Paul Ragueneau

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Paul Ragueneau (18 March 1608 – 3 September 1680) is known most notable as a Catholic Jesuit missionary.

Missionary member of a religious group sent into an area to do evangelism

A missionary is a member of a religious group sent into an area to promote their faith or perform ministries of service, such as education, literacy, social justice, health care, and economic development. The word "mission" originates from 1598 when the Jesuits sent members abroad, derived from the Latin missionem, meaning "act of sending" or mittere, meaning "to send". The word was used in light of its biblical usage; in the Latin translation of the Bible, Christ uses the word when sending the disciples to preach The gospel in his name. The term is most commonly used for Christian missions, but can be used for any creed or ideology.



La vie de la mere Catherine de Saint Augustin by Ragueneau, 1671 Houghton FC6.R1286.671v - Catherine de Saint Augustin.jpg
La vie de la mere Catherine de Saint Augustin by Ragueneau, 1671

He was born in Paris and died in the same city. He is sometimes confused with his elder brother François, also a Jesuit. Father François Ragueneau accompanied Father Charles Lalemant who was returning to Canada in 1628. Their vessel was captured by Kirke who was then blockading the St. Lawrence and he was sent as a prisoner to England. It cannot be determined whether Francois ever did visit the Canadian missions. [1]

Paris Capital of France

Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, diplomacy, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts. The City of Paris is the centre and seat of government of the Île-de-France, or Paris Region, which has an estimated official 2019 population of 12,213,364, or about 18 percent of the population of France. The Paris Region had a GDP of €709 billion in 2017. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit Worldwide Cost of Living Survey in 2018, Paris was the second most expensive city in the world, after Singapore, and ahead of Zürich, Hong Kong, Oslo and Geneva. Another source ranked Paris as most expensive, on a par with Singapore and Hong Kong, in 2018.

David Kirke Newfoundland colonial leader

Sir David Kirke, also spelt David Ker, was an adventurer, colonizer and governor for the king of England. He is best known for his successful capture of New France in 1629 during the Thirty Years' War and his subsequent governorship of lands in Newfoundland. A favourite of Charles I of England, the fall of the Crown during the English Civil War led to Kirke's downfall. It is believed he died in prison.

Saint Lawrence River Large river in eastern Canada and the United States, flowing into the Gulf of Saint Lawrence

The Saint Lawrence River is a large river in the middle latitudes of North America. The Saint Lawrence River flows in a roughly north-easterly direction, connecting the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean and forming the primary drainage outflow of the Great Lakes Basin. It traverses the Canadian provinces of Quebec and Ontario, and is part of the international boundary between Ontario, Canada, and the U.S. state of New York. This river provides the basis for the commercial Saint Lawrence Seaway.

Paul Ragueneau became a novice in the Society of Jesus in 1626. [2] From 1628 to 1632 he taught at the Collège in Bourges after which he furthered his religious training at the College of La Flèche. From there, he went to Quebec in 1636.

Society of Jesus male religious congregation of the Catholic Church

The Society of Jesus is a religious order of the Catholic Church headquartered in Rome. It was founded by Ignatius of Loyola with the approval of Pope Paul III in 1540. The members are called Jesuits. The society is engaged in evangelization and apostolic ministry in 112 nations. Jesuits work in education, research, and cultural pursuits. Jesuits also give retreats, minister in hospitals and parishes, sponsor direct social ministries, and promote ecumenical dialogue.

Bourges Prefecture and commune in Centre-Val de Loire, France

Bourges is a city in central France on the Yèvre river. It is the capital of the department of Cher, and also was the capital of the former province of Berry.

Upon arriving in Quebec, he was almost immediately sent to the Huron mission where he worked under the instruction of Fathers Jean de Brébeuf and Jérôme Lalemant for eight years. In 1645 he became superior of the Huron mission. During his time as superior, a number of his missionaries met their deaths, the first being Jean de Lalande in October 1646. They became known as the Canadian Martyrs. He remained at his post on St. Mary's on the Wye until 1649, when persuaded by the Huron leaders to join the fugitives on St. Joseph's island (1649). [2]

Wyandot people Native American ethnic group

The Wyandot people or Wendat, also called the Huron Nation and Huron people, are an Iroquoian-speaking peoples of North America who emerged as a tribe around the north shore of Lake Ontario. They traditionally spoke the Wyandot language, a Northern Iroquoian language, and were believed to number over 30,000 at the time of European encounter in the second decade of the 17th century.

Jean de Brébeuf Jesuit missionary and martyr

Saint Jean de Brébeuf was a French Jesuit missionary who travelled to New France (Canada) in 1625. There he worked primarily with the Huron for the rest of his life, except for a few years in France from 1629 to 1633. He learned their language and culture, writing extensively about each to aid other missionaries.

Jérôme Lalemant, S.J. was a French Jesuit priest who was a leader of the Jesuit mission in New France.

After a bloody defeat, followed by the massacres of Fathers Noël Chabanel and Charles Garnier, Ragueneau, yielding to the entreaties of the few whom famine, pestilence, and the fury of the Iroquois had spared, led the small band of 400 survivors, the remnants of a nation of ten thousand, to their final refuge, Quebec, after a long and perilous journey. Ragueneau wrote the "Relations of the Hurons" of 1648-9, 1649–50, 1650-1, and 1651-2 which describes the destruction of the mission. [2]

Noël Chabanel Jesuit missionary and martyr

Noël Chabanel was a Jesuit missionary at Sainte-Marie among the Hurons, and one of the Canadian Martyrs.

Charles Garnier (missionary) Jesuit missionary

Saint Charles Garnier, S.J., was a Jesuit missionary working in New France. He was killed by Iroquois in a Petun village on December 7, 1649.

