A Time with Biblical Scholar Fr. Dr. Lucien Legrand (Part I)

Posted: June 16, 2016 in General


It was my privilege to meet Fr. Dr. Lucien Legrand at his office in St. Peter’s Pontifical Seminary in Bangalore, India, in May 2016. He is a great New Testament scholar who dedicated his life for the sake of the church and of academia. Here, I am happy to let you know his amazing contribution in the field of biblical scholarship.

Fr. Dr. Lucien Legrand, MEP (Missions Etrangères de Paris) was born on 10th November 1926 at Mons-en-Baroeul in France. He completed his seminary studies in Catholic Institute of Paris (BTh) and Gregorian University of Rome (LTh). He was ordained on 29th June 1950 and then appointed as a priest to the Diocese of Salem in India. During the period between 1950 and 1953, Fr. Lucien completed his Biblical Studies in Rome (Biblical Institute: LSS) and Jerusalem (Ecole Biblique et Archéologique Française: Diploma). In June 1955, he was appointed at St. Peter’s Seminary in Bangalore, India. During the period between 1973 and 1978, he served as a member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission in Rome. In 1979, he received his DD from Institut Catholique (Paris) and Doctorate in History of Religions from Sorbonne University (France). During his career, he served as a visiting professor at The United Theological College in Bangalore and at various seminaries and theological centres in India and abroad. Fr. Lucien conducted lectures, seminars, and retreats in Belgium, Cambodia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Korea, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mauritius, Myanmar, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and other countries.

Fr. Lucien’s publications include several books on biblical exegeses and theology in English and in French: (1) L’Annonce à Marie (Lc 1, 26-38; Lectio Divina 106; Paris: Cerf, 1981); (2) Unity and Plurality: Mission in the Bible (New York: Orbis Books, 1990), won the first prize of the Catholic Press Association 1991 Book Award (Scripture); (3) The Bible on Culture (New York: Orbis Books, 2000), won the second prize of the same Catholic Press Association 2001 Book Award; and (4) Paul et la Stratégie Missionnaire des Églises Apostoliques (Lectio Divina 184 ; Paris: Cerf, 2001). His articles are published in various scholarly periodicals in English, French and Italian, and presently translated in English as a series called The Word is Near You: Collected Papers of Lucien Legrand MEP, published by St Peter’s Pontifical Institute, Bangalore (vol. 1 [2000]; vol. 2 [2001]; vol. 3 [2005]; vol. 4 [2010]; and vol. 5 [2015]).

By Johnson Thomaskutty, Union Biblical Seminary, Pune.

  1. Francis Joseph says:

    It is in deed a great honor to have been associated with Fr. Dr. Lucien Legrand. He was my spiritual director from 1963 to 1966 at St. Peter’s Pontifical Seminary, Bangalore. I owe my spiritual stability to his good guidance at my impressionable and formative age. Even to this day i owe my little knowledge of ancient history and Holy Land entirely to the lectures delivered by Fr. Legrand in those days which captured my imagination. I cannot forget his French classes from “De Civilisation de Francaise”. During my visits to middle east and Europe i could recall his lectures which were so vivid. I remain proud of and much indebted to him. I pray and look forward to his centenary celebrations. Francis Joseph.

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