François Fénelon

François de Salignac de la Mothe-Fénelon (/ˌfeɪnəˈlɒ̃/;[1] French: [də la mɔt fenəlɔ̃]), more commonly known as François Fénelon (6 August 1651 – 7 January 1715), was a French Roman Catholic archbishop, theologian, poet and writer. He today is remembered mostly as the author of The Adventures of Telemachus, first published in 1699.

François Fénelon
Archbishop of Cambrai
François de Salignac de la Mothe-Fénelon
Portrait by Joseph Vivien
ChurchRoman Catholic
SeeOld Cambrai Cathedral
Installed30 May 1695
Term ended7 January 1715
PredecessorGaspard Nemius
SuccessorJean d'Estrées
Personal details
Born6 August 1651
Sainte-Mondane, France
Died7 January 1715 (aged 63)
Cambrai, France
OccupationTheologian, writer, tutor
Alma materCollège du Plessis

Childhood and education, 1651–75

Fénelon was born on 6 August 1651 at the Château de Fénelon, in Sainte-Mondane, Périgord, Aquitaine, in the Dordogne river valley, the second of the three children of Pons de Salignac, Comte de La Mothe-Fénelon by his wife Louise de La Cropte. Reduced to the status of "impecunious old nobility"[2] by François' time, the La Mothe-Fénelons had produced leaders in both Church and state. His uncle Francois currently served as bishop of nearby Sarlat, a see in which fifteen generations of the Fénelon family had filled the episcopal chair. "In fact, so many members of the family occupied the position that it had begun to be considered as practically a familial apanage to which the Salignac-Fénelon had a right as seigneurs of the locality" [3]

Fénelon's early education was provided in the Château de Fénelon by private tutors, who gave him a thorough grounding in the language and literature of the Greek and Latin classics. In 1663, at age 12, he was sent to the University of Cahors, where he studied rhetoric and philosophy under the influence of the Jesuit ratio studiorum. When the young man expressed interest in a career in the church, his uncle, the Marquis Antoine de Fénelon (a friend of Jean-Jacques Olier and Vincent de Paul) arranged for him to study at the Collège du Plessis in Paris, whose theology students followed the same curriculum as the theology students at the Sorbonne. While there, he became friends with Antoine de Noailles, who later became a cardinal and the Archbishop of Paris. Fénelon demonstrated so much talent at the Collège du Plessis that at age 15, he was asked to give a public sermon.

About 1672 (i.e. around the time he was 21 years old), Fénelon's uncle managed to get him enrolled in the Séminaire de Saint-Sulpice, the Sulpician seminary in Paris.

Early years as a priest, 1675–85

In about 1675, (when he would have been 24), Fénelon was ordained as a priest. He initially dreamed of becoming a missionary to the East, but instead, and at the instigation of friends, he preached in Sulpician parishes and performed routine pastoral work as his reputation for eloquence began to grow.

In early 1679, François Harlay de Champvallon, Archbishop of Paris, selected Fénelon as director of Nouvelles-Catholiques, a community in Paris for young Huguenot girls, who had been removed from their families and were about to join the Church of Rome [4] In 1681 he published a pedagogical work Traité de l'éducation des filles (Treatise on the Education of Girls) which brought him much attention, not only in France, but abroad as well.[5]

From 1681 to 1695, Fénelon was prior of the fortified monastery at Carennac.[6]

Missionary to the Huguenots, 1686–87

During this period, Fénelon had become friends with his future rival Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet. When Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes in 1685, the Church began a campaign to send the greatest orators in the country into the regions of France with the highest concentration of Huguenots to persuade them of the errors of Protestantism. Upon Bossuet's suggestion, Fénelon was included in this group,[5] alongside such oratorical greats as Louis Bourdaloue and Esprit Fléchier.

He consequently spent the next three years in the Saintonge region of France preaching to Protestants. He persuaded the king to remove troops from the region and tried to avoid outright displays of religious oppression, though, in the end, he was willing to resort to force to make Protestants listen to his message. He believed that "to be obliged to do good is always an advantage and that heretics and schismatics, when forced to apply their minds to the consideration of truth, eventually lay aside their erroneous beliefs, whereas they would never have examined these matters had not authority constrained them."

