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Hippolyte Delehaye, S.J., (Antwerp, 19 August 1859 – Brussels, 1 April 1941) was a Belgian Jesuit who was a hagiographic scholar and an outstanding member of the Bollandists, who established critical editions of texts relating to the Christian saints and martyrs that were based on applying the critical method of sound archaeological and documentary scholarship to the texts. This critical approach encountered difficulties, within the Jesuit Order, within the Holy Office and among "integralist" opponents of critical approaches.
Born in 1859 in Antwerp, Delehaye joined the Society of Jesus in 1876, being received into the novitiate the following year. After making his initial profession of religious vows in 1879, he was sent to study philosophy at the University of Louvain from 1879 to 1882. He was then assigned to teach mathematics at the Collège Sainte-Barbe in Ghent (named for the school in Paris, alma mater of Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuit Order) until 1886.
Delehaye became a fellow of the Society of Bollandists, named for the 17th-century hagiographic scholar Jean Bolland, S.J., in 1892. He was an editor of the Bibliotheca Hagiographica Graeca (1895), a collection of Greek hagiographies, and of the Analecta Bollandiana, which became subject to censorship by the Holy Office during 1901-27. In 1912 he became the president of the group.
Delehaye's major publications, works of method and synthesis that are of general use to historians, are:
- Les Légendes hagiographiques, Brüssels 1905, 1906 (translated by V. M. Crawford, 1907, reprinted 1998), 1927. A 1955 French edition was translated by Donald Attwater, The Legends of the Saints (Fordham University Press, 1962).
- Les Origines du culte des martyrs, 1912
- Les Passions des martyrs et les genres littéraires, 1921
- Sanctus. Essai sur le culte des saints dans l'antiquité, 1927
Other important works, with more restricted focus, are:
- Les versions grecques des Actes des martyrs persans sous Sapor II, 1905
- Les Légendes grecques des saints militaires, 1909
- A travers trois siècles: L'Oeuvre des Bollandistes 1615 à 1915, 1920 (translated in 1922)
- Les saints Stylites, 1923
- Martyrologium Romanum ... (Propylaeum ad Acta SS. Decembris), 194 A commentary on the Roman martyrology, of which Delehaye was the chief editor.
- Cinq leçons sur la méthode hagiographique, 1934.
Posthumous collections of fugitive pieces were published in 1966 as Mélanges d'hagiographie grecque et latine and in 1991 as L'ancienne hagiographie byzantine: les sources, les premiers modèles, la formation des genres, the previously unpublished texts of lectures delivered in 1935.
- Detailed in Bernard Joassart's study concentrating on the Légendes, Hippolyte Delehaye. Hagiographie critique et modernisme (Subsidia Hagiographica, 81), 2 vols. (Brussels : Société Bollandiste) 2000; a chapter is devoted to Delehaye in Lawrence Barmann and J.T.Talar, eds., Sanctity and Secularity During the Modernist Period
|Wikisource has original works written by or about:
- Friedrich Wilhelm Bautz (1975). "Delehaye, Hippolyte". In Bautz, Friedrich Wilhelm. Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL) (in German) 1. Hamm: Bautz. col. 1249. ISBN 3-88309-013-1.
- Hippolyte Delehaye, The Legends of the Saints: An Introduction to Hagiography (1907)
- B. Joassart, Hippolyte Delehaye. Hagiographie critique et modernisme, (Subsidia Hagiographica, 81), 2 vols. Brussels, 2000