François FENELON

Family tree of François FENELON

Author, Theologian


French Roman Catholic archbishop, theologian, poet and writer

Born on August 6, 1651 in Sainte-Mondane, France , France

Died on January 7, 1715 in Cambrai, France

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Fénelon was born at the Château de Fénelon, in Sainte-Mondane, Périgord, Aquitaine, the second of the three children of Pons de Salignac, Comte de La Mothe-Fénelon by his wife Louise de La Cropte. Being born into a noble family, many of Fénelon's ancestors had been active in politics, and for several generations his relatives had served as bishops of Sarlat.

Fénelon's early education was provided in the Château de Fénelon by a private tutor which provided Fénelon with a thorough grounding in the Greek language and classics. In 1663, at age 12, he was sent to the University of Cahors, where he studied rhetoric and philosophy. 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, 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.


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Geographical origins

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