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Jean Pierron (born at Dun-sur-Meuse, France, 28 September 1631; date and place of death unknown) was a French Jesuit missionary to Canada.


He entered the Jesuit novitiate at Nancy, 21 November, 1650, and after studying at Pont-à-Mousson he became an instructor at Reims and Verdun. He completed the curriculum in 1665 and spent two years more as an instructor at Metz.

On his arrival in Canada in June, 1667, he was sent to the Iroquois mission of Sainte-Marie. in a letter written the same year he described his impressions of the country, the characteristics and customs of the Iroquois, and expressed an admiration for the Iroquois language, which reminded him of Greek. He arrived at Tionontoguen, the principal village of the Mohawk Nation, on 7 October, 1668, where he replaced Jacques Frémin. These people were one of the most flourishing of the Iroquois nations: warriors, and difficult to convert.

Father Pierron made use of pictures which he painted himself in order to make his teachings more impressive, and invented a game by means of which the Indians learned the doctrines and devotions of the Church. He taught the children to read and write.

He spent one winter in Acadia to ascertain if it were possible to re-establish the missions which had been expelled in 1655, and travelled through New England, Maryland (which at that time had a Catholic governor, Charles Calvert, 3rd Baron Baltimore), and Virginia. Returning to the Iroquois, he worked among them until 1677 and went to France the following year.


  • Ed. Thwaites, Jesuit Relations (Cleveland, 1896-1901);
  • Campbell, Pioneer Priests of North America (New York, 1909)

This article incorporates text from the entry Jean Pierron in the public-domain Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913.

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