The Photo Request has been fulfilled.

 Francois-Xavier de Montmorency-Laval

Photo added by Jim Ditton

Francois-Xavier de Montmorency-Laval

  • Birth 30 Apr 1623 Montigny-sur-Avre, Departement d'Eure-et-Loir, Centre, France
  • Death 6 May 1708 Quebec, Capitale-Nationale Region, Quebec, Canada
  • Burial Non-Cemetery Burial, Specifically: François de Laval's tomb, within Notre-Dame de Québec Cathedral
  • Memorial ID 37906909

François-Xavier de Montmorency-Laval was the first Roman Catholic bishop of New France and was one of the most influential men of his day. He was appointed when he was 36 years old by Pope Alexander VII. He was a member of the Montmorency family.
Herladique de la Maison Montmorency-Laval et Candié-ChâteaubriantHe was born at Montigny-sur-Avre. His father was a member of the distinguished Montmorency family and his mother was a descendant of Rouen legal nobility. As early as age 8 it was decided that he would have a career in the Church. He studied at the Jesuit college at La Flèche, and then at Paris. He briefly interrupted his studies because of a family crisis but he was very soon ordained subdeacon in 1646 and a priest in 1647. While he was archdeacon of Évreux in 1648, he showed much passion for his work which made it clear that he would be a perfect fit for missionary work in Indochina.
Bishop
His nomination in 1658 as Bishop of Petra (in partibus Infidelium), and Vicar Apostolic of New France, was the result of a quarrel between the Sulpicians, who actively aided the French government and its special interest groups in all its endeavours, and the Jesuits, who sought a more neutral ground. He sailed from La Rochelle for New France on 13 April 1659. His first mission was to get his authority recognized. He didn't have to fight for that right, however, because Louis XIV wrote a letter to the governor ordering that Laval's authority be recognized everywhere. His next mission was to organize the church. He returned to France in 1662 to consult with Louis XIV and returned to New France with increased powers. This gave him the right to create the seminary of Quebec and a Sovereign Council. In 1663 Laval founded the "Séminaire de Québec", a theological school which eventually also had lay students and founded the Université Laval, which was named in his honour in the 20th century. In 1674, he was named the first bishop of Quebec. By educating priests locally, keeping their parish appointments at pleasure instead of by permanent appointment, and by undertaking the construction of schools and churches, Laval created a strong local infrastructure independent of Paris. He organized a parochial system which increased the number of parishes from five in 1659 to 35 in 1688, which would include 102 clergy men. He encouraged missionary activity, especially if it was to be conducted by the Jesuits.
The Jesuits, who were very active in New France, did not want to work under a bishop who would have been a tool of Paris and the Sulpicians. They obtained a Papal Bull naming Laval in partibus bishop of Petra, a diocese at the time in Muslim lands, since the population of New France was too small to justify a diocese. Laval was inflexible and zealous but knew when to compromise, in exceptional circumstances. He waged continuous warfare against the liquor trade with aboriginal peoples and interfered constantly in other matters whenever he saw questions of morality and religion being trampled. He eventually would not be successful in ending the liquor trade with aboriginals.
He was known to have had repeated disagreements with the governors of the colony that were of moral and political matters.
In 1684, he went to France to resign his bishopric.
François de Laval's tomb, within Notre-Dame de Québec CathedralHe returned to New France where he permitted his successor, priest Saint-Vallier, to reform the seminary without any objections. He would also often still perform episcopal functions when Saint-Vallier was not in New France. Laval died in 1708 from a chilblain infection on his heel.
On June 22, 1980 Bishop Laval was beatified by Pope Saint John Paul II.


See more de Montmorency-Laval memorials in:

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

  • Created by: Jim Ditton
  • Added: 4 Jun 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 37906909
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Francois-Xavier de Montmorency-Laval (30 Apr 1623–6 May 1708), Find A Grave Memorial no. 37906909, ; Maintained by Jim Ditton (contributor 46569765) Non-Cemetery Burial, who reports a François de Laval's tomb, within Notre-Dame de Québec Cathedral.