PIAT (sometimes called Le Piat), IRÉNÉE, Recollet, priest, missionary; b. 1594 at Giens; d. 1674 at Nevers.
He entered the Recollet order at Nevers and made his profession there on 21 June 1612. On 15 May 1622, Father Piat sailed from Dieppe for Canada and arrived at Tadoussac about mid-June. There he gave a solemn blessing to a large cross he had caused to be set up and after building a chapel of branches, he celebrated mass in it.
In July he went to Quebec with Émery de Caën. On 25 August he returned to Tadoussac, which he left on 13 December to go and spend the winter among the Montagnais. On the way, having been unable to prevent the Indian guide, whom he had befriended, from committing a murder at the instigation of the medicine-man, he abandoned the trip by way of protest; Father Le Caron undertook to replace him among the Indians. The following spring Father Piat attempted to resume his evangelical work among the Montagnais, but as the latter were preparing a war-party he had no other choice than to return to Tadoussac.
In 1624 he was chosen to go to France to recruit new missionaries. He left Quebec on 15 August with Brother Sagard. His mission produced the desired result: the Jesuits, acting upon the invitation of the Recollets, arrived at Quebec in 1625. Father Piat, however, did not return.
He was guardian of the monasteries at Montargis (1629–31) and Metz (1636), and definitor of his province in 1632 and again in 1671. “He was,” says the Mortuologe, “a priest of great simplicity and good-heartedness, and very intelligent.” He died at Nevers on 28 June 1674.
ASQ, mss, 200, Mortuologe des Recolets. Champlain, Œuvres (Laverdière). Placide Gallemant, Provincia Sancti Dionysii in Gallia (Catalauni, 1649). Le Clercq, First establishment of the faith (Shea), I, 175, et passim. Sagard, Histoire du Canada (Tross), I, passim. Jouve, Les Franciscains et le Canada (1615-1629).