Lichtenberger, ESR, xi. 395-402.