Jean-Jacques Morel was born in a village in the proximity of Fribourg in Switzerland on June 12, 1739. He came into the world after two years of marriage between his parents Jean Morel and Marie Elisabeth Maître. Jean Jacques’ spiritual and academic formation was undertaken by his uncle François-Joseph Morel, who was also the parish curate.
Father François-Joseph Morel, was sent to his native village of Préz-vers-Noréaz, and naturally Jean-Jacques went after him to Belfaux. In 1755 Jean-Jacques forged ahead with his studies at the Jesuit College of Saint-Michele in Fribourg. In this great city he lived with his mother whom the State employed her as a professional midwife at Fribourg. Jean-Jacques excelled so much in his studies that, on 28 July 1762, he was selected to engage in public philosophical debate.
Due to his aptitude for piety, as well as his consecrated way of life many thought that he would become a Jesuit. Nonetheless, the ending result was much different! In fact, on September 26, 1762, at the age of 23 years old, Jean-Jacques entered the Capuchin novitiate and was given the name of Brother Apollinaire of Posat, the city where he came from. When he finished this novitiate year and making his temporary religious vows he was immediately received for the sacred Orders. On 22 September 1764, Brother Apollinaire was ordained a priest at Bulle, exactly in his county of origin.