01. Pectoral Cross (reliquary)
Vers / around 1658
Collection: ArchidiocĂ¨se de QuĂ©bec / Archdiocese of QuĂ©bec
Inconnu / Unknown
9.6 x 6.3 cm
This reliquary pectoral cross is engraved at the meeting of two branches with a crown surrounding the inscription JHS (Jesus Hominum Salvator) surmounted by a small cross which means â€śJesus the Saviour of Menâ€ť. The pectoral cross is a sign of dignity reserved since the Counter-Reformation for popes cardinals archbishops bishops and high ecclesiastical dignitaries. Generally made of precious metal the pectoral cross may be decorated with stones of the same type and colour as those of pastoral rings but such is not the case here. Normally the cross is worn around the neck on a chain. The portrait of Mgr de Laval attributed to Jacques Leblond de Latour shows a pectoral cross hung on a cord.
This pectoral cross belonged to Mgr FranĂ§ois de Laval (1623 Montigny-sur-Avre in France â€“ QuĂ©bec 1708). He was ordained a priest in 1647. In December 1658 he was appointed Apostolic Vicar of New France and consecrated Bishop of PĂ©trĂ©e en l'Abbaye de Saint-Germain-des-PrĂ©s in Paris. He arrived in Quebec on June 16 1659. His episcopate was marked by the founding of such major institutions as the SĂ©minaire de QuĂ©bec the Petit SĂ©minaire and the ConfrĂ©rie de la Sainte Famille. In 1688 he resigned from his position as bishop and died on May 6 1708 in Quebec City. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II in1980.