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Alexandre Vincent Jandel
General of the Dominican order, born at Gerbevilliers (Lorraine), 18 July, 1810; died at Rome, 11 December, 1872. He was remarkable from his earliest years for intelligence and resolution, qualities derived chiefly from his mother, a person of rare endowments, who did not fear to succour priests during the Revolution. After a brilliant collegiate course at Nancy, he entered the diocesan seminary in that city, where his success was equally great. Jandel was ordained priest 20 September, 1834, then appointed professor of Scripture, and soon afterwards rector of the seminary at Pont-à-Mousson. The young superior was regarded as a model of sanctity and learning. At this time he became acquainted with Bautain, Gerbet, Ratisbonne, and many other distinguished men, among them Lacordaire. Such was the impression made on him by Lacordaire, that he began to think of entering the Domninican Order, which the great preacher proposed to restore in France, where it had been destroyed by the Revolution. In 1839 he therefore went to Rome, consulted Gregory XVI on the matter, and finally received the habit on 15 May, 1841. Two years afterwards Jandel and Lacordaire commenced the great work of re-establishing their order in France. Lacordaire was an orator; Jandel was a ruler of men, calm, grave, sagacious, tenacious of traditions and customs, and pre-eminently practical. Though he had not the genius of his associate, he preached with great results. A sermon at Lyons on the power of the Cross led to his being challenged by a Freemason to prove the truth of his words in the lodge; he entered it, produced his crucifix, and made the sign of the cross; instantly the lights were extinguished, the furniture was thrown about, and all but he fled in terror from the scene of confusion.
Many holy persons in France placed themselves under his guidance. Pius IX, however, called him to Rome, and made him in 1850 vicar-general of the order ad beneplacitum, and in 1855 general for six years. He was soon recognized as the greatest religious superior and one of the most enlightened spiritual directors in the city. Of those whom he instructed at this time, two may be mentioned: Cardinal Manning and Father Burke. A born administrator, he infused new life into the order. Several provinces were re-established, and houses opened everywhere. The Dominican nuns (second order) and tertiaries were also greatly indebted to his zeal. He also did much to promote devotion to the rosary and to propagate the doctrine of St. Thomas. Such were the services he rendered to the Holy See especially as regarded the Zouaves, that Pius IX, who was warmly attached to him, intended to make him a cardinal; but Providence disposed otherwise, for he was elected general of the order, 7 June, 1862. He visited Ireland twice, and only weak health prevented him from visiting America. New editions of liturgical books and of the "constitutions" or legislation formed part of his characteristic work. He also paid great attention to foreign missions. During his term of office sixteen Dominicans were beatified or canonized. He presidedat two chapters of the order (Ghent, 1971), and he is justly considered as one of the greatest generals that the order has had during the seven centuries of its existence.
The stand authority is Cormier, Vie du Révérendissime Père Jandel,soixante-troisième Maître Général des Frères Prêcheurs (Paris, 1890).