Pierre CHANEL

Family tree of Pierre CHANEL

Missionnary

FrenchBorn Pierre CHANEL

French catholic priest, missionary, and martyr

Born on July 12, 1803 in Montrevel-en-Bresse , France

Died on April 28, 1841 in Futuna , French Polynesia

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Chanel was born in La Potière near Cuet in the area of Belley, Ain département, France.



Son of Claude-François Chanel and Marie-Anne Sibellas he was the fifth of eight children. From about the age of 7 to 12 he worked as a shepherd. After some schooling at a local school Saint-Didier-d'Aussiat his piety and intelligence attracted the attention of a visiting priest from Cras, Fr. Trompier, and he was put into Church-sponsored education at Cras in the autumn of 1814. He made his first communion on 23 March 1817.

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It was from that time that his attraction for the missions abroad began. His interest was the result of reading letters from missionaries sent back by Bishop DuBourg from America. He later said, "It was that year that I formed the idea of going to the foreign missions."



He followed this with seminary training from 1819, at the minor seminary at Meximieux where won several awards and class prizes in Latin, Christian doctrine and speech and Belley in 1823, and then in 1824 at the major seminary at Brou.



He was ordained priest, along with 24 others, on 15 July 1827 by Bishop Devie, and spent a brief time as an assistant priest at Ambérieu. At Ambérieu he also read letters from a former curate from that parish who was at that time a missionary in India. There he again met Claude Bret, who was to become his friend and also one of the first Marist Missionaries.



The following year, Chanel applied to the Bishop of Belley for permission to go to the missions. His application was not accepted and instead he was appointed for the next three years as parish priest of the run-down parish of Crozet, which he revitalized in that short time.



His zeal was widely respected, and his care, particularly of those in the parish that were sick, won the hearts of the locals, who began again to practice their faith. During this time, Chanel heard of a group of Diocesan Priests who were hopeful of starting a religious order to be dedicated to Mary, the mother of Jesus.



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Geographical origins

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