Famous characters

The church maintains the memory of several famous characters.

Pascal and Racine

French philosopher Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) is buried in Saint-Etienne-du-Mont because he passed away on the parish premises.

The remains of French playwright Jean Racine (1639-1699) were brought here after the dismantling of jansenist-oriented Port-Royal des Champs abbey because his family lived in the area. Besides, Saint-Etienne was a parish with strong jansenist connections.

Frédéric Ozanam (1813-1853)

Médaillon à l'effigie de Frédéric Ozanam - Medallion with effigy of Frédéric Ozanam

Médaillon à l’effigie de Frédéric Ozanam – Medallion with effigy of Frédéric Ozanam

A young student born in Lyon, he founded the Saint-Vincent-de-Paul Society with some friends in 1833, and chose this parish (then one of the poorest in Paris) to gather the first conference of the Society.

Both a lay charity and a missionary society, its action predates social Catholicism such as Pope Leon XIII defined it in its “Rerum Novarum” encyclical letter (1891).
Now the organization has an international reach, with 850 000 members in 116 countries on all 5 continents (of which 30 000 members in France). [more (in French) on the Society’s website]

Pope John Paul II beatified Frédéric Ozanam in Saint-Etienne-du-Mont church on August 22, 1997, on the occasion of World Youth Days.


A real life visit is even more enjoyable !

When on the spot, you can get a copy of the pamphlet designed by the “Art, Culture et Foi” association, the text of which was used to write these pages.

English version kindly performed by Mr Wronecki, and Mr & Mrs McNulty.