Blessed Fr. Basil Anthony MoreausBorn on February 11, 1799 in Laigné-en-Belin, a small village near Le Mans, France, Fr. Moreau grew up in the midst of the turmoil of the French Revolution. As his parents were devout Catholics involved in the underground Church, the aspect of the Revolution which most affected him was the suppression of the Church.
The ninth of 14 children, Basil was accustomed to a spare life; yet, by the generosity of his pastor who tutored him, he was able to achieve a good primary education. Feeling himself called to the priesthood, Basil entered the diocesan seminary in 1814, when the hostilities of the Revolution toward the Church had subsided. The seminary was run by the Sulpician Order and schooled him in the French school of spirituality which remains an inspiration in his preaching and writings all his life. At age 22 in 1821, Basil Moreau was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Le Mans, France at the Old Visitation Convent Chapel of the Sacred Heart, while the Cathedral of St. Julien in Le Mans was under restoration.