Thursday 23rd May 2019

Home » saints » Currently Reading:

Catholic Heroes… St. Francis De Laval

May 2, 2019 saints No Comments

By CAROLE BRESLIN

The Jesuit North American martyrs who left France in the early seventeenth century to convert the native peoples of America were a great inspiration to the next generation of faithful Catholics, who were eager to serve in the work of evangelization. On April 30 the Church celebrates the Feast of St. Marie of the Incarnation, who founded the first convent of the Ursuline Sisters in New France around 1645.
Those Jesuits also motivated St. Francis Xavier de Montmorency Laval to seek his vocation in the New World, becoming the first bishop of Quebec in the late seventeenth century.
Laval was born on April 30, 1623 in Montigny-sur-Avre, around 100 miles west of Paris. Hughes de Laval, the Lord of Montigny, Montbaudry, Alaincourt, and Revercourt, was his father. Michelle de Péricard, descended from the heredity officers of the Crown of Normandy was his mother.
With such a noble lineage, the Laval family, however, was not wealthy. Francis, his five brothers, and two sisters received a fine Catholic upbringing — Henri, Francis’ youngest brother, became the prior of a Benedictine abbey, while his sister, Anne Charlotte, became the superior of the congregation of Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament.
Michelle Péricard provided a pious model for the children of being generous to those less fortunate. Francis’ parents destined him for a religious vocation, having him take the tonsure when he was only eight years old. Then the Jesuits accepted him into their school from 1631 to 1641.
During this time several things happened to further his ecclesiastical career. Sadly, his father died on September 11, 1936, leaving the family near poverty. Then, in 1637, Bishop Francis de Péricard of Evreux, who was an uncle of Francis, appointed him canon of the cathedral. This appointment provided just enough income to enable Francis to continue his studies for the priesthood.
Thus Francis soon moved to Paris where he studied philosophy and theology at the College of Clermont. He was forced to take leave when his two oldest brothers died in battle. Because he was the next in line as the heir, he returned home to organize the family’s patrimony. Both his mother and the bishop urged Francis to abandon his vocational aspirations, but he refused.
Having transferred all rights of inheritance to his brother, Jean-Louis, Francis returned to Clermont to continue his formation. He was ordained subdeacon in 1646, and on May 1, 1647, he was ordained a priest.
In December 1647 the bishop of Evreux gave Fr. Laval the responsibility of overseeing 155 parishes and four chapels. Enthusiastically he took on this challenge as he brought order to parish administration. He also promoted the corporal works of mercy by caring for the sick, assisting the poor, and establishing other charitable endeavors.
In 1649 Francis earned his licentiate in canon law from the University of Paris, where he learned even more about the Jesuits and their work in New France. The fervor of these Frenchmen stimulated his desire to serve the people of the New World.
Then Alexandre de Rhodes influenced him to go to Rome to prepare for missionary work in Tonkin and Indochina. Although he resigned his position and spent fifteen months preparing for the work, the project was abandoned in 1654.
Fr. Laval then went to Caen where he stayed for three years in prayer, discernment, and charitable works. The bishop of Bayeux, impressed with his work, wrote of Laval: “great piety, prudent, and of unusually great competence in business matters.” His reputation as a man of holiness and ability spread through France and beyond.
There was a good deal of conflict and political maneuvering to find a vicar for Quebec. Difficulties prevailed — did France or Rome have ecclesiastical jurisdiction over Quebec?
Some feared the Jesuits would control the operation of the colony if the right man was not selected. These problems were solved when Rome finally issued the papal bull on June 3, 1658 selecting Francis as the ecclesiastical head of Quebec.
Fr. Laval’s consecration as “bishop in Partibus” took place at the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés in Paris on December 8, 1658. On June 19, 1659, Bishop Laval arrived in Quebec; that very day he baptized a Huron youth and administered the last sacraments to a dying man.
The man who had been acting as vicar general in France challenged Laval’s authority, causing unrest in the colony for over two years. For the next fifteen years, Francis also faced struggles with the secular authority, Governor d’Argenson, especially over the practice of selling alcohol to the Native Americans. In August 1662 Laval went to France to consult with King Louis XIV on the problem of selling alcohol with the successor governor, Governor d’Avaugour, who was then recalled.
With increased powers and influence, his nominees for governor and the nomination of Chevalier de Mézy for the new Sovereign Council were approved. However, the same conflict of selling alcohol arose again. When Jean Talon became head of the Sovereign Council upon Mézy’s death, peace returned and Laval focused more on Church matters.
The sale of alcohol continued to be a problem, but was finally settled when a royal decree banning the sale was issued on May 24, 1679.
Francis also had to deal with many other difficulties arising between the state and ecclesiastical authorities. Even within the Church community conflicts of authority and jurisdiction arose. All parties involved did agree that Laval was a man of uncommon holiness and ability. He gave his meager income to the sick and poor. When epidemics spread from the incoming ships to the people of Quebec, Laval ministered to the suffering for long hours, regardless of the risk he was taking.
His clothes were worn out, his food simple, and his housing basic. His heart was overflowing with love for the children of God. To better save the people and increase the supply of priests, he planned to establish the first seminary in New France. On March 26, 1663 the King of France approved the project.
The Quebec Seminary needed funding, to which Laval pledged his livelihood, gathered donations from other people, and finally reached an agreement with the parishes to contribute a certain percentage of their collections to the cause.
This institution was meant to provide much more than classes of formation. It would provide priests to serve the people of New France, a home base from which priests would graduate, and a place to which they were welcome to return when in need of respite, health care, or retirement.
Laval also set up permanent curacies and established parish boundaries. He regularly visited each parish to solidify the Church’s position, but his health began to fail in 1707 with an incurable ulcer. He died on May 6, 1708 and his body was interred at the cathedral.
His feast is celebrated on May 6.
Dear St. Francis de Laval, you helped establish and strengthen the Church in a pagan world with your perseverance and charity. Obtain for us today the grace with which we, too, will persevere in the New Evangelization and the care of our neighbors in need. Amen.

