De Launoy, Jean (1603–1678)
A celebrated doctor of the Sorbonne, canonist, and historian,
De Launoy was born in Valdesie, Normandy, France. He
studied at the University of Paris and after being ordained as
a priest was admitted as a doctor of divinity at Navarre. He resisted
the claims of the court of Rome and specialized in exposing
legendary religious fables and demolishing dubious claims
for saints. He thinned the ranks of sainthood by his keen scrutiny.
One commentator remarked, ‘‘He suspected the whole
martyrology, and examined all the saints as they do the nobility
of France.’’ In spite of his severe judgments, he was known as
a kindhearted and benevolent man. He wrote several books
based upon his work.