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Abbot Pierre Clomes, who was born on 15 January 1790, is known for creating a scholarship and for amassing an extraordinary library that he bequeathed to the state. The son of Guillaume Clomes, a farmer, and Marguerite Muller, Pierre Clomes was originally destined to take over his parents' farm. However, he felt drawn to academic pursuits, and the village curate, Mathias Wolff, gave him a basic education. He enrolled at the Luxembourg Athenaeum in 1802 and completed his studies in 1808. He then led a small contingent of young aspiring priests to the seminary in Marseille. Upon his return in 1811, he entered the Metz seminary. After being promoted to the priesthood in 1814, he was appointed curate in Esch-sur-Sûre. After six months in this village in the Ardennes, he was summoned to Luxembourg City to teach at his old school, which had been renamed the "Athénée Royal Grand-Ducal". He taught here until his death on 28 April 1853.

In 1845, Clomes became a founding member of the Society for the Study and Preservation of Historic Monuments in the Grand Duchy. Over the course of his teaching career, he amassed an impressive private library of 10,436 volumes representing 4,408 different works. He devoted his life to collecting as many books as he could that had been looted from Luxembourg's libraries during the French Revolution. In a will dated 28 October 1851, he requested that his library be sold after his death to the Athénée Royal Grand-Ducal for 4,000 francs. This sum would then be added to the "Pierre Clomes" scholarship he had created, bringing its total to 10,000 francs. This scholarship for study at the Athenaeum was meant to help a student from his family, or otherwise a young man native to Luxembourg, who had limited means but was academically talented. The government accepted the fund in 1855.

Clomes was also renowned for a number of publications: Deutsche Sprachelehre für Schulen und Gymnasien (1817) Elementarbuch der Erdbeschreibung zum Gebrauche der Primarschulen des Grossherzogtum Luxemburgs, a textbook published in three consecutive print runs up until 1848. The Elementarbuch der Erdbeschreibung zum Gebrauche der Schullehrer des Grossherzogtums Luxemburg (1828). His study, Versuch einer statistisch-geografischen Beschreibung des Grossherzogtums Luxemburg, was incorporated into the curriculum of the Athénée Royal Grand-Ducal in 1840. In collaboration with two other teachers, Joachim and Wolff, he published a Grammaire théorique et pratique de la langue latine à l’usage de l'Athénée de Luxembourg.

According to a contemporary account in the newspaper Luxemburger Wort, Abbot Pierre Clomes died with a crucifix pressed against his heart, and his last words after a brief, harrowing illness were: "God's will was always mine." The funeral procession wound through the city following the closing procession of the Octave celebration. Biographies of Pierre Clomes have been written by Michel Muller (1853), Auguste Neyen (1860) and Georges Majerus (2016).


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