UBC Undergraduate Research

Exovedate, also known as “Eglise catholique, apostolique et vitale des Montagnes Lumineuses (Catholic, Apostolic, and Vital Church of the Bright Mountains)” Miller, Patrick; Griffin, Lauren


Exovedate was the term coined for a provisional government that attempted a Catholic state in the District of Saskatchewan by Louis Riel. Similar to movements that other scholars might call NRMs (new religious movements) and other 19th century sectarian movements, the group represented a new Catholic group that had separated from communion with Rome, part of a larger movement headed by Riel over the course of a decade. The group disbanded after a few months, but their actions have had a lasting impact on Canadian history and culture. Heavily influenced by ultramontanism and millenarianism, the group believed that Louis Riel was a prophet of God, and that the Catholic Church, namely the Roman papacy, was in decline. The belief was that God would soon show a dramatic sign, signaling the moving of the papacy so that it may be restored in Canada by the French-Canadians and the Métis. The papacy would move from Rome to Mount Royal in Montreal, Lower Canada (modern-day Quebec). Ignace Bourget, Bishop of Montreal, was thought to be the rightful pope. It was prophecized that this papacy would also become corrupt over time, at which point the papacy would move to St. Vital in Manitoba, where it would stay. The Exovedate sought to bring back the Mosaic Law as the foundation of its legal code, redistribute the land claimed by the Canadian government to various immigrant groups, convert all Jewish people to Christianity, and protect humanity from the evils of 'liberalism.' They believed this was all a to be done as a prelude to the Second Advent, which was prophecized by Riel to occur in 4209C.E. Group membership was known for certain to be a few dozen people, consisting of the government officials that made up the Exovedate and a few others close to Riel. The group died out after the North-West Rebellion in 1885, with the execution of its leader, Louis Riel.

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