PERRAULT, JULIEN, priest, Jesuit, missionary at Cape Breton; b. probably in 1602 at Clisson, near Nantes (France); d. 24 Nov. 1647 at Orléans (France).
According to Father Melançon, Julien Perrault was born 20 June 1598; but a directory dated 1625, at the time of Perrault’s noviciate, indicates his age at that time as 23, which would advance his birthdate to 1602. He seems to have studied theology before joining the Jesuits. Immediately after his noviciate he studied moral theology for a year at Amiens (1626–27), then for one year was assistant bursar at the Collège in Caen. He was ordained priest in 1628, was named to the office of bursar at the same college, and exercised it until 1633, when he went to complete his spiritual training at the noviciate of Rouen (1633–34). On 27 Jan. 1634 Julien Perrault received from Father Barthélemy Jacquinot, the provincial of Paris, his appointment to the Cape Breton mission, together with Father André Richard. He left Dieppe on 20 March and made a successful crossing to Fort Sainte-Anne or Cibou (on St. Ann’s Bay, Cape Breton Island), reaching it on 30 April. Father Richard followed him on another ship seven days later. The two missionaries were first of all to be pastors for the French fishermen who lived at this post or stopped there. But they also gave their earnest attention to observing the customs of the natives and learning their language. In the two letters of Father Perrault that have come down to us, the Micmacs are described with an obvious liking, and the task of spreading the gospel seemed full of promise. Although Father Melançon dates Father Perrault’s return to France as 1635, we believe it must be placed a year later. The directory of the province of France does not show him in his homeland in 1634 and 1635, and the relation sent by him in 1635 leads us to suppose that he did not return that year. Perhaps the sickness that ravaged the establishments around the gulf in the early years forced Father Perrault to go back to France. He resided at the Collège in Rennes in 1636–37, then was bursar of the Collège in Vannes from 1637 to 1641; afterwards he was bursar of the Collège in Quimper, and finally of the Collège in Orléans, where he died.
Archivum Romanum Societatis Iesu, codex Franc. 22, catalogues annuels des maisons et des personnes de la province de France de la Compagnie de Jésus; Lettres originales, codex Gal. 109 I, ff.54–55, lettre autographe du P. Julien Perrault au P. Mutius Vitelleschi, général, Sainte-Anne, 19 sept. 1634. JR (Thwaites). R. Latourelle, Étude sur les écrits de saint Jean de Brébeuf (2v., Montréal, 1952–53), II, –40, lettre au père Julien Perrault, datée de Rouen le 31 mai 1631. [Melançon], Liste des missionnaires jésuites, Nouvelle-France et Louisiane, 1611–1800 (Montréal, 1929), 61.