Important friends, 1687–89

During this period, Fénelon assisted Bossuet during his lectures on the Bible at Versailles. It was probably at Bossuet's urging that he now composed his Réfutation du système de Malebranche sur la nature et sur la grâce, a work in which he attacked Nicolas Malebranche's views on optimism, the creation, and the Incarnation. This work was not published until 1820, long after Fénelon's death

Fénelon also became friendly with the Duc de Beauvilliers and the Duc de Chevreuse, who were married to the daughters of Louis XIV's minister of finance Jean-Baptiste Colbert. He wrote a Treatise on the Existence of God.

In 1688, Fénelon first met his cousin Jeanne Marie Bouvier de la Motte Guyon, usually known simply as Madame Guyon. At that time, she was well received in the social circle of the Beauvilliers and Chevreuses. Fénelon was deeply impressed by her piety and actively discipled her. He would later become a devotee and defend her brand of Quietism.[7]

Royal tutor, 1689–97

Fenelon and the Duke of Burgundy
Fenelon and the Duke of Burgundy by Neuville

In 1689, Louis XIV named Fénelon's friend the Duc de Beauvilliers as governor of the royal grandchildren. Upon Beauvilliers' recommendation, Fénelon was named the tutor of the Dauphin's eldest son, the 7-year-old Duke of Burgundy, who was second in line for the throne. This brought him a good deal of influence at court.[5]

As tutor, Fénelon was charged with guiding the character formation of a future King of France. He wrote several important works specifically to guide his young charge. These include his Fables and his Dialogues des Morts.

But by far the most lasting of his works that Fénelon composed for the duke was his Les Aventures de Télémaque [The Adventures of Telemachus, Son of Ulysses], written in 1693–94. On its surface, The Adventures of Telemachus was a novel about Ulysses' son Telemachus. On another level, it became a biting attack on the divine right absolute monarchy which was the dominant ideology of Louis XIV's France. In sharp contrast to Bossuet, who, when tutor to the Dauphin, had written Politique tirée de l'Écriture sainte which affirmed the divine foundations of absolute monarchy while also exhorting the future king to use restraint and wisdom in exercising his absolute power, Fénelon went so far as to write "Good kings are rare and the generality of monarchs bad"[8].

French literary historian Jean-Claude Bonnet calls Télémaque "the true key to the museum of the eighteenth century imagination." [9] One of the most popular works of the century, it became an immediate best seller both in France and abroad, going through many editions and translated into every European language and even Latin verse (first in Berlin in 1743, then in Paris by Étienne Viel [1737-87]). It inspired numerous imitations, such as the Abbé Jean Terrasson's novel Life of Sethos (1731), which in turn inspired Mozart's Magic Flute. It also more directly supplied the plot for Mozart's opera, Idomeneo (1781). Scenes from Télémaque appeared in wallpaper. The American president Andrew Jackson wallpapered the entrance hall to his slave plantation, The Hermitage, in Tennessee, with scenes from Telemachus on the Island of Calypso.[10]

Most believed Fénelon's tutorship resulted in a dramatic improvement in the young duke's behaviour. Even the memoirist Louis de Rouvroy, duc de Saint-Simon, who generally disliked Fénelon, admitted that when Fénelon became tutor, the duke was a spoiled, violent child; when Fénelon left him, the duke had learned the lessons of self-control as well as been thoroughly impressed with a sense of his future duties. Telemachus is therefore widely seen as the most thorough exposition of the brand of reformism in the Beauvilliers-Chevreuse circle, which hoped that following Louis XIV's death, his brand of autocracy could be replaced by a monarchy less centralized and less absolute, and with a greater role for aristocrats such as Beauvilliers and Chevreuse.

In 1693, Fénelon was elected to Seat 34 of the Académie française.

In 1694, the king named Fénelon Abbot of Saint-Valéry, a lucrative post worth 14,000 livres a year.

