The Church in North America owes gratitude to the men and women upon whom she is founded. One of the names always included in the story of the growth of the Church in this part of the world is Bishop François-Xavier de Montmorency-Laval. He lived from 30 April 1623 to 6 May 1708 and was beatified by Saint John Paul II in June 1980 and canonized by Pope Francis on April 3, 2014.
Saint François de Laval is the first bishop of the Archdiocese of Québec. The area in which he served was the oldest Roman Catholic see in the New World north of Mexico. He oversaw an area that in the 1600s comprised much of New France. The Church has grown and changed over the centuries and today the area comprises about a hundred dioceses.
Laval was born at Montigny-sur-Avre, France, in April 1623. Both sides of his family were distinguished, and he faced pressures around the family estate, but held fast to his vocation. He studied at the Jesuit college at La Flèche and then in Paris.