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monstrance presented to the Saint-François-Xavier mission by Nicolas Perrot in 1686 - photo : Neville Public Museum of Brown County

In 1802 a silver monstrance was discovered at the De Pere rapids (Wisconsin) which has the following inscription under its base:

«CE SOLEIL A ESTE DONNE PAR MR NICOLAS PERROT A LA MISSION DE ST FRANCOIS XAVIER EN LA BAYE DES PUANTS + 1686».

This piece of silverwork, which had undoubtedly been buried at the time of the burning of the mission in 1687, was kept by the Grignon family until the construction of a Catholic church in Green Bay in 1823. The monstrance stayed in the parish up until 1828, when Father Badin brought it to Detroit. In 1838, the monstrance became the property of the diocese of Green Bay. Later on, it was offered to the State Historical Museum of Wisconsin.

Louise P. Kellogg believed that the monstrance might have been given to Perrot by Le Febvre de La Barre with the intention of strengthening the ties between the French he would send to the West and the Jesuits who had established missions there (The French Régime in Wisconsin, p. 231, n. 20, and p. 232-233).

A photo-reproduction of the monstrance, which is now part of the collection of the Neville Public Museum of Brown County and the Catholic Dioceses of Green Bay (Wisconsin), may be found in the work by Alain Beaulieu and Roland Viau, La Grande Paix: chronique d'une saga diplomatique. Illustrations originales de Francis Back, Montréal, Editions Libre Expressions, 2001, p. 90 and 91. [published in English as : The Great Peace, Chronicle of a Diplomatic Saga]


text by Pierre Berthiaume, Moeurs, coutumes et religion des Sauvages de l'Amérique septentrionale, édition critique, 2004, Bibliothèque du Nouveau Monde, n.283, p.65 [ translation : André Clément Perreault ]

the base of the monstrance - photo : Neville Public Museum of Brown County

[digitized photos furnished by the Neville Public Museum of Brown County and the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay (Wisconsin). No reproduction permitted without prior consent of the museum]