Marcel-François Richard (1847-1915)

Marcel-François Richard was born in Saint-Louis-de-Kent, New Brunswick. He was ordained priest in 1870 and played a key role in the development of Acadian identity. Early in his career, he was concerned with educating young Acadians in French. Richard was also interested in the agricultural aspect of colonization for Acadians in New Brunswick and was active in the colonization of the parishes of Acadieville and Rogersville in southeastern New Brunswick. He is considered the founder of these two parishes, where he also participated in the construction of schools and churches. Marcel-François Richard is responsible for many decisions regarding the national symbols that were chosen during the Acadian National Conventions of 1881 and 1884. He is behind the references to the Catholic religion in the symbols, such as the star on the tricolour flag and the national holiday (the feast of Our Lady of the Assumption on August 15). He also promoted Acadian newspapers and fought for the appointment of an Acadian bishop in New Brunswick.

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