Pierre Chanel

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Pierre Chanel

Pierre Louis-Marie Chanel (born July 12, 1803 in Cuet (now Montrevel-en-Bresse ), Département Ain , France , † April 28, 1841 in Futuna ) was a Catholic missionary and martyr .


Pierre Chanel studied theology at the seminary in Brou , was ordained a priest in 1827 and was then vicar in Ambérieu and pastor in Crozet . In 1831 he joined the still young community of the Marist Fathers and became a teacher in Belley. In 1836, at the age of 34, he traveled to Futuna as a missionary with Bishop Pompallier in the South Seas . In 1835 Pope Gregory XVI. created the Apostolic Vicariates of Western and Eastern Oceania and thus initiated the Christian missionary work in Oceania .

Pierre Chanel's work was crowned with little success. However, when the chief's son wanted to be baptized, chief Niuliki saw his authority at risk and charged his son-in-law Musumusu with the murder of Chanel. Pierre Chanel was slain. When the vicar general of the missions wanted to recover the body a year later, numerous locals asked for the baptism. Only a few years later, the entire population was baptized. To date, 98% of the population is Roman Catholic.

Beatification and Canonization

Pierre Chanel is now the patron saint of Oceania, and the Saint Pierre Chanel basilica was built on the site of his death . He was on November 16, 1889 by Pope Leo XIII. beatified . His canonization by Pope Pius XII. took place on June 13, 1954.

His feast day is April 28th. The church of his birthplace Cuet is a destination for pilgrimages .


  • Écrits du Père Pierre Chanel, missionaire mariste à Futuna 1803–1841 , edited by Claude Rozier. Musée de l'homme, Paris 1960.


  • Philip Graystone: Saint Peter Chanel SM: the first martyr of the South Pacific. Marists, Dessau 2003.
  • Antoine Mayère: Père Chanel, je vous écris… Éditions du Cerf, Paris 1994. ISBN 2-204-04963-8 .
  • Hubert Neufeld: The saint and the headhunters. Marist Father Chanel, the first martyr of Oceania. Ludwig Mission Association. Munich 1954. Hacker, Groebenzell, 4th ed. 1966.
  • Hermann Wegener : Kampf und Krone - Life pictures of six martyr missionaries in Kochinchina and Oceania , Missionsdruckerei in Steyl , 1924, p. 111-147.
  • Claude Nicolet: Vie du bienheureux Pierre Louis Marie Chanel, prêtre mariste et premier martyr de l'Océanie . Vitte, Lyon 1932 (2). German Translation by Carl Dilgskron: Life of Blessed Peter Alois Maria Chanel, priest of the Society of Mary and the first martyr of Oceania. Kirchheim, Mainz 1891.
  • Friedrich Wilhelm BautzChanel, Pierre-Louis-Marie. In: Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL). Volume 1, Bautz, Hamm 1975. 2nd, unchanged edition Hamm 1990, ISBN 3-88309-013-1 , Sp. 978-979.

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