François de Bonal

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François de Bonal (b. 1734 at the castle of Bonal, near Agen; d. in Munich, 1800) was Bishop of Clermont.

He had been Vicar-General of the diocese of Agen and Director of the Carmelite Nuns in France when he was made Bishop of Clermont, in 1776. On the eve of the French Revolution, as he was warning his diocesans against the license of the press, he predicted that visitations of God were coming.

He went as one of the deputies of the clergy to the Estates-General of 1789. To Target, who spoke of the "God of peace," he replied that the God of peace was also the God of order and justice.

From his prison Louis XVI sent for his opinion as to whether he should receive Paschal Communion. In reply, he was sympathetic, but advised the monarch to abstain "for having sanctioned decrees destructive of religion". Bonal was alluding chiefly to the civil constitution of the clergy.

Having declined to take the loyalty oath to the constitution, he was compelled to leave his diocese and country. He passed to Flanders and later to Holland, was captured and sentenced to deportation by the French, but succeeded in making his escape and spent the last years of his life in various cities of Germany. He was the author of a Testament spirituel.


  • Feller, Biographie Universelle (Paris, 1866)
  • De GreveCoeur, Journal d'Andrien Duquesnoy (Paris, 1804)

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