Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

Church historian, b. at Troyes, France, 1825; d. at Paris, Nov. 8, 1878. He completed his classical training and his theological studies in the Petit Seminaire and the Grand Seminaire of Troyes, in the former of which he became a teacher after his ordination to the priesthood, but had to resign apropos of a panegyric on the Bishop of Troyes, Etienne-Antoine de Boulogne (1809-1825), disgraced by Napoleon I, for his firm attitude on the occasion of the assembly of the French bishops in 1811. He then became tutor of Prince Eugene de Bauffremont, devoted himself to historical studies, and after the education of his pupil continued to live with the de Bauffremont family. He was a zealous antagonist of Gallicanism and devoted to the honour and the rights of the Holy See. He was at Rome during the Vatican Council as secretary to the meetings of the French bishops. His first literary work was the translation of Pallavicino's "Storia del Concilio Tridentino" for the Migne collection. To the same period belongs the "Légende de Notre-Dame" (Paris, 1848), written under the influence of Montalembert. The early theological studies of Darras did not include a good foundation in ecclesiastical history ; this defect he sought to make good by private studies. His "Histoire générale de l'Eglise" in four volumes appeared at Paris in 1854 (14th ed., 1890). It follows the reigns of the popes, but betrays in the author a lack of methodical training and critical skill, defects noticeable also in his other works. In the following years Darras published a "Histoire de St. Dénis l'Aréopagite, premier évêque de Paris" (Paris, 1863); a "Histoire de Notre Seigneur Jésus-Christ" (Paris, 1864), two volumes, and a "Notice biographique de Mgr. Jager" (Paris, 1868). He collaborated with Collin in the "Grande Vie des Saints" (Paris, 1873-75) twenty-five volumes. In the meantime he had prepared the material for his chief work: "Histoire de l'Eglise depuis la création", the first twenty-five volumes of which appeared before his death (Paris, 1875-77). They brought the narrative down to the twelfth century. After his death, J. Bareille continued the work to the pontificate of Clement VII (volumes XXVI-XXXII, Paris, 1879-84). It was completed by J. Fevre to the pontificate of Leo XIII, inclusive (volumes XXXIII-XLIV, Paris, 1884-1907, with two volumes of Index). This work discloses the defects mentioned above. For a sharp criticism of it by the Bollandist Charles de Smedt, S.J., see the latter's "Principes de la critique historique" (Liège, 1885), 137 sqq., 285.


More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online


Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 52:13--53:12
13 Look, my servant will prosper, will grow great, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 31:2, 6, 12-13, 15-16, 17, 25
2 turn your ear to me, make haste. Be for me a ... Read More

Gospel, John 18:1--19:42
1 After he had said all this, Jesus left with his ... Read More

Reading 2, Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9
14 Since in Jesus, the Son of God, we have the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 18th, 2014 Image

St. Apollonius the Apologist
April 18: Martyr whose Apologia, or defense of the faith, is considered ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter