Ville-Marie, Catholic utopian colony founded on 17 May 1642 on Île de Montréal by the Société Notre-Dame de Montréal, under the governship of Paul de Chomeday de Maisonneuve, to bring Christianity to the native people; but located in a key region for the development of agriculture and the fur trade. Assisted by recruits sent in 1653 and again in 1659, the little colony sank its roots and withstood Iroquois incursions. In 1663 it was taken over by the Seminary of St Sulpice in Paris, which already supplied its priests. The settlers, from the first preoccupied with the fur trade, lived to see the Roman Catholic ideal of Ville-Marie fade before the realization of a commercial Montréal.
See also Missions and Missionaries.