Barthelemy Baudrand was one of the most widely-read spiritual authors in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In a series of
similarly-titled books, Baudrand blended the piety of the Jesuits with that of popular devotion.
Following the suppression of the Order, Baudrand settled in retirement in Lyons and continued to publish anonymously. His best-known works are L’Ame élevée à Dieu, L’Ame sanctifiée par la perfection de toutes les actions de la vie and L’Ame sur le Calvaire, several of which are held in the Old Library.
Baudrand’s work is written from the religious, rather than the secular viewpoint. However it is difficult to distinguish some of the central tenets of Baudrand’s writings from those of the courtesy works of the seventeenth century. He particularly argues for the need to recognize God’s place in the world and the necessity of obedience to God’s law.
Baudrand presents a discussion of the interior life and the peace to be found within, followed by a popular device found in several works: a daily duty of prayer scheduled for each day of the month. The themes of selflessness, of the duty of good works, of taking the sacraments on a regular basis, the unsurprising rewards of an inner peace, a special relationship with God, and an expectation of a heavenly after-life form its core.