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Birth of Bishop St. Palais – 1811

Today (November 15) marks the anniversary of the birth of Bishop St. Palais, fourth Bishop of Vincennes. His “official” name is Right Rev. Jacques M. Maurice Landes d’Aussac de Saint-Palais

He was born at LaSalvetat, France on November 15, 1811. Ordained priest at Paris, May 28, 1836. Administrator of the diocese after the death of Bishop Bazin. Named bishop of Vincennes, October 3, 1848. Consecrated in the cathedral at Vincennes, January 14, 1849, by Bishop Pius Miles, OP, of Nashville, assisted by Coadjutor Bishop Martin John Spalding of Louisville and Very Reverend Hippolyte Du Pontavice, vicar general of Vincennes. Died at St. Mary-of-the-Woods, June 28, 1877. His body is interred in the Old Cathedral, Vincennes.

That’s the history in a nutshell. What St. Palais actually “did” could fill a volume. First, he was one of the first priests at the small village of Chicago, which, at the time, was a part of the Diocese of Vincennes.

St. Palais also facilitated what I would call the “healing” that took place after the departure of Bishop Hailandiere and the arrival of Bishop Bazin. Of course, Bazin who died within a year of his becoming bishop, began that healing process.

St. Palais was the one who secured permission to move the See of Vincennes. His permission included Indianapolis. Lafayette and Madison Indiana. St. Palais remained bishop for almost 30 years. He was responsible for bringing the Benedictine monks from Einsiedeln to Saint Meinrad Indiana. He built churches and schools and raised the number of priests from about 35 to 104. The Catholic population grew to over 80,000. He was the last of the French immigrant missionaries whose influence on the diocese and the area cannot be fully measured.


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