Nicolas Letourneux


Born: Ap­ril 30, 1640, Rou­en, France.

Died: No­vem­ber 28, 1686, Vil­li­ers sur Fere, Sois­sons, France.



Born to poor par­ents, le Tour­neaux showed un­com­mon abi­li­ty at an ear­ly age, and at­tract­ed the notice of M. du Fos­set, Maître des Comptes at Rou­en. Du Fos­set sent him to the Je­su­it col­lege at Pa­ris, where he made re­mark­able pro­gress in his stu­dies.

He then moved to Tour­aine, where he spent some time with a pi­ous ec­cle­si­as­tic in the prac­tice of prayer and pe­ni­ten­tial ex­er­cis­es.

His friend, ob­serv­ing that le Tour­neaux had a gift for preach­ing, ad­vised him to re­turn to Rou­en. This he did, adopt­ed the cler­ic­al pro­fess­ion, and in 1662 was ad­mit­ted to the priests’ or­ders by spe­cial dis­pen­sa­tion, though still un­der ca­non­i­cal age.

He sub­se­quent­ly moved to Pa­ris, where he em­ployed his time in stu­dy, and in 1675 won a prize from the French Aca­de­my for prose com­po­si­tion.

He was ap­point­ed to a ca­non­ry at Sainte-Cha­pelle, and lat­er be­came prior of Vil­lers-sur-Fère, in the dio­cese of Sois­sons.

He wrote se­ver­al theo­lo­gic­al and re­li­gious works, as well as some hymns which were in­sert­ed into the Pa­ris Bre­vi­ary of 1680, and the Clu­ni­ac Bre­vi­ary of 1686 (in the lat­ter, his sig­na­ture was N.T.P.R.).