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TASCHEREAU, Elzear Alexandre (tash-er-o), Canadian cardinal, born in Sainte Marie de la Beauce, province of Quebec, 17 February, 1820. His great-grandfather, Thomas Jacques Taschereau, emigrated from Touraine, France, and in 1746 was granted the seigniory of Sainte Marie de la Beauce. When he was eight years of age Elzear was entered as a pupil at the Seminary of Quebec, and when he was seventeen he went to Rome, where a year later he received the tonsure. The same year he returned to Quebec, resuming his theological studies, and on 13 September, 1842, was ordained a priest. Soon afterward he was appointed to the chair of moral philosophy in the Seminary of Quebec, which he filled for twelve years, and during this period displayed liberal tendencies, opposing the ultramontane element in the church to which he belonged. In 1847, during the prevalence of a fatal fever among the emigrants at Grosse island, he volunteered to assist the chaplain at that place in ministering to the sick and dying, and labored untiringly among them until he was stricken by the pestilence. In 1854 he was sent to Rome by the second provincial council of Quebec to present its decrees for ratification to Pins IX., and he remained two years in the city, studying canon law. In July, 1856, the degree of doctor of canon law was conferred on him by the Roman seminary. Soon afterward he returned to Quebec, and became director of the Petit seminaire, which post he held till 1859, when he was appointed director of the Grande seminaire, and a member of the council of public instruction for Lower Canada. In 1860 he became superior of the seminary and rector of Laval university, and in 1862 he accompanied Archbishop Baillargeon on a visit to Rome, and, returning toward the end of the same year, was appointed vicar-general of the diocese of Quebec. In 1865 he again went to Rome on business connected with the university, in 1866 (his term of office as superior having expired) he was again made director of the Grande seminaire, and three years later he was re-elected superior. He attended the ecumenical council at Rome in 1870, and on the death of the archbishop of Quebec in October of the same year he became an administrator of the archdiocese conjointly with Vicar-General Cazeau. In February, 1871, he was appointed archbishop of Quebec, and he was consecrated on 19 March by Archbishop Lynch, of Toronto. Subsequently he visited Rome several times on business of importance, and in 1886 he became the first Canadian cardinal, the beretta being conferred upon him with great ceremony on 21 July at Quebec. Immediately after his elevation Cardinal Taschereau issued a circular letter forbidding the use of spirituous and fermented liquors at bazaars, and also prohibiting the holding of such sales on Sunday.
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