March 16 – François de Crépieul

March 13, 2023

François de Crépieul

Tadoussac, Canada. From Samuel de Champlain’s diagram

Jesuit missionary in Canada and vicar Apostolic for the Montagnais Indians; b. at Arras, France, 16 March, 1638; d. at Quebec in 1702. As a youth he studied in the Jesuit college of his native town and in that of Douai, becoming a member of the order at Tournay in 1659. He continued his studies at Lille and Douai, taught at Lille and Cambrai, and in 1670 sailed for Canada. Upon the completion of his theological studies in the college of Quebec, he was assigned in October, 1671, to the Tadousac region, where, with untiring devotion and great success he toiled among the Montagnais and Algonquin tribes for twenty-eight years. Writing to his brethren he tells them that the life of a Montagnais missionary is a tedious and prolonged martyrdom, and that his journeys and the cabins of the savages are truly schools of patience, penance, and resignation. For the benefit of his fellow missionaries Crépieul wrote a series of instructions embodying the results of his long service among the Indians, which are interesting and practical. These observations are given in the sixty-third volume of Thwaites’ “Relations”. In 1696 or 1697 he was appointed vicar Apostolic for the Montagnais and, on the discontinuance of the mission a few years later, repaired to Quebec, where he spent the rest of his life. Dablon, Superior of all the missions in Canada, styles him “a veritable apostle”.

ROCHEMONTEIX, Les Jésuites et la Nouvelle-France au XVIIe siècle (Paris, 1895-96), a most interesting account of this devoted and successful missionary; THWAITES, Relations, LVI, 301. 302; SOMMERVOGEL, Bibl. de la c. de J., II, 1652, I; PILLING, Bibliography of the Algonquian Languages (Washington, 1891), 98, 99.

EDWARD P. SPILLANE (Catholic Encyclopedia)


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