Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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ST. PALAIS, James Maurice de Long d'Aus-sac de, R. C. bishop, born in La Salvetat, France, 15 November, 1811; died in St. Mary's of the Woods, Vigo County, Indiana, 28 June, 1877. He was descended from a celebrated medieeval family. He studied in the College of St. Nicholas du Chardonet in Paris, and in 1830 entered the Seminary of St. Sulpice, to become a priest. He was ordained in 1836, went to Indiana as a missionary, and, on his arrival in Vincennes, was sent to a station thirty-five miles east of that town. Here he organized a congregation, and built St. Mary's church. The first settlers of this country were, as a rule, very poor, but, by his ingenuity, which was displayed in some modest and successful speculations, he found means to build several churches. In 1839 he was removed to Chicago, where he devoted a great part of his time to the conversion of the Indians, until they were removed across the Mississippi. There had been priests in Chicago, prior to the advent of Father St. Palais, whose conduct had been bad, and, in consequence, he found his flock demoralized, and met with opposition from a portion of them. They burned his little cabin, and for two years refused him his salary, with the avowed purpose of starving him out. He remained at his post, however, and with private means built St. Mary's church, which shortly afterward became the first cathedral of the diocese of Chicago. In 1844 Chicago was created an episcopal see, and Father St. Palais was removed to Logansport. The hardships he underwent at this station were extraordinary. He rode almost daily, sometimes for a hundred miles, without seeing a human dwelling. In 1846 he was sent to Madison, and in 1847 was appointed vicar-general and superior of the ecclesiastical seminary at Vincennes. In 1848 he was administrator of the diocese of Vincennes on the death of Bishop Bazin, and in the same year was nominated bishop by Pins IX., and consecrated in 1849. He erected two fine orphan asylums--one for boys, at Highland, and the other for girls, at Terre Haute. He paid his episcopal visit to Rome in 1849, and persuaded the Benedictines to send out a colony of their order to Indiana. In 1857 his diocese was divided, a new see being erected at Fort Wayne. Returning from his second visit to Rome in 1859, he travelled through France. Switzerland, and Germany, in furtherance of the interest of his diocese. He visited Rome again in 1869, and attended the Vatican council. When he became bishop he had thirty-three priests to assist him in attending about 30,000 people. The number of Catholic churches was fifty, although the diocese of Vincennes comprised then the whole state of Indiana. At his death the diocese of Vincennes, although reduced from its original extent, contained 90,000 souls, 151 churches, and 117 priests. He established the Franciscan Fathers at Oldenburg and at Indianapolis, the Fathers O. M. C. at Terre Haute, and the Brothers of the Sacred Heart. The following female orders also owe their advent in the diocese to his administration: the Sisters of St. Francis, the Nuns of the Order of St. Benedict, the Daughters of Charity, the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, the Little Sisters of the Poor, the Ursuline Sisters, and the Sisters of St. Joseph.
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