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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Sulpicians, or Priests of the Society of St. Sulpice

This society was founded in the parish of St. Sulpice, Paris, in 1645, by Jean Jacques Olier de Verneuil. The act founding the society was dated Sept. 6, 1645, and was immediately sanctioned by the authorities. The society is especially devoted to the training of candidates for the priesthood, and is formed into two bands, one devoted to parish work and the other to teaching. Being warmly befriended by St. Vincent de Paul, the Sulpicians soon established themselves in nearly all the dioceses of France, and took the chief part in the education of the French clergy down to the Revolution of 1789. They were suppressed by Napoleon in 1812, but were restored by Louis XVIII. In 1636 Olier formed a company for colonizing the island of Montreal, who purchased it in 1640, sent out Sieur de Maisonneuve with priests and nuns in 1641, and transferred their proprietorship to the Sulpicians in 1656. In 1657 the Sulpicians De Queylus, Souard, and Galinier took possession of the island, but their claims were resisted, and a conflict of jurisdiction arose which had not been settled as late as the early part of 1876.

In 1668 the Sulpicians Francois de Fenelon and Claude Trouvd founded the first Iroquois mission at the western extremity of Lake Ontario, but their labors were confined principally to the Indians near Montreal. In Montreal, in addition to the seminary attached to the Church of Notre Dame, founded in 1657, they possess the Theological Seminary, the Preparatory Seminary, or "College of Montreal," founded in 1773, and several other succursal churches with their residences. Invited by bishop Carroll in April, 1791, a band of four Sulpicians and three Seminarians, headed by Fran9ois Charles Nagot, sailed for Baltimore, Md., where they formed for a time the clergy of the cathedral. Some of their number went to teach in the Georgetown College, and founded the St. Mary's Theological Seminary, Baltimore, with a college or preparatory school. Pope Gregory XVI raised the seminary to the rank of a university. The collegiate school was removed to Ellicott City, Howard Co., in 1849, and suppressed in 1852.

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Sulpicians, or Priests of the Society of St. Sulpice'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/s/sulpicians-or-priests-of-the-society-of-st-sulpice.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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