Julian Maunoir

Julien Maunoir

Bl. Julien Maunoir
Born 1 October 1606
Saint Georges-de-Reintembault
Died 28 January 1683 (aged 76)
Plevin, Cornouaille[1]
Venerated in Roman Catholicism
Beatified 1951 by Pope Pius XII

Julien Maunoir (1 October 1606 – 28 January 1683) (also Julian; Breton: Juluan Maner), was a French-born Jesuit priest known as the "Apostle of Brittany". He was beatified in 1951 by Pope Pius XII and is commemorated by the Roman Catholic Church on 29 January and 2 July.


Maunoir was born 1 October 1606 at Saint Georges-de-Reintembault near Rennes. At the age of fourteen, he entered the Jesuit college in Rennes. Julian entered the Society of Jesus in Paris at nineteen with the Canadian mission in mind.[2]

He studied philosophy at La Fleche and later assigned to the college at Saint-Ives at Quimper, Brittany where he taught Latin and Greek. A classmate of Saints Isaac Jogues and Gabriel Lalemant, he aspired to become a missionary to the peoples of Canada. During his period of priestly formation with the Society of Jesus, he studied the Breton language in order to teach the faith to the Breton peasants. He worked hard and within two months he was sufficiently fluent to be able to preach in Breton.[2] Maunoir is considered a noted orthographer of the Breton language, having completed a Breton grammar.[3] He continued to preach in the hamlets of Brittany until he went to Tours to begin his theological studies prior to ordination.

He was ordained in 1637 and returned to Brittany in 1640 and was assigned again to Quimper. He was found to be uniquely suited for the difficult task of evangelizing the impoverished people of Brittany. Together with his companion, Father Pierre Bernard, Father Maunoir worked among the poor, the peasants and fishermen.[2] Father Maunoir worked as a missionary to the Breton people for 43 years, and managed to give a Christian meaning to what had become pious customs.[4]

By 1683 had formed almost 1,000 Breton missionaries who carried on the pastoral works that he had begun.[5] Julien Maunoir died in Plévin, Brittany, on 28 January 1683[6] and was buried in the parish church grounds at the insistence of his people.

He was beatified by Pope Pius XII in 1951[6]

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