Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

French-Canadian bishop, b. 4 Sept., 1818, at Ste-Anne de la Perade, Province of Quebec ; d. 14 July, 1898. He studied the classics and theology at Nicolet College. Having offered his services to the pioneer Bishop Provencher of Red River, he was ordained in 1844, and traveled 750 leagues by canoe to reach St. Boniface. In 1846 he left with Father Taché for the mission of La Crosse island, 300 leagues distant. Besides the Sauteux language, he mastered those of the Crees and Montagnais prevalent in the North-West, and was the first to reduce the latter to grammatical form. In 1849 Pius IXpreconized him Bishop of Arath in partibus infidelium . Five years of illness and suffering having left an infirmity in one of his limbs which he bore to the end of his life, he begged to be released from the burden of the episcopate and have Father Taché's name substituted in the Bulls of nomination. In 1851 he directed the almost incredible defense of 60 half-breeds against 2000 Sioux near Turtle Mountain, North Dakota. After a siege of two days (13 and 14 July), the assailants spied the missionary in surplice and stole, and withdrew, convinced that the Great Spirit protected the half-breeds. In 1856 he returned to Canada, where he taught mathematics, astronomy, and philosophy at Nicolet College, of which he was appointed president in 1859. In 1866 Bishop Cook of Three Rivers chose him for coadjutor, and in 1870, while at the Vatican Council , Bishop Laflèche succeeded to the vacant see. He was no less an able administrator than an eloquent orator. Besides his weekly sermons in his cathedral, where he often treated the great social and politico-religious questions of the day, his voice was heard on many important occasions. A dauntless exponent of Catholic truth and an ardent Ultramontane, his utterances were not always acceptable to the group of politicians who inclined towards Liberalism. When, in 1885, contrary to his wish, his diocese was divided, he bowed submissively to the decree of the Holy See, and soon beheld the loss partly repaired by the creation and development of several prosperous industrial centres. Besides five volumes of pastoral letters, Bishop Laflèche published the following works: "Quelques considérations sur les rapports de la société civile avec la religion et la famille" (1866); "Conférences sur l'encyclique 'Humanum Genus'".

More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 6:10-20
10 Finally, grow strong in the Lord, with the strength of his ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 144:1, 2, 9-10
1 [Of David] Blessed be Yahweh, my rock, who trains my hands for war and ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 13:31-35
31 Just at this time some Pharisees came up. 'Go away,' they said. 'Leave ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 27th, 2016 Image

St. Frumentius
October 27: Called "Abuna" or "the fa­ther' of Ethiopia, ... Read More