SATTIN, ANTOINE, Sulpician and teacher; b. 18 Feb. 1767 in Lyons, France, son of Joseph Satin and Pierrette Ocard; d. 23 June 1836 in Montreal.
Antoine Sattin entered the Séminaire Saint-Irénée in Lyons on 1 Nov. 1788. During the revolutionary turmoil in this city, Sattin, who was then a subdeacon, signed a public protest against an address that was published in Le Courrier de Lyon of 23 July 1790 and was believed to have been written by seminarists dissatisfied with the strict régime in the institution. Sattin is thought to have been ordained on 19 March 1791. He joined the Sulpicians and did his solitude (noviciate) in Paris. Like many priests who refused to take the oath of loyalty to the Civil Constitution of the Clergy, he went into exile in Switzerland; once there, he expressed a determination to go to Lower Canada. He was in the group of 11 Sulpicians who landed at Montreal on 12 Sept. 1794 [see Jean-Henry-Auguste Roux*].
Admitted to the community of the Séminaire de Saint-Sulpice as a member on 29 September, Sattin was subsequently assigned to the ministry in Notre-Dame parish. He also celebrated mass in the chapel of Notre-Dame-de-Bonsecours. In 1801 he was appointed to the Collège Saint-Raphaël (from 1806 the Petit Séminaire de Montréal), where he taught Latin and French.
Sattin gave up this post to become chaplain of the nuns of the Hôtel-Dieu of Montreal in 1813. In 1815 he assisted Sulpician Jean-Baptiste-Jacques Chicoisneau*, who held the same office at the Hôpital Général, and three years later he replaced him. From then on Sattin devoted himself to the poor, the sick, and the old. He proved a valued counsellor. His beneficial influence on novices, professed nuns, and other sisters encouraged them to greater zeal, and his judicious remarks and advice helped the community carry out the plans of their founder, Mme d’Youville [Dufrost*].
Among Sattin’s interests were the practical aspects of life at the hospital, such as the quality of the food, the fire-fighting equipment, new buildings, and repairs. The sisters’ journal describes him as a skilful engineer. He drew the plans for renovations to the hospital and chapel in 1832 and for a Way of the Cross in 1834. He further served the community by writing a biography of Mme d’Youville from testimonies such as that of Mother Thérèse-Geneviève Coutlée*.
In July 1825 Sattin became the director of the Confrérie de la Sainte-Famille, which brought devout women together every second Tuesday to pray and listen to sermons by the chaplain. The women combined mutual aid with prayer and took a particular interest in those members who needed encouragement or material and moral support. The group, which numbered 60 in 1825, each year acquired 7 or 8 new members who had to go through four months of probation before being admitted. In 1833 there were more than 100 in the sisterhood. The following year one of Sattin’s colleagues, Jean-Baptiste Roupe*, replaced him as director.
Sattin was a member of the general council of the Séminaire de Saint-Sulpice from 25 Jan. 1821 and from 2 Sept. 1829 of the small council which it appointed to assist the superior in routine matters. Consequently he was closely involved in events that put the seminary in turmoil. Tension initially arose from conflict between the Canadians and the Sulpicians who had come from France; the Canadians felt threatened, even overwhelmed, by their French colleagues, who held all the positions of prestige and power in the establishment. The appointment in 1820 of Jean-Jacques Lartigue, a Canadian Sulpician, as bishop of Telmessus and the archbishop of Quebec’s auxiliary in Montreal caused a stir in the seminary [see Jean-Charles Bédard*] and also among the secular clergy [see Augustin Chaboillez*; François-Xavier Pigeon]. A voyage to Europe made by the superior, Jean-Henry-Auguste Roux, in 1826 to address the question of the Sulpicians’ seigneurial rights heightened the dissension. Sattin sided wholeheartedly with the French members of the community, for he deeply feared the Canadians’ influence.
In his ministry to the poor at the Hôpital Général Sattin, whose health was deteriorating, had the help of Sulpician Sauveur-Romain Larré from November 1835. He suffered a paralytic stroke on 1 June 1836 and died on 23 June. The superior of Saint-Sulpice, Joseph-Vincent Quiblier*, wrote at the time: “His prudence was exceptional, and his piety of the most gentle kind. Everywhere he went he succeeded in winning young people’s affection and in inspiring them with a love of piety and hard work.”
Antoine Sattin is the author of “Vie de madame Youville, fondatrice et première supérieure des Sœurs de la Charité de l’Hôpital Général de Montréal, communément nommées Sœurs Grises, dédiée à cette même communauté” (1828), which is at the Arch. des Sœurs Grises (Montréal) and has been published in ANQ Rapport, 1928–29: 387–436. A portrait of Sattin which has been attributed to Louis-Chrétien de Heer* is at the mother-house of the Sœurs Grises de Montréal.
ANQ-M, CE1-51, 25 juin 1836. Arch. du séminaire de Saint-Sulpice (Paris), Fonds canadien, dossier 76. Arch. des Sœurs Grises (Montréal), Ancien journal, I–III; Dossier Antoine Sattin. Arch. municipales, Lyon (France), État civil, Saint-Nizier, 19 févr. 1767. ASSM, 16; 17; 21; 24, B, 5–6; 25, dossier 2; 32. [L.-A. Huguet-Latour], Annuaire de Ville-Marie, origine, utilité et progrès des institutions catholiques de Montréal . . . (2v., Montréal, 1863–82). Louis Bertrand, Bibliothèque sulpicienne ou histoire littéraire de la Compagnie de Saint-Sulpice (3v., Paris, 1900), 2: 117. Dionne, Les ecclésiastiques et les royalistes français. Robert Lahaise, Les édifices conventuels du Vieux Montréal: aspects ethno-historiques (Montréal, 1980), 496–501. Gérard Morisset, L’architecture en Nouvelle-France (Québec, 1949).