Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Etienne-Michel Faillon

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Catholic Encyclopedia (1913), Volume 5
Etienne-Michel Faillon

by Lionel Lindsay


Historian, born at Tarascon, France, 3 January, 1800; died at Paris, 25 October, 1870. He studied at Avignon and Aix (Provence), joined the Sulpicians (1821), and was ordained priest in 1824. While director of "La Solitude", he wrote several ascetic and biographical works and collected materials for future publications. In 1848, during an official visitation in Montreal, he conceived the plan of his "Histoire de la Colonie française au Canada". Of the twelve intended volumes of this work, destined to embrace the entire French domination (1534-1759), only three were published, the narrative closing with the year 1675. Two subsequent voyages to Canada enabled him to write several important biographies, those of Sister Marguerite Bourgeoys, of Jeanne Mance (with the history of the Hôtel-Dieu, Villemarie), of Mother d'Youville, and of Jeanne Le Ber. His chief works relating to Old France are his life of Monsieur Olier and "Monuments inédits sur l'apostolat de Sainte Marie-Madeleine en Provence". He has been repeatedly criticized for his partiality towards his society and towards Montreal. Most historians censure his appreciation of Bishop Laval and of the Jesuits. On the other hand, he is credited for giving prominence to persons and events of Villemarie, less elaborately treated by the Jesuit "Relations" and later histories.

LIONEL LINDSAY