Chabanel entered the Jesuit novitiate at Toulouse at the age of seventeen, and was a professor of rhetoric at several Jesuit colleges. He was highly esteemed for virtue and learning. In 1643, he was sent to New France, and after studying the Algonquin language for a time, was appointed to the mission at Sainte-Marie, where he remained till his death. In his apostolic labours he was the companion of Fr. Charles Garnier. As he felt a strong repugnance to the life and habits of the Huron, and feared it might result in his own withdrawal from the work, he bound himself by vow never to leave the mission. Chabanel was martyred on December 8, 1649, by what is described as a "renegade" Huron.