First bishop of Québec and Canada, Blessed François de Montmorency-Laval was born in April 30th 1623, at Montigny-sur-Avre, Normandy, France.
François studied in the Jesuit College of La Flèche, and became a priest on May 1st 1647. He became bishop of Pétrée on December 8th 1658, and arrived in Québec city on June 16th 1659, with the mandate to organize Catholic church in New France, which was still a mission at that time.
Bishop de Laval first founded the Seminary of Québec which gathered together a community of priests; in 1663 he entrusted the formation of his clergy to this seminary. Five years later, a Minor Seminary was opened for the recruitment of his clergy. In conformity with holy practice in the early centuries of the Church, all the clerics and churchmen lived out of a common fund.
François devoted his life to God and was known for his charity, piety and zeal. He did great efforts to convert natives and to forbid liquor trading with them.
Laval died at age 85, on May 8th 1708 in Québec city, recitating the Rosary and the Litany of the Holy Family. He was burried in the crypt of Québec's cathedral. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1980.
After him were named:
-Universtié Laval (in Québec city)
-Chutes Monmorency (near Québec city)
-Laval (city north of Montréal)