Eugène Boré was born in Angers on August 15, 1809 in lawyer's family. He had a profoundly pious youth and brilliantly studious. From the college in Angers he went to the Collège Stanislas in Paris, where at eighteen he won the prize in philosophy in a competition of all the colleges of France. One of the rivals was Alfred de Musset. And - significant detail - that is, at the same time he imposed a daily morning meditation.
After a year at law he engaged himself in the study of languages, and especially Oriental languages. In 1829 with his brother Léon, also a linguist and a noted translator, he joined the coterie of the Abbé Félicité de Lamennais, to which he introduced his college-mate, Maurice de Guérin. With Montalembert he tried to persude Lamennais to submit and did not give up hope of the latter's return to the Church until 1851. He was one of the favorite Lemannais's disciples, often called "beloved Eugene", and the last who left when the "master' rebelled against the Church in 1834.
In 1833 Boré was appointed by Guizot, professor of Armenian course at the College de France. At the same time he became member of Asiatic Society and won fame in the "Journal Asiatique". In 1835, he commissioned a literary mission in the Mechitarists convent in Venice. After spending six months of 1837 in Constantinople he went to Erzerum Theodosiopolis in Armenia together with Fr Scaffi, a Vincentian. "The final goal of my work", then he wrote to his brother Leon, "is the truth of the cause of the Catholic religion." He demonstrated it in various achievements and practices, in particular, triggering the installation of the Congregation of the Mission in Persia in 1841. At Tauris he started a school as an opening wedge for Christianity, whose service was always his chief concern. The Shah of Persia honoured him for the excellence of his school. In addition to many learned studies sent to France, his interesting letters were published as "The Correspondence of a Traveller in the Orient". And while the distinctions - cross of Legion of Honor (for services to France in Middle East), papal decorations (Pope Gregory XVI made him a Knight of the Golden Militia in 1842 and Knight of St. Gregory the Great in 1843) - rain down on him, he felt increasingly drawn to the priesthood.
Knowing forty Oriental idioms, most of them thoroughly, he published in some of these tongues excellent controversial works. He was eager for the return of the schismatics to the Church and was aided in his apostolate by his wide acquaintance with the most learned and influential men of France and Italy. He published an illuminating report of the condition of the Holy Land whither he was sent by France to investigate in 1847.
He entered the Congregation of the Mission in January 1849 in Constantinople. On April 7, 1850 he was ordained priest there. Then he returned to France where he gets through Internal Seminary in Paris. In January 1851 he took vows and soon afterwards Fr Jean-Baptiste Étienne, Superior General of the Congregation appointed him a director of college in Bebek (neighborhood of Istanbul) and on September 6, 1851 the Visitor of province of Constantinople. For fifteen years there he has done a lot of zealous work for the Muslims as well as the Congregation and Christians especially on the battlefield during the Crimean War.
In 1866 he is revoked from his beloved East. He was appointed Secretary General of the Congregation of the Mission. After the death of Fr Etienne, the Assembly elects Fr Boré to be 15th Superior General of the Congregation of the Mission. Sudden illness shortened his life four years later. It seemed that he would retain his healthy long time in office and even two days before his death he had developed his workday at usual pace. Died at 22:30 on May 3, 1878 at Maison-Mere in Paris.
- This entry was based on the article Eugène Boré at New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia.
- Original information comes from "The Catholic Encyclopedia", Volume XVI (Index Volume). Published 1914. New York: The Encyclopedia Press, Inc. Nihil Obstat, March 1, 1914. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York