Biographies Father Jules Blin (1853-1891)

Image: Father Jules Blin (1853-1891)
Father Jules Blin (1853-1891). Courtesy of Father Charles Libois, S.J., Collège de la Sainte-Famille, Cairo, and Lebanon.

(born November, 1853; admitted as a Jesuit, September 20, 1877; died June 8, 1891)

Translated from the Latin by David Shive

Jules Blin was born in a section of the diocese of Le Mans commonly called Marigné.[1] Having passed the course of lower studies and having studied theology for two years in the Le Mans seminary, he went to Algeria to devote himself to mission work among the Arabs. Returning to France, he lived for some time at our Collège of Dole[2] in the position of auxiliary. Then admitted to the Society,[3] he asked to serve his apprenticeship in Syria in the Ghazir House of Probation.[4] For two years he was prefect of morals in Beirut University, and also spent two years as a missionary in Hauran station.[5] Sent afterwards to Egypt, he taught grammar at the Collège of the Holy Family. However, when a grave plague raged (apparently cholera), he exhausted himself totally [caring for] the health of the sick, at the danger of his own life. In the following years while he was engaged in Arabic studies, he wrote a grammar of the Arabic language. But, because of teaching, his voice almost failed him, [and] he betook himself to the study of Coptic language, in which shortly he became so practiced that he taught its elements to seminary students and translated liturgical books. Very experienced in music, he transcribed with notes and melody the chants of Coptic liturgy, a work of most excellent utility and celebrated with worthy praise.

Meanwhile the disease, with which he had been infected already for some years, was strengthening daily. But he, by strength of sublime invincible spirit, overcame the most vehement pains, [and was] often heard thanking God the more he was suffering [literally: being crucified]. Recalled to France, when he seemed to be better, he hastened to return to Egypt to renew his labors. But soon, the disease becoming more serious, which could be relieved by no remedy, [and] advised of his approaching death, with happy face he accepted the news, and himself asked that as soon as possible he might receive the sacraments of the church. Piously he died at the Cairo Collège [of the Holy Family] at the age of thirty-eight.

From Litterae Annuae Provinciae Lugdunensis Societatis Jesu, 1890-1891. Brussels: Typis Polleunis & Ceuterick, 1892, page 64. John J. Burns Library of Rare Books and Special Collections, Boston College University Libraries. Digital image of original text kindly provided by Justine Hyland, a librarian, in the Burns Library.

Notes

  1. Marigné-Laillé, in the diocese of Le Mans, is in the department of Sarthe, in northwestern France. [back to biography]
  2. Dole is in the Jura department in eastern France [back to biography]
  3. Society of Jesus, that is, the Jesuits. [back to biography]
  4. Ghazir is in present-day Lebanon. [back to biography]
  5. Hauran is in the southwest of present-day Syria. [back to biography]

About this Item

Title
Father Jules Blin (1853-1891)
Subject Headings
-  Biographies
-  Songs and Music
Genre
biography
Notes
-  Translated from the Latin by David Shive. (General)
-  From Litterae Annuae Provinciae Lugdunensis Societatis Jesu, 1890-1891. Brussels: Typis Polleunis & Ceuterick, 1892, page 64. (source note)
-  Digital image of original text kindly provided by Justine Hyland, a librarian, in the Burns Library. (General)
-  John J. Burns Library of Rare Books and Special Collections, Boston College University Libraries. (Copyright Notice)
Online Format
online text
Description
Biography. Translated from the Latin by David Shive. (General). From Litterae Annuae Provinciae Lugdunensis Societatis Jesu, 1890-1891. Brussels: Typis Polleunis & Ceuterick, 1892, page 64. (Source Note). Digital image of original text kindly provided by Justine Hyland, a librarian, in the Burns Library. (General). John J. Burns Library of Rare Books and Special Collections, Boston College University Libraries. (Copyright Notice). From Litterae Annuae Provinciae Lugdunensis Societatis Jesu, 1890-1891. Brussels: Typis Polleunis & Ceuterick, 1892, page 64. John J. Burns Library of Rare Books and Special Collections, Boston College University Libraries. Digital image of original text kindly provided by Justine Hyland, a librarian, in the Burns Library.
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Wassif Boutros-Ghali, President, Société d’Archéologie Copte, Cairo, for permission to reproduce articles on O.H.E. Burmester by Otto Meinardus, an atlas of Christian sites in Egypt by Meinardus, a photograph of O.H.E. Burmester, and a brochure on a map of Christian Egypt by Burmester, all published by the Société d’Archéologie Copte. 

Yasmine El Dorghamy, Turath, for permission to reproduce the article on Ragheb Moftah by Dr. Raymond Stock from Turath, August 2008.

Estate of John E. Gillespie, for permission to use two articles by John Gillespie and to reproduce the Gillespie correspondence in the American Folklife Center.

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Claire Lamont, The Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, London, for permission to reproduce Oriental Hymn Tunes by William Henry Temple, 1930.

Karen Lee of Cengage Learning, Belmont, California, for permission to use a selection of texts from The Coptic Encyclopedia.

Father Charles Libois, S.J., Collège de la Sainte-Famille, Cairo, and Lebanon, for photographs of Fathers Jules Blin and Louis Badet, as well as biographical sources on them.

Stephen McArthur of Multicultural Media, for permission to digitize four tracks from Echoes of the Nile: Aspects of Egyptian Music.

MVF - Michael Video, Heliopolis, for permission to reproduce film of Moftah’s funeral, 18 June 2001.

Simon O’Neill, Group Editor, The Oxford Mail and The Oxford Times, for permission to reproduce two articles on Newlandsmith’s lectures in England in  May 1931.

Alan Powell, The Star, Sheffield, for permission to reproduce an article on Newlandsmith in the Sheffield Mail, 1931.

Sinead Porter, NI Syndication, London, for permission to reproduce an article on Newlandsmith from The Daily Herald, 1931.

David Ramm, Editor-in-Chief, AMS Press, Brooklyn, New York, for permission to reproduce The Coptic Morning Service for the Lord’s Day by the Marquess of Bute.

Dr. Geoffrey Rutowski and Dr. Carl Zytowski, University of California, Santa Barbara, for permission to reproduce their memorial article on John Gillespie.

Father Thomas Sable, S.J., Director, Center for Eastern Christian Studies and Editor of Diakonia, The Theology Department, University of Scranton, Scranton, Pennsylvania, for permission to reproduce Marian Robertson’s article on Newlandsmith’s transcriptions, and for giving us a copy of Diakonia.

His Grace, Bishop Serapion, Bishop of Los Angeles, and His Grace, Bishop Youssef, Bishop of Southern USA, for permission to reproduce The Divine Liturgies of Saints Basil, Gregory and Cyril, 2001.

Youssef Sidhom, Editor-in-Chief, Watani Newspaper, for permission to use the documentary film, Eminent Copts in Egyptian History: The Power of Coptic Music, Ragheb Moftah 1998, which includes an interview with Moftah by the late Egyptian musicologist, Dr. Adel Kamel.

Welcome Video Film, Cairo, for permission to reproduce film of Moftah’s 100th birthday, 21 December 1998.

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Father Jules Blin 1853 to 1891. Online Text. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/ihas.200155940/. (Accessed July 27, 2017.)

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Father Jules Blin 1853 to 1891. Online Text. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <https://www.loc.gov/item/ihas.200155940/>.