The final years of the life of Cornelius Jansens were very noteworthy. A threefold honour marked his last four years. He was awarded the degree of Doctor in Theology at Leuven, became the Rector of that University in 1635, soon to be followed in 1636 by being named Bishop of Ypres. The French Jesuit historian René Rapin, who published a book on the history of Jansenism in 1861, thought that Jansens had obtained his mitre as a result of the personal intervention of the king of Spain, Philip IV. This was in recognition of a pamphlet entitled Mars Gallicus, in which Jansens strongly criticized the policy of the French Cardinal and Prime Minister, Richelieu, who had contracted an alliance with the Dutch Protestants against Spain.
However In 1638, a short time after his elevation to the episcopate, Jansen died of the plague, on this day in 1638. HIs book that was to cause shockwaves and bitter divisions, was published posthumously, two years later. The work he had dedicated to St. Augustine, under the title Augustinus Cornelii Jansenii, Episcopi, seu Doctrina Sancti Augustini de Humanae Naturae, Sanitate, Aegritudine, Medicina adversus Pelagianos et Massilienses (“The Augustine of Cornelius Jansen, Bishop, or On the Doctrines of St. Augustine Concerning Human Nature, Health, Grief, and Cure Against the Pelagians and Massilians”). It had been 22 years in the writing, but Jansens was fearful of publishing whilst alive, perhaps foreseeing the bitter divisions it would cause.
In the epilogue Jansens declared: “I leave my work to the judgement of the Roman Church. . . . I retract all that she will decide that I ought to (must) retract.” It was condemned firstly by Pope Innocent X in 1643 with the bull Cum Occasione, however in spite of this Jansenism still lingered on, in its damaging puritanical and separatist form, championed by Pascal and friends. The final nail in the coffin was a second papal bull, Unigenitus, issued by Clement XI in 1718. Jansens is reputed to have said about the Jesuits "Perfecto odio oderam illos". (I detest them with a total hatred) - and certainly the attacks on the Society by Jansenists were a significant factor in its weakening before the Suppression.