Louis Brisson

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Blessed Louis Brisson, OSFS
Fr Louis Brisson.JPG
Confessor, Founder, Mystic
Born Louis Alexander Alphonse Brisson
23 June 1817
Plancy, France
Died 2 February 1908
Plancy, France
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Beatified 22 September 2012, Troyes by Cardinal Angelo Amato, SDB representing Pope Benedict XVI
Feast 12 October
Young Fr. Louis Brisson

Blessed Louis Brisson (23 June 1817 – 2 February 1908) was a Roman Catholic priest who founded the congregations of the Oblate Sisters of St. Francis de Sales and the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales.

Early life[edit]

Louis Alexander Alphonse Brisson was born on June 23, 1817 in Plancy, Aube Department, Champagne-Ardenne Region, France. Louis was the only child of Toussaint Grégoire Brisson (1785–1875) and Savine (née Corrard) Brisson (1795–1881). His baptism took place on June 29, 1817 and was held in the parish church of Plancy. He was primarily educated at home by his parents and the local priest. While being schooled, he was particularly interested in the natural sciences. He desired to be a priest and was ordained on December 18, 1840, in Troyes.[1]


Within the first year after his ordination, he became the spiritual director for the monastery of the Visitation in Troyes. He did this at the request of the Superior of the monastery, Venerable Mother Marie de Sales Chappuis. She was convinced that Louis Brisson would be the priest to establish a religious community of men in the spirit of St. Francis de Sales. Mother Chappuis would eventually convince Louis to establish this priestly order, though he was not enthusiastic about it. In addition to his priestly activities, he served as a teacher at the nearby junior seminary and continued his early interest in science, constructing an astronomical clock used at the Motherhouse Convent of the Oblate Sisters of St. Francis de Sales in Troyes.

Foundation of religious institutions[edit]

Concerned with the welfare of the working class girls in the textile mills, Fr. Brisson had established shelters where they could keep their dignity and become women of conscience and faith. In 1866, he co-founded along with Saint Leonie Aviat, the Oblate Sisters of St. Francis de Sales to provide for their education, and in 1872 the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales for priests and brothers performing similar apostolate work.[2] He also founded a school - the first community of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales to be officially recognized by the Catholic Church, in 1875.

During the last thirty years of his life, Brisson saw his religious community flourish and spread throughout Europe, Africa, South America, Central America, and North America. The law on the Separation of the Churches and the State and complete secularization of France at the beginning of the 20th century began with the secularization of the religious houses, which included exiling the occupants. The Oblates of St. Francis de Sales transferred their General House near Rome, however, Father Brisson retired to his birthplace in Plancy. He died on February 2, 1908, surrounded by his Oblate Family.[3]

Beatification process[edit]

The informative process was opened in February 11, 1938 in Troyes and was completed on December 15, 1949. This was followed by a complementary process in Rome from July 8, 1963 through January 13, 1964. The results of the informative process held on October 6, 1995 by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints were confirmed by decree. On December 19, 2009, by decree of heroic virtues, Pope Benedict XVI elevated Fr. Brisson to Venerable Louis Brisson.[4]

Pope Benedict XVI’s decree declared that "It is found in the present case, that the servant of God, Louis Brisson, priest and founder of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, the theological virtues of faith, hope and love for God and neighbor, the cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, temperance and fortitude, and related these virtues in a heroic degree practiced."[5] Two years later, on December 19, 2011, the Vatican proclaimed that a miracle occurred through the intercession of Louis Brisson, thus beginning the last step towards sainthood: the beatification process.[6] The beatification took place on 22 September 2012 in Troyes. Cardinal Angelo Amato, S.D.B., on behalf of Pope Benedict XVI, presided over the liturgy and ceremony at Cathédrale Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul de Troyes.[7]


Further reading[edit]

  • Koster, Dirk (2008). Louis Brisson. Norden: Verlag Bert Post. ISBN 978-90-70376-62-8. 
  • Bouchard, Françoise (2011). Father Louis Brisson. A Heart that Beats in Rhythm with God. Paris: Salvator Verlag. ISBN 978-2-7067-0861-9. 

External links[edit]