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BOOK REVIEWS315 bibliography, an alphabetical index. ERNEST F. LATKO, O.F.M Lourdes Seminary, Cedar Lake, Indiana. Les Ciarisses de Geneve, 1473-1535-1793. Edmond Ganter. Geneva: Editions de Ia Société Catholique d'Histoire, 1949. Pp- 238. Swiss frs. 6.50 ($1.50). Msgr. Marius Besson, the late Bishop of Lausanne, Geneva, and Fribourg, was one of the foremost modern Swiss historians. His numerous scholarly publications on the early history of the Church in French Switzerland have inspired an admirable rebirth of interest in the entire field of French Swiss Catholic history, of which the present work is a typical and significant result. The scenic shores of Lake Geneva became famous during the eighteenth century due to the residence in that region of such personages as Rousseau, Mme. de Stael, Gibbons, and Voltaire. However, it is a fact of more interest to Franciscan historians that before the religious revolution of the sixteenth century, this region formed part of the flourishing Conventual Province of Burgundy or of St. Bonaventure, which included the following communities: Geneva (1256-1534), Lausanne (1257-1536), Nyon (1285-1536), and Grandson (1308-1555), as well as an Observant friary in Morges (1500-1536) - see Anastasius Buegler, O.F.M. Cap., Die Franziskus-Orden in der Schweiz (Schwyz, Drittordenszentrale, 1926) pp. 31*34 and 39"40; and as primary source, Jacques Fodéré, O.S.F., iSarration .historique et topographique des couvens de l'ordre de S. François et monastères de Ste. Claire, érigés en la Province anciennement appellee Bourgogne, à présent de St. Bonaventure (Lyon 1619)· In 1425 the dynamic St. Colette of Corbie made a foundation of her reformed Poor Clares at Vevey and the following year another at Orbe. In the same year, while passing through Geneva, she is reported to have prophesied that a third foundation would eventually be made in that city, that it would disappear during the following century, but that its nuns would remain faithful to their vocation. It is the dramatic history of that convent of Poor Clares in Geneva which M. Edmond Ganter has ably narrated and which the local Société' Catholique d'Histoire has published with numerous excellent illustrations. After outlining the history and customs of the Poor Clares, the author describes conditions in Geneva at the end of the middle ages and then the coming of the Sisters in 1477. After only fifty-five years of peaceful monastic life, the religious and political civil wat of the so-called Refotmation btoke out, bringing with it the occupation of the city by the army of the Protestant Canton of Berne, which was followed by a period filled with Protestant-Catholic street riots and assasinations, dulminating in the practical extermination of Catholicism. It so happens that a vivid and well-written narrative of these events as they affected the humble daughtets of St. Clare was written by the very intelligent and capable Soeur Jeanne de Jussie (1503-1561), who was Abbess of the community in exile at Annecy for the last thirteen yeats of her life. First printed in Chambery in 1611 under the title Le Levain du Calvinisme ou commencement de l'hérésie de Geneve, this invaluable historical document was reprinted in Geneva in 1853 and 1865· (According to the National Union Catalog in the Library of Congress, the only copy in the United States is in the library of the University of Iowa.) Extensive extracts were published in La France franciscaine, vol. 2, 1913, PP· 15-117. It is to be hoped that the Geneva Catholic Historical Society will soon make available a new critical edition of this temarkably stirring and charming case-history of the Ptotestant revolt as experienced by a community of 316BOOK REVIEWS devout Poor Clares. After many alarms and verbal attacks, the good Sisters were allowed to leave Geneva in 1535 for Annecy, where they flourished until the Ftench Revolution. This excellent historical monograph is dedicated to the memory of a contemporary French Swiss Poor Clare of Jerusalem, whose autobiography and spiritual notes have just been published in English by the Newman Press as 7'Ae Spiritual Legacy of Sister Mary of the Holy Trinity. In...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1945-9718
Print ISSN
0080-5459
Pages
pp. 315-316
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
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