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Charles Raymbault

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Missionary, b. in France, 1602; entered the Society of Jesus at Rouen (1621); d. at Quebec, 1643. He was procurator in the Canadian mission when he was called to Quebec (1637). When the time came (1640) to give missionaries to the wandering tribes who frequently visited the Hurons, chiefly Nipissings and Algonquins, living east and north of Lake Huron and on the banks and islands of the Ottawa, Raymbault was sent with Father Pijart to follow them. This mission offered greater hardships than that of the Hurons, Neutrals, and Indians of the Tobacco Nation. The generosity of the Jesuits soon bore fruit. When the Sauteux Indians (1641) besought the "blackrobes" to visit them, Raymbault travelled, with the future martyr Jogues, as far the Sault St. Marie on a voyage of exploration and with a view to a more permanent apostolate. The missionaries, besides their desire to conquer souls, were interested in the discovery of the famous passage to the Western Sea. Shortly after his return, Raymbault intended to join the Nipissings in their winter quarters, but he fell exhausted with fatigue, and was brought to Quebec, where he soon died, the first Jesuit who died in Canada. He was buried besides Champlain. According to the Relation of 1643, he was a man of great stature, of ordinary talent and learning, of sound judgment, excellent heart, and experienced in temporal affairs.

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