VOLANT DE SAINT-CLAUDE, PIERRE and CLAUDE, twin brothers, priests of the seminary of Quebec, missionaries and parish priests; b. 8 Nov. 1654 at Trois-Rivières, sons of Claude Volant de Saint-Claude and Françoise Radisson; Pierre died 3 Jan. 1710 at Quebec, Claude 8 Oct. 1719 at Varennes.
Pierre and Claude Volant de Saint-Claude were the first boarders to enrol when the Petit Séminaire of Quebec opened on 19 Oct. 1668, and they went through their studies together. Together they received the tonsure and minor orders on 12 Dec. 1677, were admitted to the subdiaconate and the diaconate on the 18th and 19th of the same month, and were finally ordained priests on 17 Sept. 1678. From this date on the pastoral ministry separated the two brothers.
Abbé Pierre Volant was appointed to the mission at Grondines. In 1682 he succeeded his brother at the mission at Sorel, and in 1684 he became the first priest of the parish of Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption at Repentigny, which served Saint-Charles de Lachenaye and Île Jésus. The field of action of the parish priest and missionary extended likewise to Saint-Sulpice and as far as Lavaltrie on the south shore.
His brother Claude first exercised his ministry in the region of Sorel. In 1682 Bishop Laval entrusted to him the parishes strung out over a distance of 25 leagues from Bellechasse and La Durantaye to Lotbinière. At the end of October 1683 Abbé Claude Volant went to Batiscan. He was appointed titular priest of this parish when it was set up on 2 Nov. 1684 under the patronage of St François-Xavier, and he was installed in his charge by the vicar-general, Ango Des Maizerets, 10 June 1685.
In 1687 Bishop Laval thought of the Volant de Saint-Claude brothers for the missions in Acadia. He proposed using Pierre to convert the Indians and Claude to serve as parish priest at Port-Royal (Annapolis Royal, N.S.), but this project was not carried out.
In 1688, when he had a disagreement with Pierre Legardeur de Repentigny concerning the site of the church, Pierre Volant left his parish. The bishop of Quebec did not take away his title, but used him successively at Ange-Gardien near Quebec in 1689, at the cathedral in 1690, and at Saint-Ours in 1691. The following year Abbé Volant resumed his post at Repentigny, but the conflict with Legardeur did not end until 1702. A settlement signed 13 January stipulated that the church would be built in the centre of the seigneury, on a piece of land which the parish priest had already acquired.
Pierre Volant de Saint-Claude spent four more years at Repentigny, then retired and went to live at Quebec. He died there on 3 Jan. 1710 and was buried the next day in the chapel of Sainte-Anne in the cathedral.
In the meantime Claude Volant de Saint-Claude carried on his ministry as parish priest of Saint-Pierre at Sorel from 12 Dec. 1689 till 13 May 1693. In December 1693 he was appointed priest of the parish of Sainte-Anne at Varennes, where he died 8 Oct. 1719 and was buried 10 October in the parish church.
AAQ, Registres d’insinuations A, 104, 105, 108, Registres d’insinuations B, 104. ASQ, Chapitre, 160; Fonds Verreau, XLVI, Histoire des cures de Montréal, 170, 171; Lettres, N, 11, 86; MSS, 457, 466f.; Paroisses diverses, 23, 24, 25, 29; Polygraphie, XXII. Mandements des évêques de Québec (Têtu et Gagnon), I, 115f. Charland, “Notre-Dame de Québec: le nécrologe de la crypte,” BRH, XX (1914), 205. M.-A. Bernard, “Sainte-Anne de Varennes,” BRH, IV (1898), 129. G. de Nantua, “Les deux frères Volant,” BRH, III (1897), 174.