LE PAPE DU LESCÖAT, JEAN-GABRIEL-MARIE (also spelled Du Lescouat, de Lescöat, he signed Du Lescöat), priest, Sulpician, nephew of M. Le Nobletz, a famous 17th-century missionary; b. 1689 at Léon (Saint-Malo, in Brittany); d. 7 Feb. 1733 at Montreal.
M. Du Lescöat arrived in Montreal in 1717. He was first the parish priest at Pointe-aux-Trembles (Montreal), in 1718–19, then he was attached to Notre-Dame church in Montreal and was officially priest of the parish from 1725 to 1730. It is believed that it was he who carried on his shoulders the wooden cross that was set up on Mount Royal at that time. Imbued with the spirituality of M. Olier (the founder of the Sulpician order), he was the embodiment of the Sulpician spirit in its first vigour: zeal, humility, charity. He personally taught the guard-house soldiers, whose ignorance was notorious; he visited the sick and the bereaved. As spiritual director of Madame d’Youville [Dufrost*] he inculcated in her a sturdy piety based on the spirit of faith which subsequently was to blossom out in an all-embracing charity.
M. Du Lescöat passed away at 44 years of age. M. Montgolfier*, the superior of the Sulpician seminary in Montreal, wrote in M. Du Lescöat’s record after his death: “He was a great man and a saint. All his life he carried out his duties zealously and successfully.” Popular veneration made his tomb a place of pilgrimage. Several miraculous cures were attributed to him. His maxim for living, inspired by Pascal, was inscribed as his epitaph: “Flee the world, belong to God.”
AHDM, Lettres circuulaires, nécrologies, fondateurs, sœurs de France et de Montréal, 1690–1747, I. ANDM, Registre d’état civil de Ville-Marie, 1720–1730. ASGM, Pour les vénérables Sœurs de l’Hôpital Général de Montréal par leur respectueux serviteur I. Paquin, ptre, curé de St Eustache . . . , 10 mars 1844. ASSM, Étienne Montgolfier, Catalogue historique et chronologique de Saint-Sulpice de Montréal. ASQ, Polygraphie, II, 27. [É.-M. Faillon], Vie de Mme d’Youville, fondatrice des Sœurs de la Charité de Villemarie dans l’Île Montréal en Canada (Ville-Marie [Montréal], 1852), Vie de Mademoiselle Mance et histoire de l’Hôtel-Dieu de Villemarie dans l’île de Montréal en Canada (2v., Ville-Marie [Montréal], 1854), II, 180; Vie de la Sœur Bourgeoys, fondatrice de la Congrégation de Notre-Dame de Villemarie en Canada suivie de l’histoire de cet institut jusqu’à ce jour (2v., Ville-Marie [Montréal], 1853), II, 329. Albertine Ferland-Angers, Mère d’Youville (Montréal, 1945). Henri Gauthier, Sulpitiana (Montréal, 1926).