Peter Chanel

Peter Chanel

Saint Less

Peter Chanel

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Pierre Louis Marie Chanel, known in English as Saint Peter Chanel (12 July 1803 – 28 April 1841) was a Catholic priest, missionary, and martyr.


Early years

Chanel was born in La Potière near Cuet in the area of Belley, Ain département, France.

After some schooling at Cras, his piety and intelligence attracted the attention of a local priest, Fr. Trompier, and he was put into Church-sponsored education. He followed this with seminary training in 1819, at the minor seminary at Meximieux and Belley in 1823, and then in 1824 at the major seminary at Brou.

He was ordained priest, along with 24 others, on 15 July 1827 by Bishop Devie, and spent a brief time as an assistant priest at Ambérieu. There he again met Claude Bret, who was to become his friend and also one of the first Marist Missionaries.

From an early age, Chanel had been thinking about going on the foreign missions, and his intention was strengthened by the letters that arrived at Ambérieu from a former curate, then a missionary in India.

The following year, Chanel applied to the bishop of Belley for permission to go to the missions. His application was not accepted and instead he was appointed for the next three years as parish priest of the run-down parish of Crozet, which he revitalized in that short time.

His zeal was widely respected, and his care, particularly of those in the parish that were sick, won the hearts of the locals, who began again to practice their faith. During this time, Chanel heard of...
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