Father Louis Brisson


His childhood

Louis Brisson was born in Plancy (France), the 25th June 1817. He was baptized on 29th June. From the age of five, he already showed his zeal in inviting the workmen to attend the Mission which was being preached at Plancy. This early love for souls was the indicated his priestly vocation; it developed under the influence of his pious mother. She prepared him for his First Communion by joyful sacrifice. This very important act marked his life. He made his First Communion with great fervour in the church of Plancy at eleven years old. This intimate contact with his God alighted in his heart this burning love for Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament which would be his great devotion.

croquis- Plancy
Père Brisson jeune

In the Seminary

After have made his first latin classes at the presbytery of Plancy, he entered the Junior Seminary of Troyes and was distinguished there by his ardent piety and his superior intelligence, thus he brilliantly continued his studies at the Senior Seminary.

His ordination

The 19th December 1840, Father Brisson was ordained a priest and on 22nd December, he sang his first solemn Mass at Plancy. Shortly after his ordination, he was appointed chaplain of the Visitation of Troyes. He exercised this ministry for forty-four years.

The Visitation of Troyes

The Venerable Mother Mary de Sales Chappuis received the mission from God to establish a Congregation of Priests to spread the spirit and teachings of St. Francis de Sales throughout the world, and the Lord made known to her that Father Brisson was the providential instrument chosen by Him to cooperate in the foundation of this Institute.
The Servant of God having informed him, it was for Father Brisson the occasion of a long and terrible struggle. He did not want to surrender to the requests of the Venerable Mother. He feared that his liberty would be curbed and he felt a strong repugnance to do what she wanted. The Lord himself confirmed that this call came from Him.

The Catholic Association of St. Francis de Sales

Waiting for God’s hour to begin the foundation of the priests, Father Brisson gave himself generously to the various apostolic works in the town of Troyes. From 1857 he actively collaborated with Monsignor de Segur to establishment in the diocese the Catholic Association of St. Francis de Sales, of which he was appointed the director in 1858.

The foundation of the Oblate Sisters of St. Francis de Sales

At the same time Father Brisson opened centres for young working girls who were numerous in the industrial town of Troyes.
At the end of 1866, he entrusted the direction two former students of the Visitation of Troyes and, with the help of the Venerable Mother Mary de Sales Chappuis, he formed them in the religious life according to the spirit of St. Francis de Sales.
On 30th October 1868, Monsignor Mermillod clothed the first two Oblate Sisters. The 11th October 1871, Monsignor de Segur presided the ceremony of their profession. The new Congregation was one of the ways that God gave to spread the doctrine of St. Francis de Sales throughout the world, by the work of the apostolate.

The Foundation of the Oblate Fathers of St. Francis de Sales

These beginnings had their climax in the foundation of the Oblates Fathers of St. Francis de Sales. A fortuitous circumstance led Father Brisson to begin it. Monsignor Ravinet, the Bishop of Troyes, asked him to recommence a Secondary School in his episcopal city. Father Brisson thought that the moment was right to realize the idea of the Venerable Mother Mary de Sales Chappuis. He opened the College and soon was joined by dedicated employees.

Father Louis Brisson

On 11th October 1874, the Oblate Fathers began their novitiate, and the 27th August 1876, Father Brisson made Profession surrounded by the first five Oblate Fathers who then pronounced their vows in his hands.

The two Congregations, the Oblate Fathers and Oblate Sisters of St. Francis de Sales, were encouraged and approved by Pius IX and Leo XIII. They made rapid growth first in Europe, then in Africa and America. Their work multiplied colleges, boarding schools, youth centres and missions.

Father Brisson was the soul of them and governed his two families with sureness and the perspicacity of the future that God gives especially to founders. All converged on him. He treated all the affaires himself: the direction of studies, intellectual work, science, art, buildings, material and economic organization, which was not unknown to him; his creative genius embraced everything.

He added to this thorough knowledge of practical things a very intense spiritual life. He was essentially a soul of prayer, his union with God was habitual, he continually lived in the divine presence. He possessed a rare degree for the discernment of souls; he had the gift of reading souls and communicating their ardent faith which he revived in them. He exerted an irresistible attraction on them which led them, almost without their knowing, to fulfill the most generous acts of love for God.

Father Brisson used this remarkable influence not only on the two religious families, but on most of his numerous visitors. His kindness extended to everyone, each benefited without distinction from his incomparable charity which recalled that of Our Lord Himself. Father Brisson was marked with the divine seal of tribulation from the moment when he began the foundation of his work to which he was called. But in the last years of his fruitful life these sufferings were even more vigorous.

The religious persecution

The persecution against the religious institutions which broke out in France destroyed part of his undertakings which were so successful. His spiritual children were expelled. He himself was prevented by his age to follow them in exile. In 1903 he was forced to take refuge in Plancy in the humble house that had sheltered his childhood.

In these painful hours of adversity, Father Brisson virtue shined in all its splendour. He held his soul respectfully in regards to the will and permissions of God and said with Job: – “The Lord has given me everything, the Lord has taken everything from me. Blessed be his holy name!” – Firm in his faith and sure of God’s promises for the future of his two Congregations, it did not shake his invincible confidence: Let us stay well in the assurance that God is with us, he said, all that He will allow will be for us a great personal blessing and his glory will be spread by us in a more complete way.

The Lord rewarded the faith of his faithful servant; soon he saw the work of the Oblate Fathers and Sisters flourish abroad. At Plancy, God gave him the consolation of his apostolic work among the young workers, in a centre, the last fruit of his zeal. Father Brisson finished his days as he had begun them: in his birthplace, working for the salvation of souls he loved so much!

To heaven

In January 1908, a painful illness gave him the presentiment of his approaching death. He looked towards it with the peace of a good servant who has faithfully fulfilled the mission which God entrusted to him.
He received the last sacraments, his heart burning with love, with feelings of the deepest faith. The 2nd February, the day of the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, at the age of 90, he peacefully re-joined his Lord.
His work survives, and his many spiritual children repeat everywhere their filial love and deep veneration for whom he is their “good father.”


On 22 September 2012, during the Pontificate of Benedict XVI, Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Cause of Saints, presided over the celebration of the beatification of Father Louis Brisson in the Cathedral of Troyes.


Father of tenderness and mercy,
we thank You for having given us
in Blessed Louis Brisson
a priest of lively faith and inventive charity.
Empowered by Your Spirit
he walked in the footsteps of Christ,
announcing to the poor
and those struggling on the road of life
that You love them.
Come to our aid
and grant by his prayer
the favors we need,
Glory to the Father,
and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit.

God of infinite goodness,
who gave to the Priest Blessed Louis
the apostolic fervour of a lively faith and an ardent charity,
grant us, through his intercession,
the grace of following in the footsteps of Christ,
as joyful and courageous witnesses of his Gospel.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Blessed Father Louis Brisson,
pray for us and bless us (or) obtain this grace/cure for us.