Blessed François-Joseph Pey

Martyrs of SeptemberMemorial


One of nine children born to Joseph-François Pey, a physician, and Marguerite Rose Moutte; five of them died in childhood. Theirs was a pious family; both François-Joseph and his older brother, Jean-Louis, became priests. François-Joseph studied at seminaries in Aix-en-Provence, then Paris, and then Trier. Ordained a priest on 10 August 1784 in the archdiocese of Trier, he returned to Paris where he served as chaplain at the College Sainte-Barbe. At the same time, he studied at the Sorbonne, and obtained a Master’s degree on 11 October 1785, and a doctorate on 16 January 1787. Noted as a Bible scholar.

François-Joseph was chosen canon of the cathedral in Paris on 19 March 1787, but considered such a post to be a way that made the priesthood into a career instead of the life of service to God that he sought. Appointed vicar of the parish of Saint-Landry on the Ile de la Cité in Paris on 15 July 1788, he served as sacristan and treasurer. Chosen an elector of deputies to the legislature on 23 April 1789, he helped document the grievances of the working classes in Paris.

In January 1791, the government of the French Revolution ordered all priests to take an oath of loyalty to the civil constitution; Father Pey refused. On 10 August 1791 he was arrested for this, imprisoned without the formality of a trial, and when he refused to change his mind or desert the other objecting priests, he was murdered. One of the Martyrs of September.





Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • “Blessed François-Joseph Pey“. CatholicSaints.Info. 3 January 2020. Web. 28 November 2021. <>