Spiritual Writings of Canada’s First Bishop Available in English

Monsignor Hermann Giguere of Quebec City is seen in this 2015 file photo. (CNS photo/Philippe Vaillancourt, Presence)

QUEBEC CITY (CNS) – It took three centuries, but the writings of Canada’s first bishop are now available in English. The book, “The Spiritual Writings of François de Laval,” responds to an Anglophone demand that now exceeds French demand for writings by the man who was canonized by Pope Francis in 2014. Jean Duval, director of the Francois-de-Laval Animation Center, has observed this increasing interest for a number of years, based on the requests he receives and the written prayers left at the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica in Quebec City, where the center is located. “It’s a tourist request, because more Anglophones come to the cathedral, including many Americans,” he said. When the Diocese of Quebec was erected in 1674, Francois de Laval became its first bishop. The diocese included every French and unexplored territory in North America, with the exception of the English and Spanish colonies. The center already had a biography of Bishop de Laval in English, but Jean Duval also wanted to give people the opportunity to get in touch with the saint’s thought and his time. With the Quebec Seminary, he developed the project to translate Monsignor Hermann Giguere’s 2011 book about St. Francois de Laval’s spiritual writings. It offers a selection 39 texts that illustrate the spiritual experience of the first Canadian bishop.