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till his shoulders were one wound, wore a belt with more than twelve hundred sharp points, and invented for himself other torments, which filled his confessor with admiration. One day, while at his devotions, he heard an inward voice commanding him to be come the founder of a new Order of hospital nuns; and he was further ordered to establish, on the island called Montreal, in Canada, a hospital, or Hôtel-Dieu, to be conducted by these nuns. But Montreal was a wilderness, and the hospital would have no patients. Therefore, in order to supply them, the island must first be colonized. Dauversière was greatly perplexed. On the one hand, the voice of Heaven must be obeyed; on the other, he had a wife, six children, and a very moderate fortune.?
Again: there was at Paris a young priest, about twenty-eight years of age, — Jean Jacques Olier, afterwards widely known as founder of the Seminary of St. Sulpice. Judged by his engraved portrait, his countenance, though marked both with energy and intellect, was anything but prepossessing. Every lineament proclaims the priest. Yet the Abbé Olier has high titles to esteem. He signalized his piety, it is true, by the most disgusting exploits of selfmortification; but, at the same time, he was strenu
1 Fancamp in Faillon, Vie de Mlle Mance, Introduction.
2 Faillon, Vie de Mile Mance, Introduction ; Dollier de Casson, Hist. de Montréal, MS.; Les Véritables Motifs des Messieurs et Dames de Montréal, 25; Juchereau, 33.
ous in his efforts to reform the people and the clergy. So zealous was he for good morals, that he drew upon himself the imputation of a leaning to the heresy of the Jansenists, — a suspicion strengthened by his opposition to certain priests, who, to secure the faithful in their allegiance, justified them in lives of licentiousness.1 Yet Olier's catholicity was past attaintment, and in his horror of Jansenists he yielded to the Jesuits alone.
He was praying in the ancient church of St. Germain des Prés, when, like Dauversière, he thought he heard a voice from Heaven, saying that he was destined to be a light to the Gentiles. It is recorded as a mystic coincidence attending this miracle, that the choir was at that very time chanting the words, Lumen ad revelationem Gentium;2 and it seems to have occurred neither to Olier nor to his biographer, that, falling on the ear of the rapt worshipper, they might have unconsciously suggested the supposed revelation. But there was a further miracle. An inward voice told Olier that he was to form a society of priests, and establish them on the island called Montreal, in Canada, for the propagation of the True Faith; and writers old and recent assert, that, while both he and Dauversière were totally ignorant of Canadian geography, they suddenly found themselves in possession, they knew not how, of the most exact details coccerning Montreal, its size, shape, situation, soil, climate, and productions.
1 Faillon, Vie de M. Olier, ii. 188.
? Mémoires Autographes de M. Olier, cited by Faillon, in Histoire de la Colonie Française, i. 384.
The annual volumes of the Jesuit Relations, issuing from the renowned press of Cramoisy, were at this time spread broadcast throughout France; and, in the circles of haute dévotion, Canada and its missions were everywhere the themes of enthusiastic discussion; while Champlain, in his published works, had long before pointed out Montreal as the proper site for a settlement. But we are entering a region of miracle, and it is superfluous to look. far for explanations. The illusion, in these cases, is a part of the history.
Dauversière pondered the revelation he had received; and the more he pondered, the more was he convinced that it came from God. He therefore set out for Paris, to find some means of accomplishing the task assigned him. Here, as he prayed before an image of the Virgin in the church of Notre-Dame, he fell into an ecstasy, and beheld a vision. “I should be false to the integrity of history," writes his biographer, “if I did not relate it here." And he adds that the reality of this celestial favor is past doubting, inasmuch as Dauversière himself told it to his daughters. Christ, the Virgin, and St. Joseph appeared before him. He saw them distinctly. Then he heard Christ ask three times of his Virgin Mother, “Where can I find a faithful servant?” On which, the Virgin, taking him (Dauversière) by the hand, replied, “See, Lord, here is that faithful servant!" - and Christ, with a benignant smile, received him
into his service, promising to bestow on him wisdom and strength to do his work.1 From Paris he went to the neighboring château of Meudon, which overlooks the valley of the Seine, not far from St. Cloud. Entering the gallery of the old castle, he saw a priest approaching him. It was Olier. Now, we are told that neither of these men had ever seen or heard of the other; and yet, says the pious historian, “impelled by a kind of inspiration, they knew each other at once, even to the depths of their hearts; saluted each other by name, as we read of St. Paul, the Hermit, and St. Anthony, and of St. Dominic and St. Francis; and ran to embrace each other, like two friends who had met after a long separation.” 2
“Monsieur,” exclaimed Olier, “I know your design, and I go to commend it to God, at the holy altar.”
And he went at once to say mass in the chapel. Dauversière received the communion at his hands , and then they walked for three hours in the park, discussing their plans. They were of one mind, in ,respect both to objects and means; and when they parted, Olier gave Dauversière a hundred louis, saying, “This is to begin the work of God.”
They proposed to found at Montreal three religious communities, — three being the mystic number, — one of secular priests to direct the colonists and convert the Indians, one of nuns to nurse the sick, and one
1 Faillon, Vie de Mlle Mance, Introduction, xxviii. The Abbé Ferland, in his Histoire du Canada, passes over the miracles in silence.
2 Ibid., La Colonie Française, i. 390.
of nuns to teach the Faith to the children, white and red. To borrow their own phrases, they would plant the banner of Christ in an abode of desolation and a haunt of demons; and to this end a band of priests and women were to invade the wilderness, and take post between the fangs of the Iroquois. But first they must make a colony, and to do so must raise money. Olier had pious and wealthy penitents; Dauversière had a friend, the Baron de Fancamp, devout as himself and far richer. Anxious for his soul, and satisfied that the enterprise was an inspiration of God, he was eager to bear part in it. Olier soon found three others; and the six together formed the germ of the Society of Notre-Dame de Montreal. Among them they raised the sum of seventy-five thousand livres, equivalent to about as many dollars at the present day.1
1 Dollier de Casson, Histoire de Montréal, MS.; also Belmont, Histoire du Canada, 2. Juchereau doubles the sum. Faillon agrees with Dollier.
On all that relates to the early annals of Montreal a flood of new light has been thrown by the Abbé Faillon. As a priest of St. Sulpice, he had ready access to the archives of the Seminaries of Montreal and Paris, and to numerous other ecclesiastical depositories, which would have been closed hopelessly against a layman and a heretic. It is impossible to commend too highly the zeal, diligence, exactness, and extent of his conscientious researches. His credulity is enormous, and he is completely in sympathy with the supernaturalists of whom he writes : in other words, he identi. fies himself with his theme, and is indeed a fragment of the seventeenth century, still extant in the nineteenth. He is minute to prolixity, and abounds in extracts and citations from the ancient manuscripts which his labors have unearthed. In short, the Abbé is a prodigy of patience and industry; and if he taxes the patience