+ + +

(Carole Breslin home-schooled her four daughters and served as treasurer of the Michigan Catholic Home Educators for eight years. For over ten years, she was national coordinator for the Marian Catechists, founded by Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ.)

Share Button

2019 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

Load More...

Fox News religion contributor Fr. Jonathan Morris asks Pope to be released from priestly vows

May 17, 2019, LifeSiteNews — Fox News contributor Fr. Jonathan Morris announced today that he is seeking permission from Pope Francis to be released from his priestly vows so that he can one day be able to “marry and have a family.”…Continue Reading

DC Catholic school will acknowledge LGBT alumnae couples

WASHINGTON – A 220-year-old Catholic girls’ school in Washington, D.C., will now allow news about same-sex unions in its alumnae magazine. News outlets report the president emerita of Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School, Sister Mary Berchmans, announced the change this month. She…Continue Reading

DC Catholic school will acknowledge LGBT alumnae couples

WASHINGTON — A 220-year-old Catholic girls’ school in Washington, D.C., will now allow news about same-sex unions in its alumnae magazine. News outlets report the president emerita of Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School, Sister Mary Berchmans, announced the change this month.…Continue Reading

Hundreds of pro-lifers rally in Philadelphia to call out Democrat ‘bully’ Brian Sims

PHILADELPHIA, May 10, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A lineup of leading pro-life advocates gathered in Philadelphia Friday morning outside of the Planned Parenthood abortion facility where State Rep. Brian Sims filmed himself berating peaceful pro-life activists, including teen girls. Over the…Continue Reading

Vatican issues norms for reports of abuse of minors, seminarians, and religious

Vatican City, May 9, 2019 / 04:01 am (CNA).- New Vatican norms for the Church’s handling of sex abuse, issued Thursday, place seminarians and religious coerced into sexual activity through the misuse of authority in the same criminal category as…Continue Reading

Civil appeals court dismisses legal challenge, says Sheen’s body can go to Peoria

Albany, N.Y., May 6, 2019 / 05:01 pm (CNA).- The New York Court of Appeals has dismissed an appeal of an earlier judgement allowing Venerable Fulton Sheen’s remains to be moved to the Cathedral of St. Mary in Peoria, in…Continue Reading

