St. Pierre Chanel Day

Saint Pierre Chanel Day is a public holiday that’s observed annually on April 28th in the Territory of the Wallis and Futuna Islands. This holiday commemorates the feast day of Pierre Louis Marie Chanel—a Catholic missionary, priest, saint, and martyr.

Chanel traveled to the Canary Islands on January 9, 1837, to work as a missionary. He then traveled to Valparaiso, Chile, the Gambier Islands, and Tahiti. He eventually arrived in Futuna in November of that year. He was quite successful in converting natives to Christianity, which threatened the authority of the King of Futuna at the time.

The king then sent his son-in-law to deal with him. The result was Chanel being murdered on April 28, 1841. In 1889, Chanel was declared a martyr and beatified. In 1954, he was canonized by Pope Pius XII and recognized as the patron saint of Oceania.

A Quick Biography of Saint Pierre Chanel

Peter Chanel was born on July 12, 1803, in La Potière, France. He was the fifth of eight children born to Claude-François Chanel and Marie-Anne Sibellas. Between the ages of 7 and 12 years old, he worked as a shepherd, but his parents were eventually persuaded by the parish priest to allow him to attend a small school. In March of 1817, he took his first communion.

On July 15, 1827, Chanel was ordained and spent some time as an assistant priest at Ambérieu-en-Bugey. At the age of 28, he joined the Society of Mary and worked as a spiritual director at the seminary of Belley. It wasn’t until the 1830s that he traveled abroad to do missionary work. Once he did, however, he traveled to Chile, the Gambier Islands, Tahiti, Wallis, and Futuna.

Observing Saint Pierre Chanel Day

This holiday is a local holiday, and in regions where it’s observed, businesses and schools are usually closed. This holiday is also observed through religious services in these areas. It’s also a day on which people can spend time with their friends and family members.

Where is it celebrated?
Wallis and Futuna (Public holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
April 28 Sunday
Next year (2025)
April 28 Monday
Last year (2023)
April 28 Friday