KADOC Politics and Religion

Read more about Gezelle's contact with prominent Catholic politicians.

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Jules Lammens

Gezelle was associated with a number of Catholic politicians. One of them was Jules Lammens, a prominent Catholic and Flemish-minded senator for the Courtrai district. The Gezelle Archives have 18 letters from Jules Lammens to Gezelle and one reply only in the form of a draft letter. 15 of Gezelle's letters to the senator are in KADOC (Documentation and Research Centre on Religion, Culture and Society at KU Leuven). Connecting both sides of the correspondence, it provides a fascinating look at Gezelle's relationship to the higher Catholic circles.

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O Cross, Which Supports Our Hope

The contact started in June 1883 when Lammens asked Gezelle to translate a Latin poem for a monument of the crucifixion of Jesus, that he erected in Tielt. Gezelle sent him eight lines: O Crucified God, standing before me. At Lammens' request, the poem was shortened to 4 lines o Cross, which supports our hope.

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Le Bien Public

The letters that follow are mainly devoted to the Catholic press. Lammens was the editor of the influential Catholic newspaper Le Bien Public. From 1886 onwards the Royal Flemish Academy also appeared in the correspondence. Lammens was, after all, closely involved in Gezelle's appointment to the Academy. We can also see Gezelle acting as an intermediary to obtain all kinds of services from the senator.

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