Father René Laurentin (born 19 October 1917) is a French theologian, born in Tours, France, to Marie and Maurice Laurentin, an architect. After finishing his secondary studies at the Institution of Sainte Marie de Chole, he entered the Seminary in Paris at the Catholic Institute in October 1934 at the age of 17, to study philosophy, specializing in Saint Thomas Aquinas. In 1938 he earned a degree in philosophy from the Sorbonne. He was studying theology when he was called to serve in the French Army. After being held a prisoner of war in Germany, he was finally freed and received the citations of the Cross of War and the Legion of Honor.
He enrolled in the University de Son Oflag to pursue his studies, taking Hebrew and Mariology. In July 1946 he attained his degree in theology and was ordained a priest on December 8, 1946 in Paris. He was encouraged to continue writing[by whom?] and extended the thesis he had written on the Blessed Virgin Mary and the role she had played throughout Europe. In 1952 he received his Doctorate in Mariology from the Sorbonne on June 7, 1952, followed by another Doctorate in Theology where he graduated cum singulari prosus laude on February 9, 1953 from the Catholic Institute of Paris.
In October 1955 he was named Professor of Theology at the Catholic University of Angers and taught Mariology to the Franciscans that same year. He became Vice President of the Society of French Studies of Mary in 1962. That same year he was accorded the honor of being a peritus or expert at the Second Vatican Council after being named a consultant for the preparatory commissions two years before in 1960. He wrote much of the Marian Doctrine in the Dogmatic Constitution of Vatican II. Also during this time he studied various apparitions and served as a correspondent for Le Figaro, writing numerous stories and editorials on the Council and then the election of Pope Paul VI. He wrote several articles and thesis from 1963 to 1972 on Vatican II and the various Synods.
In 1981 the Vatican authorized him to study the writings of Yvonne-Aime de Malestroit who was under consideration by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. He published eight volumes on the candidate. Throughout Father Rene's life he has been a guest lecturer at numerous universities in both the United States and Europe including summer tenure at the University of Dayton in Ohio as a visiting lecturer for well over twenty years and Marymount University in Washington D.C. He is also a member of the Theology Faculty at the University of Florence and the University of Milan. In addition he has appeared internationally on radio and television in France, America, Germany, Argentina, Canada, Italy, Poland, Switzerland, the Soviet Union and Venezuela. He has written over 2,000 articles, mostly for the daily Le Figaro, and Chrétiens magazine.
He is said[who?] to have long understood the meaning of the messages from the Mother of God, beginning at Rue du Bac, Paris, and has followed with extreme interest almost every reported apparition, locutionist, messenger, etc. over the past 40 years, writing extensive works on many, specifically Medjugorje and with his first work in 1984. He has written many subsequent works on Medjugorje, many translated for his English books by Juan Gonzalez of Houston. Some of these are "Latest News of Medjugorje" (1987), "Scientific and Medical Studies on the Apparitions" (1988), and "Seven Years of Apparitions: Time for Harvest?" (1988). Laurentin’s latest book is entitled “Dictionary Characters from the Gospel According to Maria Valtorta”, published October 30, 2012.
- "El mariólogo René Laurentin visita Tucumán". La Gaceta (in Spanish). 28 November 2010. Retrieved 7 May 2012.
- Dictionary Characters from the Gospel According to Maria Valtorta