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François de Laval
Birth: Apr. 30, 1623, France
Death: May 6, 1708
Quebec
Quebec, Canada

Roman Catholic Bishop. François-Xavier de Montmorency-Laval had the distinction of being the first Roman Catholic Bishop in New France. He was born in France, and descended from one of the most noble families of that country. He pursued literary and philosophical studies at the Jesuit college at La Flèche for ten years. During that time, he was also appointed as a canon in the cathedral in Évreux. In 1641, he moved to Paris and studied theology at the college in Clermont. He was ordained as a priest in 1647. In 1654, after resigning from the archdeaconry of Évreux, and turning over his birthright to a younger brother, de Laval went to the Hermitage in Caen, France. This was directed by Jean de Bernières and was a small community of devout priests and laymen. The Jesuits selected de Laval as their choice for the first bishop in New France, and indicated their preference to the Queen mother, Anne of Austria, and the king. This was approved by the court. In January of 1657, King Louis XIV contacted the pope and presented François de Laval as his candidate to head the proposed first bishopric in New France. He was appointed the following year. Political intrigue, of which de Laval apparently had no part, had delayed not only his appointment, but also his departure for New France. He sailed from France in April of 1659. The French population of Canada at that time was less than 2,000 people. De Laval set about building the Catholic church in Canada, including the establishment of the Seminary of Quebec in 1663. He eventually resigned due to his failing health, and his successor, Abbé Saint-Vallier, was consecrated in 1688. The settlers venerated their devoted former bishop. During his tenure from 1659 to 1688, parishes had increased from 5 to 35, priests from 24 to 102, and nuns from 32 to 97. In 1701, a fire destroyed de Laval's beloved seminary. The rebuilt seminary was again ravaged by fire in 1705. After his death François de Laval lay in state in the cathedral. He was interred on May 9, 1708 at Notre-Dame-de-Québec, under his church. De Laval was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1980. (bio by: Anne Philbrick) 
 
Burial:
Notre Dame De Quebec Basilica-Cathedral
Quebec
Capitale-Nationale Region
Quebec, Canada
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Anne Philbrick
Record added: Jan 29, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 84184892
François de Laval
Added by: Anne Philbrick
 
François de Laval
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Guy Gagnon
 
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