Marie-Dominique Philippe

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Marie-Dominique Philippe

Marie-Dominique Philippe (September 8, 1912 in Nord (French department) – August 26, 2006 in Loire) was a Dominican philosopher and theologian. He was ordained in 1936. He was a professor of philosophy at the University of Fribourg from 1945 to 1982. While remaining a Dominican friar he founded the "Community of St. John" in 1975.


Marie-Dominique Philippe was born on September 8, 1912 at Cysoing, France, the eighth of twelve children. From the age of six, Philippe read for his uncle, Dominican Father Peter Thomas Dehau, who was going blind.[1] After having completed his secondary education with the Jesuits at Lille, he entered the Order of Saint Dominic in November, 1930, at Amiens. He pronounced his religious vows in November, 1931, and pursued his studies in philosophy and theology at the Saulchoir in Kain (Belgium) from 1931 to 1938. He was ordained priest in July, 1936. Having first graduated in philosophy ("Wisdom in Aristotle" being the subject of his lectorat dissertation) he went on to complete a doctorate in theology.[2]

After obtaining an additional diploma of Higher Studies, he taught philosophy and theology at the Saulchoir at Etiolles (the Dominican House of Studies of the Paris Province) from 1939 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1962, and philosophy at the University of Fribourg (Switzerland) from 1945 to 1982.[2] From 1982 until two months before his death on August 26, 2006, he continued teaching philosophy and theology at the houses of studies of the Congregation of Saint John in France.

Congregation of St John[edit]

During the summer of 1975, five students began to live a communal life. Father Philippe would visit once a week to provide spiritual direction. The students asked Philippe for assistance in forming a religious community. The brothers initially lived at the monastery of Lerins, where they drew inspiration from Pope Paul VI's "Evangelii Nuntiandi". In 1978 they took the name "Community of Saint John". Fr. Philippe drafted a rule of life based in part on the prayer of Christ in Chapter 17 of Saint John's Gospel.[1]

Two branches of nuns were also established, the contemplative in 1982, and the apostolic in 1984)[1]

Father Philippe, o.p., died peacefully on Saturday morning August 26, 2006, at the priory of Saint Jodard (France). He was being taken care of there since his stroke on July 20. He would have been 94 years old on September 8.


  • Mystères de Misericorde (Mary, Mystery of Mercy), 1958
  • The Mystery of Joseph
  • Retracing Reality, 2001


  1. ^ a b c "The Founder", Community of St. John
  2. ^ a b "Biography of Father Marie-Dominique Philippe, o.p."

Further reading[edit]

  • Peltereau-Villeneuve,Benoît-Emmanuel, Schwizgebel,Ariane, Le père Marie-Dominique Philippe, ouvrier de la sagesse, Philippe-Marie Mossu (Preface), Les Plans (Switzerland): Parole et Silence Editions, 2012, ISBN 2889180700

External links[edit]