GUEN, HAMON, priest, Sulpician, missionary; b. 1687 in the diocese of Saint-Pol-de-Léon (dept. of Finistère), France; d. 15 April 1761 at the mission at Lac des Deux-Montagnes (Oka, Que.).
Hamon Guen entered the Sulpician community in 1711. He arrived in Canada on 22 Aug. 1714 and was ordained on 21 Sept. 1715. Immediately after he was appointed to the mission at Sault-au-Récollet to learn Indian languages and to be initiated into the ministry under the direction of his fellow priests Robert-Michel Gay* and Maurice Quéré de Tréguron. He succeeded in mastering Iroquois and in speaking Huron respectably; he is supposed to have left some writings in Iroquois: sermons, instructions, and meditations. He is also supposed to have written canticles, hymns, anthems, and other church songs in the two languages he knew, for at that time the Indian languages were used in the liturgical offices [see Luc-François Nau].
In 1721 he went with the Indians when the mission at Sault-au-Récollet was moved to Lac des Deux-Montagnes [see Gay; Quéré de Tréguron]. He is credited with founding for the Indians the pilgrimage of the Calvary, situated on the mountain nearest to the mission, where he had seven stations built in stone with the help of his fellow priest François Picquet*, who agreed to take on the task of carrying out the ornamentation. This place of pilgrimage still exists.
In 1749, when Picquet undertook to establish the mission to the Iroquois at La Présentation (Oswegatchie, now Ogdensburg, N.Y.), Guen lost no time in following to assist him in his labours and particularly to devote himself to the conversion of the Iroquois. After two years of intense labour he returned to the mission at Lac des Deux-Montagnes. In 1754 he succeeded Quéré de Tréguron as superior of the mission, and he held this office until 1760. He died at the mission on 15 April 1761, at 74 years of age.
ASSM, Section des biographies, 78; Section de la seigneurie du Lac-des-Deux-Montagnes, 308; Section des manuscrits indiens; Joseph-Vincent Quiblier, “Notes sur le séminaire de Montréal, 1847” (typescript). Lettres édifiantes et curieuses escrites des missions étrangères (14v., Lyon, 1819), XIV, 262–301. Allaire, Dictionnaire. Gauthier, Sulpitiana. C.-P. Beaubien, Le Sault-au-Récollet; ses rapports avec les premiers temps de la colonie; mission-paroisse (Montréal, 1898). Petit manuel des pèlerins au Calvaire du lac des Deux-Montagnes (nouv. éd., Montréal, 1926). Pierre Rousseau, Saint-Sulpice et les missions catholiques (Montréal, 1930). J.-A. Cuoq, “Anotc kekon,” RSCT, 1st ser., XI (1893), sect.i, 137–79. Olivier Maurault, “Les vicissitudes d’une mission sauvage,” Revue trimestrielle canadienne (Montréal), XVI (1930), 121–49.