In 1835, Pope Gregory XVI. created the Apostolic Vicariate Western and Eastern Oceania, and therefore the Christian missionary Oceania initiated.
Pierre Chanel studied theology at the seminary in Brou, was ordained a priest in 1827 and was then Vicar of Ambérieu and pastor in Crozet. In 1831 he joined the fledgling community of Marist Fathers and became a teacher in Belley. In 1836 he traveled at the age of 34 years as a missionary with Bishop Pompallier to the South Seas to Futuna. His work was met with only limited success. But when the chief's son wanted to be baptized, the chief Niuliki saw his authority threatened and instructed his son Musumusu with the murder Chanels. Pierre Chanel was slain. A year later, the vicar general of the missions would involve the body, asked numerous locals for baptism. Only a few years later, the entire population was baptized. To date, 98 % of the population are Roman Catholic.
Pierre Chanel is now the patron saint of Oceania, and the place of his death, the Basilica of Saint Pierre Chanel was built. He was on 16 November 1889 by Pope Leo XIII. beatified. His canonization by Pope Pius XII. took place on 13 June 1954.
His feast day is 28 April. The church of his birthplace Cuet is a place of pilgrimage.
- Écrits du Père Pierre Chanel, missionaire Mariste à Futuna 1803-1841, edited by Claude Rozier. Musée de l' Homme, Paris 1960.