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Leopold Janauschek



Cistercian, born at Brünn, Moravia, 13 October, 1827; died 23 July, 1898, at Baden, near Vienna. In 1846 he received the religious habit at the Cistercian Abbey of Zwettl, Lower Austria, where he was professed in 1848. His superiors then sent him to their house of studies of Heiligenkreuz near Vienna, where he studied philosophy and theology, and after his ordination to the priesthood was made professor of history and canon. His learned works on these sciences soon attracted attention and won for him in 1858 the chair of ecclesiastical history in the University of Vienna. But in 1859 he was recalled by his superiors to Heiligenkreuz, where he continued as professor until 1877. During this time he composed his first great work, "Originum Cisterciensium Liber Primus" (Vienna, 1877), in which he describes the foundation of the Order of Citeaux, its organization and extension, and mentions many of those who, under various titles, had honoured it. He gives a lengthy account of 742 ancient abbeys of monks, founded between the end of the eleventh and the end of the seventeenth centuries. Each of the genealogical and chronological tables, as well as the entire work itself, supposes colossal labour of research and compilation. He was unable to publish the second volume, which was to have been devoted to the monasteries of Cistercian nuns, and for which he had collected a great deal of material; but it will be utilized by the continuator of his work. He also published, at this period, a work of less importance on the history of the Cistercian Order.

His second great work is entitled "Bibliographia Bernardina". In 1891, on the occasion of the eighth centenary of the birth of St. Bernard, the Cistercian Congregation of Austria prepared four volumes for the glory of this illustrious doctor, under the title of "Xenia Bernardina". Janauschek gave his assistance in the preparation of the first three volumes, but the fourth, "Bibliographia Bernardina" (Vienna, 1891), was entirely his own work. He there treats successively of the different editions of the works of St. Bernard and their translations, the essays on the life of the saint, various panegyrics, his biographers, the inscriptions in his honour, the opinions of ecclesiastical historians, etc. These great works of Janauschek exhibit profound research, unconquerable perseverance, and great skill in classification. For these works the author was obligated to search many libraries and consult numerous archives; the books noticed in "Xenia Bernardina" amount to 2761 printed, and 119 manuscript volumes. The author was also obliged to communicate with many learned men. Despite weak health, which for many years permitted him to leave his room only at rare intervals, he persevered at his great task until interrupted by death.

EDMOND M. OBRECHT








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