The early- to mid-1690s are significant since it was during this period that Mme de Maintenon (quasi-morganatic wife of Louis XIV since roughly 1684) began to regularly consult Fénelon on matters of conscience. Also, since Fénelon had a reputation as an expert on educating girls, she sought his advice on the house of Saint-Cyr which she was founding for girls.

In February 1696, the king nominated Fénelon to become the Archbishop of Cambrai while at the same time asking him to remain in his position as tutor to the duke of Burgundy. Fénelon accepted, and he was consecrated by his old friend Bossuet in August.

Quietist controversy, 1697–99

As already noted, Fénelon had met Mme Guyon in 1688 and became an admirer of her work.

In 1697, following a visit by Mme Guyon to Mme de Maintenon's school at Saint-Cyr, Paul Godet des Marais, Bishop of Chartres (Saint-Cyr was located within his diocese) expressed concerns about Mme Guyon's orthodoxy to Mme de Maintenon. The bishop noted that Mme Guyon's opinions bore striking similarities to Miguel de Molinos' Quietism, which Pope Innocent XI condemned in 1687. Mme de Maintenon responded by requesting an ecclesiastical commission to examine Mme Guyon's orthodoxy: the commission consisted of two of Fénelon's old friends, Bossuet and de Noailles, as well as the head of the Sulpician order of which Fénelon was a member. The commission sat at Issy and, after six months of deliberations, delivered its opinion in the Articles d'Issy, 34 articles which briefly condemned certain of Mme Guyon's opinions, as well as set forth a brief exposition of the Catholic view of prayer. Both Fénelon and the Bishop of Chartres signed the articles, as did all three commission members. Mme Guyon immediately submitted to the decision.

At Issy, the commission asked Bossuet to follow up the Articles with an exposition. Bossuet thus proceeded to write Instructions sur les états d'oraison, which he submitted to the commission members, as well as to the Bishop of Chartres and Fénelon, requesting their signatures before its publication. Fénelon refused to sign, arguing that Mme Guyon had already admitted her mistakes and there was no point in further condemning her. Furthermore, Fénelon disagreed with Bossuet's interpretation of the Articles d'Issy, as he wrote in Explication des Maximes des Saints (a work often regarded as his masterpiece - English: Maxims of the Saints). Fénelon interpreted the Articles d'Issy in a way much more sympathetic to the Quietist viewpoint than Bossuet proposed.

Louis XIV responded to the controversy by chastizing Bossuet for not warning him earlier of Fénelon's opinions and ordered Bossuet, de Noailles, and the Bishop of Chartres to respond to the Maximes des Saints. Shocked that his grandson's tutors held such views, the king removed Fénelon from his post as royal tutor and ordered Fénelon to remain within the boundaries of the archdiocese of Cambrai.

This unleashed two years of pamphlet warfare as the two sides traded opinions. On 12 March 1699, the Inquisition formally condemned the Maximes des Saints, with Pope Innocent XII listing 23 specific propositions as unorthodox.

Fénelon immediately declared that he submitted to the pope's authority and set aside his own opinion. With this, the Quietist matter was dropped.

However, that same year, The Adventures of Telemachus was published. This book also enraged Louis XIV, for it appeared to question his regime's very foundations. Thus, even after Fénelon abjured his Quietist views, the king refused to revoke his order forbidding Fénelon from leaving his archdiocese.

Later years

Bust of François Fénelon
Bust of François Fénelon in Carennac, France

As Archbishop of Cambrai, Fénelon spent most of his time in the archiepiscopal palace, but also spent several months of each year visiting churches and other institutions within his archdiocese. He preached in his cathedral on festival days, and took an especial interest in seminary training and in examining candidates for the priesthood prior to their ordination.

During the War of the Spanish Succession, Spanish troops encamped in his archdiocese (an area France had only recently captured from Spain), but they never interfered with the exercise of his archiepiscopal duties. Warfare, however, produced refugees, and Fénelon opened his palace to refugees fleeing the ongoing conflict.

