Above: Marie-Joseph Lagrange
Image in the Public Domain
MARIE-JOSEPH LAGRANGE (MARCH 7, 1855-MARCH 10, 1938)
Roman Catholic Priest and Biblical Scholar
Born Albert Marie-Henri Lagrange
Marie-Joseph Lagrange honored God with his faith and his intellect.
Albert Marie-Henri Lagrange, born at Bourg-en-Bresse, France, on March 7, 1855, did not seek a religious life at first. He studied law then worked as an attorney for five years. Eventually, after studying at seminary at Issy, Lagrange decided to join a religious order. In 1880 he joined the Order of Preachers, or the Dominicans, and took the name Marie-Joseph Lagrange. After completing one stage of study at Salamanca, Spain, Lagrange became a priest in 1883. Next he studied oriental languages at Vienna. In 1890 Lagrange founded the Ecole Biblique et Archeologique Francais de Jerusalem. Our saint accepted modern science and biblical criticism. He rejected the old idea that Moses wrote the Torah and pondered the chronological difficulties of the Book of Daniel. Lagrange also applied archeology to the study of the Bible. He found support for all this in Pope Leo XIII‘s encyclical, Providentissimus Deus (1893), a theologically conservative document that encouraged biblical scholarship in the light of “new” knowledge and the inspiration of scripture. The reactionary Pope St. Pius X (reigned 1903-1914) launched a decades-long assault on theological modernism. Lagrange became a casualty of this reality; he had to leave the Ecole Biblique in 1912.
Lagrange remained a faithful Roman Catholic despite the way the Church treated him. He also remained an active scholar; his oeuvre contained 1,786 articles and books. Some of the more notable volumes were commentaries on the Gospels of Mark (1911), Luke (1920), Matthew (1923), and John (1925). He died at Marseille, France, on March 10, 1938, aged 83 years.
Lagrange would have approved of Vatican II.
KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR
JANUARY 14, 2017 COMMON ERA
THE FEAST OF SAINT MACRINA THE ELDER, HER FAMILY, AND SAINT GREGORY OF NAZIANZUS THE YOUNGER
THE FEAST OF CIVIL RIGHTS MARTYRS AND ACTIVISTS
THE FEAST OF KRISTEN KVAMME, NORWEGIAN-AMERICAN HYMN WRITER AND TRANSLATOR
THE FEAST OF SAINT SAVA I, FOUNDER OF THE SERBIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH AND FIRST ARCHBISHOP OF SERBS
O God, you have endowed us with memory, reason, and skill.
We thank you for the faithful legacy of [Marie-Joseph Lagrange and all others]
who have dedicated their lives to you and to the intellectual pursuits.
May we, like them, respect your gift of intelligence fully and to your glory.
In the Name of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR
MARCH 6, 2013 COMMON ERA
THE FEAST OF SAINT CHRODEGANG OF METZ, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP
THE FEAST OF EDMUND KING, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF LINCOLN