Jean-Pierre Camus

Bishop of Belley, theologian and writer.

Born in 1584, he was the son of an intendant of Henri IV’s finances.
He began a career in law at the parliament of Paris before turning to religion.
At first attracted to monasticism, he became a priest.

Henri IV appointed him bishop of Belley before he reached canonical age (he was only 24 years old).
He was consecrated in 1609 by his master of thought, François de Sales, bishop of Geneva(based in Annecy).
The two men remained very close until the death of the future Saint François de Sales in 1622.

At Belley, the Jean-Pierre Camus park was named after him.
In his bishopric, he marked by his eloquence, his humility, his devotion.
He was very attentive to the fate of the destitute and lived modestly.

He was a deputy of the clergy to the States General of 1614.
There he delivered fiery sermons on the attention to be given to the poorest.
He resigned his episcopate in 1629 and retired to an abbey in Normandy.
The archbishop of Rouen, who was ill, entrusted him with a share of his responsibilities by naming him vicar-general of his diocese.
In 1649, he moved to the office of the incurably ill in Paris.
King Louis XIV appointed him bishop of Arras in 1651, but he died in 1652 before this appointment was effective.
He left a literary work of more than two hundred volumes including pious novels, short stories, philosophical works, treatises on theology, collections of memories (The Spirit of Saint Francis de Sales), writings against monks…