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Charles Lalemant

First superior of the Jesuit missions in Canada, b. at Paris, November 17, 1587; d. there, November 18, 1674

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Lalemant, CHARLES, b. at Paris, November 17, 1587; d. there, November 18, 1674. He was the first superior of the Jesuit missions in Canada, and his letter to his brother dated August 1, 1626, inaugurated the series of “Relations” about the missionary work in that country. Thwarted by the Trading Company at Quebec in his efforts to evangelize the Indians, he went to France to protest. Attempting to return to America his vessel was captured by Kirke who was then blockading the St. Lawrence, and he was sent as a prisoner to England. A second attempt resulted in shipwreck off Cape Canso, and on his way back to France in a fishing smack which picked him up he was wrecked a second time on the coast of Spain. He finally reached America in 1632 after Quebec was restored to the French. He was the friend and confessor of Champlain, who died in his arms. He returned again to France in 1638, where he became procurator of the Canadian missions, vice provincial and superior of the “Professed house” in Paris. It was he who obtained the concession of the Island of Montreal for the colony of Dauversiere, and he also got Maisonneuve and Jeanne Mance to engage in the undertaking. When there was question of appointing the first Bishop of Quebec, his candidacy was urged. He is the author of a spiritual work, not generally known, entitled “La vie cachee de Notre Seigneur Jesus-Christ”, and is not to be confounded with Louis Lallement who is the author of “Les conferences spirituelles”.

T. J. CAMPBELL


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