For Fénelon all wars were civil wars. Humanity was a single society and all wars within it the greatest evil, for he argued that one's obligation to mankind as a whole was always greater than what was owed to one's particular country.[11]

During these latter years, Fénelon wrote a series of anti-Jansenist works. The impetus was the publication of the Cas de Conscience, which revived the old Jansenist distinction between questions of law and questions of fact, and argued that though the church had the right to condemn certain opinions as heretical, it did not have the right to oblige one to believe that these opinions were actually contained in Cornelius Jansen's Augustinus. The treatises, sermons, and pastoral letters Fénelon wrote in response occupy seven volumes in his collected works. Fénelon particularly condemned Pasquier Quesnel's Réflexions morales sur le Nouveau Testament. His writings contributed to the tide of scholarly opinion which led to Pope Clement XI's 1713 bull Unigenitus, condemning Quesnel's opinions.

Although confined to the Cambrai archdiocese in his later years, Fénelon continued to act as a spiritual director for Mme de Maintenon, as well as the ducs de de Chevreuse and de Beauvilliers, the duke of Burgundy, and other prominent individuals.

Fénelon's later years were blighted by the deaths of many of his close friends. Shortly before his death, he asked Louis XIV to replace him with a man opposed to Jansenism and loyal to the Sulpician order. He died on 7 January 1715.

Fénelon as reformer and defender of human rights

Paul Hazard remarks on the bitterness of the questions Fénelon has his fictional hero Telemachus put to Idomeneus, King of Salente: "those same questions, in the same sorrowing tone, Fénelon puts to to his pupil, the Duc de Bourgogne, against the day, when he will have to take over the royal power: Do you understand the constitution of kingship? Have you acquainted yourself with the moral obligations of Kings? Have you sought means of bringing comfort to the people? The evils that are engendered by absolute power, by incompetent administration, by war, how will you shield your subjects from them? And when in 1711, the same Duc de Bourgogne became Dauphin of France, it was a whole string of reforms that Fénelon submitted to him in preparation for his accession".[12] Finally, to complete the credit items of Fénelon's account, we must put his defense of Human Rights. Thus he speaks:

A people is no less a member of the human race, which is society as a whole, than a family is a member of a particular nation. Each individual owes incomparably more to the human race, which is the great fatherland, than to the particular country in which he was born. As a family is to the nation, so is the nation to the universal commonweal; wherefore it is infinitely more harmful for nation to wrong nation, than for family to wrong family. To abandon the sentiment of humanity is not merely to renounce civilization and to relapse into barbarism, it is to share in the blindness of the most brutish brigands and savages; it is to be a man no longer, but a cannibal."[13]


« Sur-tout ne vous laissez point ensorceler par les attraits diaboliques de la géométrie. »

"Above all, do not allow yourself to be bewitched by the evil charms of geometry."

Œuvres complètes De François de Salignac De La Mothe Fénélon. TOME V, Briand 1810, LETTRE CXLII (142), p. 106


See also


  1. ^ "Fénelon". Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary.
  2. ^ Louis Cognet, "Fénelon," Dictionnaire de Spiritualité, 5:151. Ed. M. Viller et al. Paris: Beauchesne, 1964.
  3. ^ Chad Helms, ed. and tr., Fénelon: Selected Writings. Classics of Western Spirituality. New York and Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 2006, p. 6f.
  4. ^ Cardinal de Bausset, Histoire de Fenelon, Archevêque de Cambrai, 3rd ed., I, pp. 45f. (Versailles: Lebel, 1817).
  5. ^ a b c François Fénelon, CCEL
  6. ^ Ltd, D.K. (2012). DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Dordogne, Bordeaux & the Southwest Coast: Dordogne, Bordeaux & the Southwest Coast. Dorling Kindersley Limited. p. 119. ISBN 9781409384373. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  7. ^ Letters from Baron Van Hugel to a Niece, edited with an introduction by Gwendolen Greene—first published in 1928, p. 110
  8. ^ Telemachus, Book XIV. "Ainsi les bons rois sont très rares, et la plupart sont si méchants …". See for example: Fenelon, Francois, Tr. Hawkesworth (1872). Adventures of Telemachus. Hurd and Houghton / Riverside Press. p. 462. Retrieved 2019-03-11.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  9. ^ La Naissance du Pantheon: Essai sur le culte des grands homes (Paris Fayard, 1998).
  10. ^ Winterer, Caroline. The Mirror of Antiquity: American Women and the Classical Tradition, 1750-1900 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2007), page 39.
  11. ^ Sylvana Tomaselli, "The spirit of nations," in Mark Goldie and Robert Wokler, eds., The Cambridge History of Eighteenth-Century Political Thought (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), pp. 9–39. Quote on p. 11.
  12. ^ Paul Hazard, The European Mind, 1680-1715, translated by J. Lewis May (Cleveland Ohio: Meridian Books [1935] [1963], 1967) pp. 282.
  13. ^ Fénelon, Dialogue des Morts, "Socrate et Alcibiade" (1718), quoted in Paul Hazard, The European Mind, 1680-1715 (1967), pp. 282–83.

