Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Nicholas of Gorran

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(Or GORRAIN)

Medieval preacher, and scriptural commentator; b. in 1232 at Gorron, France; d. about 1295. He entered the Dominican Order in the convent of his native town and became one of its most illustrious alumni. His talents singled him out for special educational opportunities, and he was sent accordingly to the famous convent of St. James in Paris. In this convent he subsequently served several terms as prior. His piety and sound judgment attracted the attention of Philip IV of France, whom he served in the double capacity of confessor and adviser. In most of his ecclesiastical studies he does not seem to have excelled notably; but in preaching and in the interpretation of the Scriptures he was unsurpassed by any of his contemporaries. His scriptural writings treat of all the books of the Old and the New Testament, and possess more than ordinary merit. Indeed, in such high esteem were they held by the doctors of the University of Paris that the latter were wont to designate their author as excellens postulator. The commentaries on the Books of Ecclesiastes, Ezechiel, and Daniel, while generally attributed to Nicholas of Gorran, have at times been ascribed to a different authorship. His commentary on the Epistles of St. Paul is remarkably well done, and his gloss on the Apocalypse was deemed worthy of the highest commendation. Besides his Scriptural writings he commented on the Lombard's Book of Sentences and on the Book of Distinctions. His commentaries on the Gospels were published in folio at Cologne (1573) by Peter Quentel; and at Antwerp (1617) by John Keerberg. His commentaries on the Epistles of St. Paul were published at Cologne (1478); Hagenau (1502); Paris (1521); Antwerp (1617).

QUETIF-ECHARD, SS. Ord. Praed., I; LAJARD, Histoire litt. de France, XX (Paris, 1842), 324-56; DENIFLE AND CHATELAIN, Chartularium Univ. Parisian., II (Paris, 1891).

John B. O'Connor.