Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Zenobius Membre

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Catholic Encyclopedia (1913), Volume 10
Zenobius Membre

by Zephyrin Engelhardt


Born 1645 at Bapaume, Department of Pas-de-Calais, France, he was a member of the Franciscan province of St. Antony. He arrived in Canada in 1675, and in 1679 he accompanied Robert de la Salle to the country of the Illinois, of which he wrote a description. Though Membre laboured zealously for the conversion of the natives, owing to their moral degradation the success was small. In 1681 be descended the Mississippi with La Salle to the Gulf of Mexico, returned with the leader of the expedition to Europe by way of Canada, and became superior of the Franciscan monastery in his native city. In 1684 Membre with two Franciscans and three Sulpicians followed La Salle into Texas. The commander erected Fort St. Louis at Espiritu Santo Bay in 1685, but Membre endeavoured to establish a mission among the Cenis Indians. In this he failed. After about two years of toil he was killed by the savages, along with Fr. Maximus Le Cerq, Rev. Chefdeville, and the small garrison which La Salle had left at the settlement.

BARCIA, Ensayo Cronológico (Madrid, 1723); HENNEPIN, Description de la Louisiane (Paris, 1683); THWAITES, A New Discovery of a Vast Country (Chicago, 1903); SHEA, Cath. Church in Colonial Days (New York, 1886); Cath. Missions (New York, 1854); WALLACE, Illinois and Louisiana (Cincinnati, 1893).

Z. Engelhardt.