Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Joseph Anthony de la Rivière Poncet

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Catholic Encyclopedia (1913), Volume 12
Joseph Anthony de la Rivière Poncet

by Julia Zevely


Missionary; b. at Paris, 17 May, 1610; d. at Martinique, 18 June, 1675. He entered the Jesuit novitiate in Paris at nineteen, was a brilliant student in rhetoric and philosophy, pursued his studies at Clermont, Rome, and Ruen, and taught at Orléans (1631-4). In 1638 he met Madame de la Pettrie and accompanied her and Marie de l'Incarnation to Canada in the following year. He was sent immediately to the Huron mission and had no further relations with Marie de l'Incarnation. In 1645 he founded an Algonquin mission on the Island of St. Mary. After returning to Quebec he was seized by the Iroquois; he was being tortured when a rescue party arrived in time to save his life. His companion, Mathurin Franchelot, was burned at the stake. In 1657, as he became involved in ecclesiastical disputes, he was sent back to France. He held the position of French penitentiary at Loreto, and was later sent to the Island of Martinique, where he died.

Jesuit Relations, ed. THWAITES (73 vols., Cleveland, 1896-1901); CAMPBELL, Pioneer Priests of North America, I (New York, 1909), 61-74.

J. Zevely.