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Neither Angel nor Beast by Francis X.J. Coleman

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3

PIOUS APPRAISALS

In the Mémoires du Père Beurrier the author notes at the beginning of Book III that he intends to recount ‘the most remarkable things that happened during the twenty-two years that I have been priest of Saint-Etienne’ (Saint-Etienne-du-Mont, the parish where Pascal died). Chapter 11 treats ‘Of the malady and death of Monsieur Pascal and of what happened on that occasion.’ Father Beurrier tells us that he assisted Pascal during his last illness, ‘which lasted six whole weeks,’ and administered ‘the last Christian obligations after his death.’ Rumor had it that Pascal had died without Extreme Unction. The archbishop of Paris, Monsieur de Péréfixe, asked Father Beurrier to give an account of the last days of this man who had helped ...

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