Gervaise, Nicolas

Gervaise, Nicolas a French missionary and prelate, brother of Francois Armand, was born at Paris about 1662. He chose the ecclesiastical calling, and before the age of twenty had attached himself to the mission at Siam. Here he remained four years, and became acquainted with the language, religion, customs, literature, legislation, and history of that people. On his return he published the result of his observations. He brought to France two sons of the king of Macassar, and after presenting them at court, gave them as far as possible a French education. He was afterwards rector of Vannes. The provost of Suevre-pres-Mer yielded to him his charge, which position Gervaise held for a long time, and during this time he published a great part of his works. Annoyed with the idea of proselytism, in 1724 he went to Rome, and obtained the title of bishop of Horren. Soon after his consecration he gathered together a number of clergymen, embarked with them for Central America, and commenced his labors upon the shores of the Aquira, one of the tributaries of the Orinoco. But they were assailed and massacred by the Caribs, November 20, 1729. He left several works. See Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, s.v.

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