Jean Baptiste Massillon
1663-1742. French preacher and bishop. Native of Provence, he studied in the Oratorian colleges in Hyères and Marseilles, and in 1681 entered their congregation at Aix, later lecturing in their colleges at Pézenas, Marseilles, Montbrison, and Vienne. He was ordained in 1691, and as directory of the Seminary of Saint-Magloire, Paris, from 1696, he gained a great reputation for preaching. He was said to have been the one court preacher to have made Louis XIV dissatisfied with himself. Consecrated bishop of Clermont (1718) and elected to the French Academy (1719), he assisted at Louis XV's coronation and gave Louis XIV's funeral oration. Respected by Voltaire and others, and militantly anti-Jansenist, he was a moralist and brilliant panegyrist, described as the Racine of the pulpit, combating impiety and incredulity.