Albert Lagrange was born in Bourg-en-Bresse, in the diocese of Belley-Ars, the 7th of March 1855. When he was three years old he received a blessing from the holy Curé d’Ars. After traditional studies in the junior Seminary of Autun, he continued his studies in Law at Paris, obtaining a Doctorate. Attracted to the ideal of St Dominic – a “pure soul” – he entered the Seminary of Issy-les-Moulineaux (1878-1879) and then the Novitiate of the Order of Preachers in St Maximin where he received the Dominican habit from the hands of the Provincial Prior, Br Hyacinthe-Marie Cormier, since beatified by Pope John Paul II.
At the end of the Novitiate in 1880 the decree of expulsion of Religious obliged all the Dominicans to leave France. The Spanish Dominicans gave them shelter in their house of Saint Stephan in Salamanca where Brother Lagrange studied the theology of St Thomas Aquinas and the mystical doctrines of St Teresa of Avila. He was ordained priest at Zamora on the 22nd of December 1883.
Motivated by an enthusiasm for Biblical Studies, he was sent to the house of St-Etienne, the École Biblique, opened in Jerusalem on the 15th of November 1890. Henceforth and to his dying day his life was consecrated to the service of the Bible : researcher, professor of exegesis, director of the École Biblique and of the Revue Biblique (1882), author of many books and articles, preacher… He spent 45 years of his life in Jerusalem.
His best known work remains L’Évangile de Jésus Christ translated into several languages.
His work as an exegete had the merit of winning a place for Catholic thinking in the world of research. He was not without opposition and trials in this field of apostolic combat for the salvation of souls. Faithful and fervent, Father Lagrange went all the way in his service of the Church. In 1935 he returned to France permanently for reasons of health, back to the house of Saint Maximin and it was from there that he returned to the Heavenly Father on the 10th of March 1938. His remains were returned to Jerusalem in 1967 buried in the choir of the Basilica of St-Étienne.
See also : http://www.ebaf.edu/?page_id=1292&lang=en