Jean Baptiste Girard

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The Père Girard monument in Friborg with the statue of the philosopher, statue by the sculptor JS Volmar (1860, height 2.5 m).
Relief on the Père Girard monument in Freiburg i. Üe., Work by Raphael Christen
Relief on the monument in honor of Père Girard in Freiburg i. Üe., Work by Raphael Christen

Jean Baptiste Girard , religious name Grégoire, (born December 17, 1765 in Freiburg im Üechtland ; † March 6, 1850 ibid), was a Swiss minorite (Franciscan conventual) and educator.

He studied theology in Lucerne and Würzburg , which he viewed in a philosophical sense. After being ordained a priest in Freiburg in 1788, he worked in Überlingen until 1789 and then as a philosophy teacher and preacher at his place of birth. On the basis of his paper: Projet d'éducation publique , which he had submitted to the Minister of Education of the Helvetic Government, Philipp Albert Stapfer , he was appointed to Lucerne as archivist. When the seat of government was moved to Bern , Girard came to Bern as a government pastor until 1803, where he celebrated the first Catholic worship service since the Reformation. His ecumenical attitude and popular liturgy contributed significantly to the resurgence of Catholicism in Bern. After he had already done a lot for the school system as a pastor, he was director of the primary schools in his hometown from 1804 to 1824 , later professor of philosophy at the Lyceum of Lucerne, where the Sonderbund politician Bernhard von Meyer was his favorite student.

In 1834 he returned to the convent of his native Freiburg, which was part of the Strasbourg Minorite Province ( Provincia Argentina Conventualium ). The Pestalozzian ideas about upbringing had won him over to himself ever since he had visited the Yverdon asylum with others in 1810 on the official instructions of the Diet and reported on them. He was also known for promoting the Lancaster schools . In 1850 the Freiburg government ordered a monument for Girard from the Bernese sculptor Joseph Simon Volmar . It was inaugurated ten years later and then supplemented with reliefs by Raphael Christians .


  • The l'enseignement régulier de la langue maternelle dans les écoles et dans la famille. Paris 1844.
  • Course éducatif de la langue maternelle. 6 volumes. Paris 1840-1848.


Web links

Individual notes

  1. Marcel Strub: Les monuments d'art et d'histoire du canton de Friborg . Tome 1: La ville de Friborg (= La société d'histoire de l'art en Suisse [ed.]: Les monuments d'art et d'histoire de la Suisse ). Birkäuser, Basel 1964, p. 201 (French).