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Louis Bourdaloue

1632-1704. “The king of orators and the orator of kings.” Born in Bourges, he became a Jesuit in 1648. After teaching in provincial houses, he began preaching in Amiens in 1666 and speedily made a reputation. In 1669, he went to Paris and made a deep impression on the court with his splendid oratory, skillful exposition of Catholic orthodoxy, and passion to win his hearers' consent by carefully reasoned argument within a traditional rhetorical framework. A skilled pastor and confessor, he gave the same attention to the prisoners and the sick as to the famous and wealthy, and was a living answer to the attacks of B. Pascal* against the Jesuits. In addition to being an opponent of the Jansenists,* he was used successfully to convert Montpellier Protestants after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes.*