Société Notre-Dame de Montréal
Coat of arms of the organization
|Purpose||The foundation of Fort Ville-Marie|
|Region served||Montreal Island|
|Leaders||Jerome le Royer de la Dauversiere
The long form of the organization name was the Société de Notre-Dame de Montréal pour la conversion des Sauvages de la Nouvelle-France (English: The Society of Our Lady of Montréal for the conversion of the savages of New France).
The Société was formed by the layman Jérôme le Royer de la Dauversière and the priest Jean-Jacques Olier. They found finance for a plan to set up several religious communities: one of priests to convert the Indians, one of nursing nuns, and one of teaching nuns. With some of Olier's penitents, and Dauversière's recruitment of the Baron de Fanchamp, a devout Christian and a wealthy man, a group of six persons was formed including also Angélique Bullion. They raised between them seventy-five thousand livres.
Le Royer de la Dauversière obtained the Seigneurial title to the Island of Montreal in the name of the Société de Notre-Dame de Montréal to establish a Roman Catholic mission for evangelizing natives. It was Charles Lallemant who obtained the concession of the Island of Montreal for the colony of Dauversière, and he also recruited Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve and Jeanne Mance to engage in the undertaking. Hired by Jérôme le Royer de la Dauversière, Maisonneuve was the first governor of Montreal. Louis Chartier came from France to supply medical care to Ville-Marie.
In March 1663, Seigniorial rights to the Island of Montreal were transferred by the Société de Notre-Dame de Montréal to the Sulpicians. The Sulpicians became the seigneurs of Ville-Marie and island, taking over from Paul de Chomedey de Maisonneuve. La Dauversière published a book on Ville-Marie, The Purpose of Montreal, that raised support for the project in Paris. Written in 1643, it describes the settlement shortly after its founding: "There is a chapel there that serves as a parish, under the title of Notre Dame.… The inhabitants live for the most part communally, as in a sort of inn; others live on their private means, but all live in Jesus Christ, with one heart and soul."