Further reading

  • "François de Salignac de la Mothe Fénelon." Encyclopedia of World Biography, 2nd ed. Gale Research, 1998.
  • Sabine Melchior-Bonnet, Fénelon. Paris; Éditions Perrin, 2008.
  • Peter Gorday, François Fénelon, a Biography: The Apostle of Pure Love. Brewster, MA; Paraclete Press, 2012.
  • Christoph Schmitt-Maaß, Stefanie Stockhorst and Doohwan Ahn (eds.). 'Fénelon in the Enlightenment: Traditions, Adaptations, and Variations'. Amsterdam - New York, Rodopi, 2014.

External links

1651 in France

Events from the year 1651 in France

1699 in literature

This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1699.


1715 (MDCCXV)

was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar and a common year starting on Saturday of the Julian calendar, the 1715th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 715th year of the 2nd millennium, the 15th year of the 18th century, and the 6th year of the 1710s decade. As of the start of 1715, the Gregorian calendar was

11 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which remained in localized use until 1923.

1715 in literature

This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1715.

Andrew Michael Ramsay

Andrew Michael Ramsay (9 July 1686 – 6 May 1743), commonly called the Chevalier Ramsay, was a Scottish-born writer who lived most of his adult life in France. He was a Baronet in the Jacobite Peerage.

Ramsay was born in Ayr, Scotland, the son of a baker. In 1710 he visited François Fénelon in the Netherlands, and in his attraction to quietism converted to Roman Catholicism. He remained in France until 1724 writing politico-theological treatises. One of these was dedicated to the Jacobite claimant to the English and Scottish thrones, James Francis Edward Stuart. In January 1724, Ramsay was sent to Rome as tutor to James' two sons, Charles Edward and Henry. But his appointment was short-lived; Ramsay was associated with the court party of John Erskine, Duke of Mar, who fell from favour that year. By November 1724 Ramsay was back in Paris.Ramsay was in England in 1730, and received an honorary degree from the University of Oxford. The claim was nominally his discipleship to Fénelon, but in reality beyond doubt his connection with the Jacobite party. He died at St Germain-en-Laye (Île-de-France) on 6 May 1743.He was a Christian universalist, believing that all people would eventually be saved. He wrote "Almighty power, wisdom and love cannot be eternally frustrated in his absolute and ultimate designs; therefore God will at last pardon and re-establish in happiness all lapsed beings."

Cambrai Cathedral

Cambrai Cathedral (French: Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Grâce de Cambrai) is a Catholic church located in Cambrai, France. The cathedral is a national monument, and is the seat of the Archbishop of Cambrai.

It was built between 1696 and 1703, on the site of a former 11th century building, as the church of the Abbey of St-Sulpice. During the French Revolution the old cathedral of Cambrai was destroyed, but the abbey church survived because it was used as a Temple of Reason. When the ecclesiastical status of Cambrai was restored in 1802, albeit as a diocese rather than as an archdiocese, which it had previously been, the bishop's seat was established in the surviving abbey church, which became the cathedral of Cambrai. Cambrai was again constituted an archbishopric in 1841.