U.S. hospital set to euthanize elderly woman who says on video ‘I want to live’

May 1, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A 64-year-old woman with lung cancer is allegedly at risk of being euthanized by a Minnesota hospital, despite having stated emphatically from her hospital bed in a video that is now going viral that she…Continue Reading

Federal judge issues nationwide block on Trump rule cutting $60 million from Planned Parenthood

April 26, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A federal judge issued a nationwide injunction Thursday against the Trump administration’s rule that threatens to cut a tenth of Planned Parenthood’s federal tax funding by disqualifying abortion groups from family-planning funds. In February, the…Continue Reading

Bishop Donald J. Hying appointed to lead Madison diocese

Vatican City, Apr 25, 2019 / 04:04 am (CNA).- Pope Francis Thursday appointed Donald J. Hying the next bishop of Madison, Wis., following the death of Bishop Robert C. Morlino in November. Hying, 55, has been the bishop of Gary,…Continue Reading

Fr. James V. Schall, S.J., has died at the age of 91

Fr. James V. Schall, the prolific and much-beloved Jesuit, professor and author, died earlier today. His family states that “he was comfortable and at peace” at the time of his death. He was born in Pocahontas, Iowa, January 20, 1928.…Continue Reading

North Carolina Gov. vetoes bill requiring care for babies born alive after failed abortion

RALEIGH, April 18, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – North Carolina Democrat Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed legislation Thursday morning that would require abortionists to provide basic medical care to newborns who survive failed abortions, just days after the measure cleared the state legislature.…Continue Reading

How Cardinal Wuerl Misled the Papal Foundation

In 2017, Cardinal Donald Wuerl provided false and misleading information to the board of the Papal Foundation to secure a $25 million grant for the Istituto Dermopatico dell’Immacolata (IDI), a scandal-plagued hospital in Rome. Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love

Cburke3

  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading

Catechism

Today . . .

US bishops oppose Trump immigration plan, say families are foundational

Washington D.C., May 19, 2019 / 03:09 am (CNA).- Leaders of the U.S. bishops’ conference voiced concern over President Donald Trump’s new immigration plan, stressing that families should be strengthened and promoted in the immigration system. “We oppose proposals that seek to curtail family-based immigration and create a largely ‘merit-based’ immigration system,” said Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Houston, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, who heads…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke leads thousands in 9th annual Rome March for Life

ROME, Italy, May 18, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Thousands of joy-filled pro-lifers young and old from across the world took part in the Rome March for Life today beneath a sunny sky and behind Catholic Cardinal Raymond Burke, who lead the prayerful, song-filled demonstration through the busy streets of one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Dutch Cardinal Willem Eijk was also present at the event’s outset.

House passes sweeping legislation to expand LGBTQ civil rights but GOP lawmakers worry it may threaten the rights of women

A Republican-backed motion to block the Equality Act, which would provide civil rights protections to gay and transgender people, failed on Friday as the House of Representatives voted to approve the bill, 236 to 173. The bill had the support of every Democrat in the House, along with eight Republicans. If it also passes in the Senate, President Trump is expected to veto the measure when it reaches his desk. The new anti-discrimination leg

Dominican scholar: Church crisis calls for renewal of Catholic teaching on freedom

Vatican City, May 9, 2019 / 10:57 am (CNA).- According to a Dominican scholar, the crisis of priestly fidelity is connected to a new cultural conception of human freedom – and the solution will require re-embracing the Church’s view of freedom as something which points to God. Fr. Thomas White, OP, is a professor of theology at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (“The Angelicum”) in Rome and is the director of the university’s…Continue Reading

Bishop Olmsted sees ‘renewal’ in priestly formation, despite scandal

Phoenix, Ariz., May 10, 2019 / 12:08 am (CNA).- Despite the scandals of clerical sexual abuse that the Catholic Church has suffered in past decades, the Church in the United States has also enjoyed a “renewal” in priestly formation, says Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix, Arizona. In a monthly series of columns, Olmsted has been considering various aspects of the Church scandal, as well as ways to move forward in purification. “Having addressed some of…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)

