At the beginning of the 17th century, Catholicism was the main religion practiced by the French in France. It was not the only religion, however. Some French people were Protestant. But in 1645, anyone who wanted to go to New France had to be Catholic. In Montréal (Ville-Marie), religion played a more important role than elsewhere in New France.

Video narration in French at

Unlike Québec and Trois-Rivières, which were founded on the fur trade, Montréal was founded for religious interests. Its founders wanted to establish a missionary colony so that they could convert Indigenous people into Catholics. Indigenous Peoples had different spiritual beliefs than the French and British. The new settlement was named Ville-Marie, in honour of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Many more religious communities would establish in Montréal after 1645.

Author: Service national du Récit de l’univers social. Translation and adaptation by LEARN.

See also – Traces of the past:

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