The cathedral was severely damaged by fire in 1859, but at length restored, with advice from Viollet-le-Duc, and consecrated on 12 May 1894.

The cathedral was also badly damaged in World War I and, not so seriously, in World War II.

It contains the tomb, by David d'Anger, of François Fénelon, who was archbishop from 1696 to 1715. The Cathedral is a minor pilgrimage site because of the noted Italo-Byzantine painting called "Our Lady of Cambrai" or the Cambrai Madonna (c. 1340) in a side chapel. The cathedral now takes its dedication name from this: "Notre-Dame de Grâce" or "Virgin of Tenderness", from the Eleusa icon type it exemplifies. In the same chapel is a memorial erected by Hilaire Belloc to commemorate his son who was killed nearby in the last days of World War I.


Carennac is a commune in the Lot department in south-western France.

Carennac belongs to the historical region of Quercy.

A village lies in the fertile valley of the Dordogne River, nestled under the barren, parched plateau locally named 'le Causse'. Its most remarkable landmarks are a medieval priory, combining an 11th-century church and cloister, and a 16th-century castle, in which famous author of The Adventures of Telemachus, François Fénelon, lived from 1681 to 1685. The church features a remarkable tympanum, and the cloister a 15th-century "mise au tombeau".

Catholic moral theology

Catholic moral theology is a major category of doctrine in the Catholic Church, equivalent to a religious ethics. Moral theology encompasses Roman Catholic social teaching, Catholic medical ethics, sexual ethics, and various doctrines on individual moral virtue and moral theory. It can be distinguished as dealing with "how one is to act", in contrast to dogmatic theology which proposes "what one is to believe".

Fenelon Township

The Township of Fenelon was a municipality and incorporated township located in the centre of the former Victoria County. It is now a geographic township within the city of Kawartha Lakes, Ontario, Canada. The township was named after François de Salignac de la Mothe-Fénelon (missionary) (1641-79) who was a missionary in New France, establishing a mission on the Bay of Quinte.The community of Cambray within the township was named after Cambrai in France, where François Fénelon (1651–1715), younger brother of the missionary, was archbishop.

François de Salignac de la Mothe-Fénelon (missionary)

François de Salignac de la Mothe Fénelon (1641–1679) was a Sulpician missionary in New France. He was ten years older than his half-brother, François Fénelon, Archbishop of Cambrai.

Little is known of François in his early years beyond his birth in Château de Fénelon in Périgord until he left for the missions of New France in 1667 as yet not an ordained priest. Bishop Laval took care of this matter, ordaining him in June, 1668. He and M. Claude Trouvé left almost immediately to establish a mission for the Iroquois, at their request, near the Bay of Quinte on Lake Ontario. (A letter by Trouvé is appended to François Dollier de Casson's Histoire du Montréal and gives a good summary of the Kenté (Quinté) mission). Fenelon spend the winter of 1669-1670 at Ganatsekwyagon, an Iroquoian village at the mouth of the Rouge River and resulted in the nearby Frenchman's Bay being named for him.In 1672 he was recalled from Kenté to establish an Algonquin mission on the outskirts of Ville-Marie at a place called Gentilly. Disputes with Governor Frontenac led to his returning to France in 1675, where he resigned from the Sulpicians. Fenelon died in 1679 at the age of thirty-eight.Fenelon Falls is named after him.

Idomeneus of Crete

In Greek mythology, Idomeneus (; Greek: Ἰδομενεύς) was a Cretan commander, father of Orsilochus, Cleisithyra and Iphiclus, son of Deucalion and Cleopatra, grandson of Minos and king of Crete. He led the Cretan armies to the Trojan War and was also one of Helen's suitors as well as a comrade of the Telamonian Ajax. Meriones was his charioteer and brother-in-arms.

Jean-Louis Bergeret

Jean-Louis Bergeret (11 December 1641, Paris – 9 October 1694) was an early holder of the 8th seat of the Académie française.

Bergeret was Advocate General to the Metz Parliament in 1672, and became the first deputy of Charles Colbert, marquis de Croissy, the Secretary of State and younger brother of Jean Baptiste Colbert, and then the King's Cabinet Secretary.

