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Henri, Duc de Joyeuse

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Born in 1563 and not, as is mistakenly stated in the "Biographic Michaud", in 1567; died at Rivoli, 28 Sept., 1608. He was the third son of Ambrose Maréchal Guillaume de Joyeuse, and was a brother of the Admiral Anne de Joyeuse and of the prelate François de Joyeuse. As a young man, when he was known as the Comte de Bouchage, he felt attracted to the religious life and confided this desire to the guardian of the Cordeliers of Toulouse. But yielding to the pressure of his family he married Catherine de la Valette, sister of the Duc d'Epernon; and he fought in Languedoc and Guienne against the Huguenots. His inclination for the religious life endured, however, and he and his wife exchanged a promise that one of them should enter religion on the death of the other. Catherine died, and a few weeks later, 4 September, 1587, Joyeuse received the habit in the convent of the Capuchins in the Rue Saint-Honoré, Paris, from the hands of Father Bernard Dorzimo, taking the name of Père Ange. This step occasioned great stir. The "Venerable" P. Honoré of Paris (Charles Bochart de Champigny) owed to the example of Joyeuse the impulse which caused him to enter the cloister. When in October, 1587, two brothers of Joyeuse were killed at Coutras, he overcame the strong temptation he felt to become a soldier again in order to avenge them. When, after the Day of Barricades (see HOUSE OF GUISE), 12 May, 1588, the bourgeoisie and people of Paris wished to recover the good graces of Henry III, who had sought refuge at Chartres, they sent as a first embassy a procession of Capuchins, at whose head was Père Ange bearing a cross and flogged by two other monks, while the people implored mercy. On 18 August, 1588, P. Ange, in conformity with the Franciscan rule, drew up his will, which was afterwards ratified on the morrow by Henry III, and which Father Ubald (d'Alençon) has recently recovered and published. This formality finished he was able to make his profession in December, 1588. He was sent to Italy to study Theology.

In 1592 he was guardian of the Capuchins of Arles and on his way to Toulouse when his younger brother, Scipio de Joyeuse, drowned himself in the Tarn after the defeat of Villemur. The Cardinal de Joyeuse, the Parlement, and the clergy all thought of placing P. Ange in command of the troops against the Huguenots as Governor of Languedoc. The pope released him from his vows. The Capuchin who had once more become a soldier fought valiantly, and then assembled the States of Languedoc at Carcassonne to take measures for bringing about peace. He agreed with the Ambrose Maréchal de Montmorency, his godfather, on a truce of three years, which was soon followed by a general peace owing to the abjuration of Henry IV. Henry IV named him marshal of France, grand master of the wardrobe, and Governor of Languedoc. But after he had married his daughter to the Duc de Montpensier, recalling the counsel given him in July, 1595, by his dying mother, and sensitive to the words of Henry IV who had called him an "unfrocked Capuchin", Joyeuse joined (8 February, 1599) the Capuchins in the Rue Saint-Honoré. In 1600 he preached again at Paris, notably in Saint-Germain l'Auxerrois, before the king and the court. The discussions which then took place in the pulpit between Père Brulart de Sillery and Père Ange de Joyeuse on the inviolability of marriage, drew upon the Capuchins the displeasure of Henry IV, who had dissolved his marriage with Queen Margaret. In turn guardian of the convent of Toulouse, provincial of France, founder of the Capuchin convent at Nevers, guardian in Paris of the convent in the Rue Saint-Honoré (1606) he went to Rome, in 1608, to attend the general chapter of his order. Here he was made definitor-general and, through the intervention of Cardinal de Givry, obtained permission to leave Rome, where the pope wished to retain him. Having set out 10 August, 1608, he was attacked by fever at Rivoli. He was buried in the church of the Capuchins in the Rue Saint-Honoré. His biographer Jacques Brousse has preserved some fragments of his sermons. Bernard of Bologna, in the "Bibliotheca script. Cap." (1747), mentions one of his works entitled "Flamma divini amoris", which seems to have been lost. The pleasantries of Voltaire's "Henriade" with regard to the "warrior monk" have too often caused the actual facts to be forgotten and have inflicted on an ardent and pious friar an obloquy not sustained by historical truth.


BROUSSE, La vie du Reverend Pere Ange de Joyeuse, etc. (Paris, 1621); DE CALLIERIES, Le courtisan predestine, ou le duc de Joyeuse capuchin (Paris, 1662); Vie du R. P. de Joyeuse (by a Capuchin, Paris, 1863); UBALD D'ALENCON, Le testament du P. Ange de Joyeuse in Etudes Franciscaines, VI (1901), 630-38; DE LANMODEZ, Les Peres gardiens des Capucins du couvent de la rue Saint-Honore a Paris in Bulletin de la Societe de l'Historie de Paris (1893).

About this page

APA citation. Goyau, G. (1910). Henri, Duc de Joyeuse. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.

MLA citation. Goyau, Georges. "Henri, Duc de Joyeuse." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 8. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. <>.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Joseph E. O'Connor.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. October 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.

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