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He was born in Paris and died in the same city. He is sometimes confused with his elder brother François, also a Jesuit. Father François Ragueneau accompanied Father Charles Lalemant who was returning to Canada in 1628. Their vessel was captured by Kirke who was then blockading the St. Lawrence and he was sent as a prisoner to England. It cannot be determined whether Francois ever did visit the Canadian missions.
Paul Ragueneau became a novice in the Society of Jesus in 1626. From 1628 to 1632 he taught at the Collège in Bourges after which he furthered his religious training at the College of La Flèche. From there, he went to Quebec in 1636.
Upon arriving in Quebec, he was almost immediately sent to the Huron mission where he worked under the instruction of Fathers Jean de Brébeuf and Jérôme Lalemant for eight years. At some point, he became superior of the Huron mission, likely in 1645. He would have been in charge during the events surrounding the Canadian Martyrs. He joined the fugitives on Saint Joseph's Island and led a small band to Quebec.
In 1650, he became vice-rector of the College of Quebec, and superior of the Canadian mission. In 1656, Ragueneau was assigned to the residence at Trois-Rivières. In 1657, he left for Sainte-Marie-de-Ganentaa. He was part of the times that saw the departure of Fathers Chaumonot, Le Moyne, and other missionaries. This first attempt at an organized apostolate among the Iroquois had failed.
The Parish Municipality of Ragueneau in Quebec, Canada, is named after him. As of July 2012, there are proposals to name a Canadian federal riding after him. http://www.redecoupage-federal-redistribution.ca/qc/now/proposals/Laval.pdf
- "Ragueneau (Municipalité de paroisse)" (in French). Commission de toponymie du Québec. Retrieved 2010-06-30.
- New Catholic Dictionary
- Biography at the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online
- "Paul Ragueneau". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.
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