Jean Siffrein Maury, a French cardinal, born at Valreas, Venaissin, June 26, 1746, died May 11, 1817. He was the son of a shoemaker, and was educated for the priesthood at Avignon. At the age of 20 he went to Paris as abbe pre-cepteur, but devoted himself to preaching, obtained an accessit from the academy for an elogt on Fenelon in 1770, and by his panegyrics on St. Louis in 1772 and St. Augustine in 1775 placed himself at the head of the French pulpit orators of the time. He was appointed preacher to the court, pleased both believers and philosophers, and through the influence of the former obtained the abbey of Frenade and the priory of Lihons, and through that of the latter a' seat in the academy. In 1785 he pronounced his masterpiece of religious eloquence, a panegyric on St. Vincent de Paul. At the convocation of the states general lie was chosen to it as a deputy of the clergy, immediately took a leading part in the debates as a defender of the church, aristocracy, and royalty, and was the most daring and powerful antagonist of Mirabeau. Until the flight of Louis XVI. he opposed the revolutionary measures with preeminent skill and at constant peril. At the close of the constituent assembly he left France, and was received with a triumph at Home, where he took up his residence.
He was made successive] v archbishop of Nicaa in partihus, nuncio , to the diet at Frankfort for the election of emperor, cardinal, and bishop of Montetiascone and Corneto. On the invasion by the French in 1798 he escaped in disguise to Venice, and passed thence to St. Petersburg. Returning in 1799, he was appointed by the count of Provence (afterward Louis XVIII.) his ambassador to the holy see, but became reconciled to Napoleon, and returned to France in 1806. He was declared a French cardinal, was consulted in ecclesiastical affairs, and elected a member of the institute, but lost the esteem of his former friends. In 1810 he was appointed archbishop of Paris, and his florid episcopal charges were subjects of ridicule, and showed no signs of his former energy. When the pope was taken to Savona as a captive of Napoleon, he ordered Cardinal Maury to relinquish the administration of his diocese. He disobeyed, and after the restoration was imprisoned at Rome. His Essai sur l'eloqtu nee de la chaire (2 vols., 1810) is still esteemed. - See Poujoulat, Le cardinal Maury sa vie et ses oeuvres (Paris, 1855).