In 1650, he became vice-rector of the College of Quebec, and superior of the Canadian mission. In 1656, Ragueneau was assigned to the residence at Trois-Rivières. In 1657, he left for Sainte-Marie-de-Ganentaa. He was part of the times that saw the departure of Fathers Chaumonot, Le Moyne, and other missionaries. This first attempt at an organized apostolate among the Iroquois had failed. [1]

Rector (academia) Academic official

A rector is a senior official in an educational institution, and can refer to an official in either a university or a secondary school. Outside the English-speaking world the rector is often the most senior official in a university, whilst in the United States the most senior official is often referred to as President and in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth of Nations the most senior official is the Chancellor, whose office is primarily ceremonial and titular. The term and office of a rector can be referred to as a rectorate. The title is used widely in universities in Europe. and is very common in Latin American countries. It is also used in Brunei, Turkey, Russia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Israel and the Middle East. In the ancient universities of Scotland the office is sometimes referred to as Lord Rector, is the third most senior official, and is usually responsible for chairing the University Court.

Sainte Marie among the Iroquois park/living museum in New York, United States

Sainte Marie among the Iroquois was a 17th-century French Jesuit mission located in the middle of the Onondaga nation of the Haudenosaunee/Iroquois. It was located on Onondaga Lake near modern-day Syracuse, New York. The original mission was in use only from 1656 to 1658.

Pierre-Joseph-Marie Chaumonot was a French priest and Jesuit missionary who learned and documented the language of the Wyandot people, also known as the Huron. He studied at the Jesuits’ noviciate in Florence and, after three more years of training, came to Canada in 1639.

In 1662 he returned to France and remained there as procurator of the mission. Ragueneau died in Paris September 3, 1680. [3]

The Parish Municipality of Ragueneau in Quebec, Canada, is named after him. [4] As of July 2012, there are proposals to name a Canadian federal riding after him.

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Canadian Martyrs French Jesuit martyrs

The Canadian Martyrs, also known as the North American Martyrs, were eight Jesuit missionaries from Sainte-Marie among the Hurons. They were ritually tortured and killed on various dates in the mid-17th century in Canada, in what is now southern Ontario, and in upstate New York, during the warfare between the Iroquois and the Huron. They have subsequently been canonized and venerated as martyrs by the Catholic Church.

Claude-Jean Allouez French missionary

Claude Jean Allouez was a Jesuit missionary and French explorer of North America. He established a number of missions among the indigenous people living near Lake Superior.

Sainte-Marie among the Hurons living museum in Ontario, Canada

Sainte-Marie among the Hurons was a French Jesuit settlement in Wendake, the land of the Wendat, near modern Midland, Ontario, from 1639 to 1649. It was the first European settlement in what is now the province of Ontario. Eight missionaries from Sainte-Marie were martyred, and were canonized by the Catholic Church in 1930. Sainte-Marie Among the Hurons was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1920. A reconstruction of the mission now operates as a living museum.

Antoine Daniel 17th-century Jesuit missionary and martyr

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Gabriel Lalemant Jesuit missionary

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Charles Lallemant French missionary

Charles Lallemant, was a French Jesuit. He was born in Paris in 1587 and later became the first Superior of the Jesuit Missions amongst the Huron in Canada. His letter to his brother, dated 1 August 1626, inaugurated the series Relations des Jésuites de la Nouvelle-France about the missionary work in that country.

François Vaillant de Gueslis was a Jesuit missionary, born in Orléans. He entered the Society of Jesus, on 10 November 1665, and went to Canada in 1670; and was ordained priest at Quebec, on 1 December 1675.

René Menard was a French Jesuit missionary explorer who traveled to Canada in 1641, learned the language of the Wyandot, and was soon in charge of many of the satellite missions around Sainte-Marie among the Hurons. Menard also worked with the Iroquois, and was said to speak six Indian dialects. He survived the continuous attacks from the Iroquois on the Huron.

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Thierry Beschefer, sometimes given as "Theodore",, was a Jesuit missionary and became the superior of the Canadian mission.

Pierre de Lauzon was a noted eighteenth-century Jesuit missionary in New France. Although sometimes mentioned as Jean, in his official acts he invariably signed Pierre. From 1732 to 1739 he was superior of all the Jesuit missions in Canada.

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Jacques Frémin was a French Jesuit missionary to New France (Canada).

Jesuit missions in North America

Jesuit missions in North America began early in the 17th century, faltered at the beginning of the 18th, disappeared during the suppression of the Society of Jesus around 1763, and returned around 1830 after the restoration of the Society. The missions were established as part of the colonial drive of France and Spain during the period, the "saving of souls" being an accompaniment of the constitution of Nouvelle-France and early New Spain. The efforts of the Jesuits in North America were paralleled by their China missions on the other side of the world, and in South America. They left written documentation of their efforts, in the form of The Jesuit Relations.

François Joseph le Mercier was a prominent French Jesuit in the early missions to New France and the Huron people. Rector of the Jesuit college in Quebec and superior of the whole Canada mission from 1653–56 and again 1665-70 during which period he authored The Jesuit Relations as well as two published works concerning the Huron missions in the years 1637 and 1638.


  1. 1 2 Pouliot, Léon. “Ragueneau, Paul", Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 1, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–
  2. 1 2 3 Lindsay, Lionel. "Paul Ragueneau." The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. 12. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 14 January 2018
  3. Corrigan, Michael. "Register of the Clergy Laboring in the Archdiocese of New York", Historical Records and Studies, Vol. 1, United States Catholic Historical Society, 1899 p. 25
  4. "Ragueneau (Municipalité de paroisse)" (in French). Commission de toponymie du Québec. Retrieved 2010-06-30.