A Book Review… “Knavish Imbecility”: A Great Study Of Bad Shepherds

By JEFF MINICK Bad Shepherds, by Rod Bennett, published by Sophia Institute Press, 2018; 148 pages. Order at www.sophiainstitute.com or call 1-800-888-9344. “The Catholic Church is an institution I am bound to hold divine — but for unbelievers a proof of its divinity might be found in the fact that no merely human institution conducted…Continue Reading

Pro-Infanticide Governor Called A Moderate

By BILL DONOHUE (Editor’s Note: Catholic League President Bill Donohue commented May 15 on how the media are covering a supporter of infanticide.) + + + Infanticide is the deliberate killing of infants, either by active or passive measures. In Nazi Germany, they preferred the former; in this country, we prefer the latter. New York…Continue Reading

Tariffs: The Taxes That Made America Great

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN As his limo carried him to work at the White House May 13, Larry Kudlow could not have been pleased with the headline in The Washington Post: “Kudlow Contradicts Trump on Tariffs.” The story began: “National Economic Council Director Lawrence Kudlow acknowledged Sunday that American consumers end up paying for the…Continue Reading

The Primacy Of The Spiritual

By DONALD DeMARCO I was visiting an elderly lady whose refrigerator had broken down. She pointed sadly to the ice-cube tray which contained little circumscribed pools of water. “That’s what keeps the fridge cold,” she said. It would have been inexcusably impolite to correct her on this point. Her thoughts of melted ice cream, soggy…Continue Reading

In China… Workers Making Apple IPhones Start At $3.15 Per Hour

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor-in-chief of CNSnews.com. Creators Syndicate distributes his column. All rights reserved.) + + + The workers who assemble Apple iPhones make a starting wage of $3.15 per hour in the People’s Republic of China, according to The New York Times. “Apple has said the…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Thomas Aquinas College Commencement… Let Your Great Souls Be Unleashed!

By MOST REV. ROBERT E. BARRON (Editor’s Note: Auxiliary Bishop Robert E. Barron of Los Angeles delivered the homily below at the May 11 commencement exercises of Thomas Aquinas College, Santa Paula, Calif. It is reprinted here with permission. All rights reserved.) + + + It is indeed a high honor for me to be speaking to the 2019 graduating…Continue Reading

Let Not Your Hearts Be Troubled

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Sixth Sunday Of Easter (YR C) Readings: Acts 15:1-2, 22-29 Rev. 21:10-14, 22-23 John 14:23-29 In the Gospel reading today, our Lord tells us not to let our hearts be troubled or afraid. It seems to be a rare person today who can actually say he is neither troubled nor afraid. With all that is going…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… The Pope Is A Catholic

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The Church is in the grip of a frenzy of accusations, some of them rather superficial. It seems we may be in a bit of a correction period after the pendulum of papolatry swung so far during the reign of Pope St. John Paul II. He enjoyed a very high degree of popularity. Held as…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. A visiting priest gave a homily at Mass today and referred to a book entitled The American Catechism. Do you know what this new catechism is, and is it devoted to the truth of the Magisterium? — J.W., via e-mail. A. The only book we know of with a similar title is the St. Joseph New American Catechism, which…Continue Reading

Gratitude In The Sacred Liturgy And Beyond

By JAMES MONTI The flickering glow of a red sanctuary lamp near the Tabernacle in a quiet church has a lot to teach us, if we have eyes to see and ears to hear. It is called a “perpetual” lamp, a lamp meant to burn unceasingly by night and by day, whether seen or unseen, and it bespeaks of unquenchable…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Elizabeth Hesselblad

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the movie, The Scarlet and the Black, Msgr. Hugh O’Flaherty is remembered for his courageous and ingenious ways of saving Jewish people from execution during World War II. Likewise, Pope Pius XII was remembered by the Chief Rabbi of Rome, Elio Toaff, as follows: “Jews will always remember what the Catholic Church did for them by…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Paschal Baylon

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the sixteenth century, the Spanish Empire covered the globe, having the most influence and power in its history. For the Catholic Church of Spain, that time was known as the Golden Age. Despite the troubles of the Protestant Revolution, Spain benefited from the work of her saints such as St. Peter of Alcantara, St. John of…Continue Reading