François de Laval

A bishop, a visionary, a bold man, a founder… and a Saint!

Testimonials from the Past

“He is in fact the most austere man of this world, the most detached from worldly possessions. He gives away everything and lives in poverty – one could truthfully say that he possesses the spirit of poverty.”

Marie de l’Incarnation


“Despite the rigours of our harsh climate, he would rise at three o’clock every morning and spend several hours daily in front of the Holy Sacrament… this is how our first bishop would recover from the exhaustion created by his fervour.”

M. de La Colombière, funeral oration, June 6, 1708


“At the height of winter, he came upon a small boy who was barefoot and inadequately clothed. He brought the child to his room and washed his feet. And then, not content with giving him just a pair of stockings and a coat, he fitted him with shoes and made a bundle of his rags for him.”

M. de La Colombière, funeral oration, June 6, 1708


“When it came time to buy fabrics and blankets for the poor, donating one hundred, two hundred or three hundred écus (pounds) came to him as easily as giving away a pin. When spending on the poor, his greatness was suffused with joy.”

Hubert Houssart, 1708


“Can it be true that this man – who lived his life in such a gratifying manner, and whose memory will never die – is no longer with us?”

Funeral oration, May 9, 1708


“He gives away everything and lives in poverty. He is not one to make friends in order to get ahead and build his own wealth – this means nothing to him. His home, his life, his furnishings, his servants are all a reflection of how he lives his life in poverty. He has only one gardener, whom he lends to the poor when they are in need of him.”

Marie de l’Incarnation, 1660


“No sooner had he stepped off the boat from France than he rushed to the hospital to help the poor. Neither prayer nor any other consideration could prevent him from settling into a corner of their room, helping them make their beds every day and performing all of the most demeaning services for the sick.”

Funeral oration, May 9, 1708






Collection of testimonials by contemporaries of François de Laval

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