Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Bl. Pierre-Louis-Marie Chanel

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Born at Cuet, Diocese of Belley, France, 1802; died at Futuna, 28 April, 1841. He was ordained priest in 1827, and engaged in the parochial ministry for a few years; but the reading of letters of missionaries in far-away lands inflamed his heart with zeal, and he resolved to devote his life to the Apostolate. In 1831 he joined the Society of Mary, and in 1836 he embarked for Oceania. He was assigned by his bishop to the Island of Futuna, and landed in Nov., 1837. No Christian missionary had ever set foot there, and the difficulties Peter encountered amidst those savage tribes were almost incredible. Nevertheless, he was beginning to see the results of his efforts, when Niuluki, king and also pontiff of the island, already jealous of the progress of the new religion, was exasperated by the conversion of his son and daughter. At his instigation, one of the ministers gathered some of the enemies of Christianity and Peter was cruelly assassinated without uttering a word of complaint. Through his death, the venerable martyr obtained what he had so ardently desired and earnestly worked for, the conversion of Futuna. In 1842, two Marist missionaries resumed his work, and nowhere has the preaching of the Gospel produced more wonderful results. Peter was declared Venerable by Pius IX in 1857, and beatified by Leo XIII on 17 November, 1889.

BOURDIN, Vie du Ven. Serviteur de Dieu Pierre-Marie-Louis Chanel (Lyons, 1867); NICOLET, Life of Blessed P. M. L. Chanel (Dublin, 1890); Quelques guerisons et graces signalees obtenues par l'intercession du Bienheureux P. M. L. Chanel (Lyons, 1891); HERVIER, Les Missions Maristes en Oceanie (Paris, 1902); Life of the Ven. Fr. Colin, Founder and First Superior General of the Society of Mary (St. Louis, 1909).

Joseph Freri