The surname of King Louis IX’s confessor is now known not only to French specialists of the middle ages, narrow as medieval streets. Every Russian has heard of French university called the Sorbonne. So that king’s confessor is the Sorbonne in a nutshell. He was poor, came from the province and remembered his impoverished youth so well that he wanted to help his fellow country folk to receive a theological education. For that, he founded the Theological College and a hostel for underprivileged students with the support of Louis the Saint. The money was given by the same Louis the Saint, and the Pope blessed a good undertaking. Sorbonne itself served as chancellor, taught and preached at the college until his death in 1274.
And the good canon had no idea that the college would outlive not only him, but also the centuries. In three hundred years, the theological school will become the theological faculty of the University of Paris, and in a hundred years this prestigious educational institution will be called the Sorbonne. In this respect, the humble canon outdid even Cardinal Richelieu – the latter gave his name only to embroidery. Sorbonne gave the name to the whole block in Paris where the place was located. The language of the students was Latin, which is why the quarter is called Latin Quarter.