Ernest Psichari

[Ernest Psichari] Novelist and soldier whose writings combine militaristic sentiments with a semimystical religious devotion. Born on 27 September 1883 in Paris, France; died on 22 August 1914 in Rossignol, Belgium. Grandson of the historian Ernest Renan. Son of a Greek philologist, Jean Psichari. Psichari grew up in an atmosphere of liberal intellectualism. After a period of acute emotional and mental stress, he started on the long journey toward an acceptance of religious faith, encouraged by the French Catholic intellectuals Maurice Barrès, Charles Péguy, and Jacques Maritain. As a artillery officer in the French Colonial army in Africa from 1906 to 1912 he first found the satisfaction of a rigid moral commitment. Converted to Roman Catholicism in 1913. In 1914 he resolved to join the Dominicans, but was killed in the opening days of World War I. His novels The Call to Arms, The Voyage of the Centurion and The Voice that Cries in the Desert are spiritual autobiographies.

New Catholic Dictionary

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