When Bergeret was presented for election to the Academy, he had the support of all of the Colbert family, against Gilles Ménage, by then an octogenarian, who though much more senior had previously displeased the Academy with his Requête des Dictionnaires ("Requirements for Dictionaries").

Bergeret was elected on 4 December 1684 to replace Géraud de Cordemoy, who had killed himself in October of that year, and was received on 2 January 1685 by Jean Racine, the same day as Thomas Corneille.

Little is known of him beyond his election and acceptance speech, and that he received into the Academy François-Timoléon de Choisy and François Fénelon. The Abbé d'Olivet remarked "Nobody knows how he got through the doors of the Academy". He left no writing nor, it seems, anything memorable to his contemporaries.

List of Catholic philosophers and theologians

This is a list of Catholic philosophers and theologians whose Catholicism is important to their works. The names are ordered by date of birth in order to give a rough sense of influence between thinkers.

Mentor (Odyssey)

In the Odyssey, Mentor (Greek: Μέντωρ, Méntōr; gen.: Μέντορος) was the son of Alcimus. In his old age Mentor was a friend of Odysseus who placed him and Odysseus' foster-brother Eumaeus in charge of his son Telemachus, and of Odysseus' palace, when Odysseus left for the Trojan War.

When Athena visited Telemachus she took the disguise of Mentor to hide herself from the suitors of Telemachus's mother Penelope. As Mentor, the goddess encouraged Telemachus to stand up against the suitors and go abroad to find out what happened to his father. When Odysseus returned to Ithaca, Athena appeared briefly in the form of Mentor again at Odysseus' palace.

Athena's appearance as Mentor should not be confused with her appearance as Mentes in the first book of the Odyssey.

Onorato Caetani (1742–1797)

Onorato Caetani (17 December 1742 - 26 June 1797) was an Italian scholar who was Principal of the Accademia degli Incolti in Rome in 1762. The academy was an institution founded by the Nazareno College originally dedicated to promoting a coherent balanced education. Onorato was a younger son of Michaelangelo Caetani, Duke of Sermoneta, of the noble Caetani family. He studied the classics at tne Nazareno College in addition to mathematics, physics and foreign languages and in 1764 graduated from the Sapienza University of Rome. He chose to follow an ecclesiastic career but never completed his studies. He was nevertheless appointed abbot of Valvisciolo Abbey. Between 1765 and 1772 he was Regent of the chancellery and in the latter year Pope Clement XIV named him a non-participating apostolic protonotary.

Between 1775 and 1785 he worked to create a large library in the family home. He attended cultural meetings and was a member of various academic societies. He commissioned the Swiss painter Angelika Kauffmann to paint two canvasses on subjects inspired by episodes of the novel The Adventures of Telemachus by François Fénelon. The resulting paintings are The Sorrow of Telemachus and Telemachus and the Nymphs of Calypso, both now in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Peter Kreeft

Peter John Kreeft (; born 1937) is a professor of philosophy at Boston College and The King's College. He is the author of over a hundred books on Christian philosophy, theology and apologetics. He also formulated, together with Ronald K. Tacelli, "Twenty Arguments for the Existence of God".


Sainte-Mondane is a commune in the Dordogne department in Nouvelle-Aquitaine in southwestern France.

Télémaque (Destouches)

Télémaque et Calypso (Telemachus and Calypso), also Télémaque or [French: ou] Calypso, is an opera by the French composer André Cardinal Destouches, first performed at the Académie Royale de Musique (the Paris Opera) on 29 November 1714. It takes the form of a tragédie en musique in a prologue and five acts.

The libretto is by Simon-Joseph Pellegrin. The plot is taken from Les Aventures de Télémaque by François Fénelon, itself adapted from Homer's Telemachy: Telemachus is shipwrecked while searching for his father Ulysses, and resists seduction by the sea-nymph Calypso because of his love for the shepherdess Eucharis. The opera was imitated by a number of other Italian and French versions, including Telemaco by Alessandro Scarlatti and Carlo Sigismondo Capece.

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