Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Monday 08 March |
Saint of the Day: St. John of God
home iconSpirituality
line break icon

St. René Goupil was a highly praised missionary surgeon

René Goupil

Fr Lawrence Lew, O.P. | Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Philip Kosloski - published on 01/21/21

In 1951 the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists chose St. René Goupil as their patron.

Listed as one of the North American Martyrs, St. René Goupil is well-known both for his sanctity and his medical practice.

He was a young man who volunteered to be a lay missionary with the Jesuits in New France. Before his martyrdom he was accepted as a lay brother in the Society of Jesus.

According to an article published on the US National Library of Medicine, “Goupil was a barber-surgeon, and as such, lower in the medical pecking order of the day than surgeons proper or physicians. His major duties would have been bloodletting and dressing wounds.”

Goupil practiced these duties well and proved to be a valuable asset to the Jesuit missionaries.

Goupil, with his surgical expertise in dressing wounds, proved useful at the Hôtel-Dieu. For the Relation of 1640, one of the Hospitalières reported on the case of Lazare Petikouchkaouat, “afflicted with very painful sores” which were “large and deep” and putrified. Lazare, clearly named after the poor man afflicted with sores in Jesus’ parable of Lazarus and Dives (Lk 16:19–31), “particularly loved the young man [presumably Goupil] who offered himself to our hospital to assist the poor patients; but then it must be confessed that this good young man succored him with a charity that cannot be sufficiently praised. He called this patient his consolation.”

Furthermore, St. Isaac Jogues, “asked his Jesuit superior to send Goupil to Huron country with him ‘because the Hurons had great need of a surgeon.’”

Despite his medical skill among the native people, he was ambushed by a local tribe and suffered much torture before he died.

Ever since his death René Goupil became a powerful intercessor for surgeons and was even recognized by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists as their patron.


SURGERY

Read more:
Prayer to St. Luke for those going into surgery


ŚWIĘTY MARCIN DE PORRES

Read more:
St. Martin de Porres was a skilled surgeon and healer

Tags:
MedicineSaints
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
DOMINATIONS
Philip Kosloski
10 Mysterious things to know about guardian angels
2
tabernacle
Philip Kosloski
5 Important things to notice in a Catholic church
3
Philip Kosloski
10 Things you should know about St. Joseph
4
POPE AUDIENCE
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Do you know the 3 words that describe God’s style? Pope Fra...
5
Ziggurat of Ur
John Burger
Pope’s trip to Iraq is like a pilgrimage to a Holy Land
6
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Pope calls us to Abraham’s hope: Full text of address in Ur
7
VaticanNews.va
Pope in Iraq: Schedule and key events
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.