Born in Saint-Symphorien d’Ozon, France, in 1641. Entered the Society of Jesus in 1659 and was ordained a priest in 1669. A professor of rhetoric, he dedicated his ministry to preaching. He effectively helped St Margaret Mary Alacoque in spreading the cult of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Sent to London as preacher to the Duchess of York, he was slandered, imprisoned and exiled. He died in Paray, France, in 1682. He was declared blessed by Pope Pius XI in 1929 and canonised by John Paul II in 1992.
Following a visit to his tomb, Fr Dehon recognised him as “a model” for his religious. He wrote: «His Retraite is one of our most fortifying readings and his act of oblation has become our daily offering» (OSP 5: ESC II, 601).