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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 200 pages of information about The Makers of Canada.
to him who wrote it as to him to whom such homage is rendered:  “The noble house of Laval from which he sprang,” writes Mgr. de Saint-Vallier, “the right of primogeniture which he renounced on entering upon the ecclesiastical career; the exemplary life which he led in France before there was any thought of raising him to the episcopacy; the assiduity with which he governed so long the Church in Canada; the constancy and firmness which he showed in surmounting all the obstacles which opposed on divers occasions the rectitude of his intentions and the welfare of his dear flock; the care which he took of the French colony and his efforts for the conversion of the savages; the expeditions which he undertook several times in the interests of both; the zeal which impelled him to return to France to seek a successor; his disinterestedness and the humility which he manifested in offering and in giving so willingly his frank resignation; finally, all the great virtues which I see him practise every day in the seminary where I sojourn with him, would well deserve here a most hearty eulogy, but his modesty imposes silence upon me, and the veneration in which he is held wherever he is known is praise more worthy than I could give him....”

Mgr. de Saint-Vallier left Quebec for France on November 18th, 1686, only a few days after a fire which consumed the Convent of the Ursulines; the poor nuns, who had not been able to snatch anything from the flames, had to accept, until the re-construction of their convent, the generous shelter offered them by the hospitable ladies of the Hotel-Dieu.  Mgr. de Saint-Vallier did not disembark at the port of La Rochelle until forty-five days after his departure, for this voyage was one continuous storm.

FOOTNOTES: 

[9] A right, belonging formerly to the kings of France, of enjoying the revenues of vacant bishoprics.

CHAPTER XV

MGR.  DE LAVAL COMES FOR THE LAST TIME
TO CANADA

Mgr. de Saint-Vallier received the most kindly welcome from the king:  he availed himself of it to request some aid on behalf of the priests of the seminary whom age and infirmity condemned to retirement.  He obtained it, and received, besides, fifteen thousand francs for the building of an episcopal palace.  He decided, in fact, to withdraw from the seminary, in order to preserve complete independence in the exercise of his high duties.  Laval learned with sorrow of this decision; he, who had always clung to the idea of union with his seminary and of having but one common fund with this house, beheld his successor adopt an opposite line of conduct.  Another cause of division rose between the two prelates; the too great generosity of Mgr. de Saint-Vallier had brought the seminary into financial embarrassment.  The Marquis de Seignelay, then minister, thought it wiser under such circumstances to postpone till later the return

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