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Aleteia
And today we celebrate...

Friday, October 19
Saint Isaac Jogues and the Martyrs of North America

Missionaries to the New World

ISAAC JOGUES
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Jesuit Martyrs (d. 1642-1649)

Their story

+ The eight members of the Society of Jesus honored today were tortured and killed by Mohawk and Iroquois tribesmen near what is now Auriesville, New York.

+ Honored as the “North American Martyrs,” the group includes Isaac Jogues, John de Brébeuf, Charles Garnier, Anthony Daniel, Gabriel Lallemant, Noël Chabanel, John de Lalande, and René Goupil. These missionaries preached the Gospel in a mission field that extended from present-day Nova Scotia to Maryland.

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+ Motivated by a desire that God be known and loved, the missionaries committed themselves to serve the Native Americans amid extreme hardships, willingly accepting the likelihood of torture and death.

+ Saint Isaac Jogues and his companions were canonized in 1930 and their memorial was extended to the Universal Church in 1969.

Spiritual bonus

In 1884, a tract of land that was once the site of the Mohawk village of Osserneonon was purchased near Albany, New York. This village was the site of the martyrdom of Saints Isaac, Rene, and Charles, and is also believed to have been the birthplace of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha. In the years that followed, the Society of Jesus built a shrine on the site dedicated to Our Lady of Martyrs. Today, this shrine serves as the principle shrine of the North American Martyrs in the United States.

Quote

“…Go forth and preach the Gospel to all: to all places, on all occasions, without hesitation, reluctance or fear. The joy of the Gospel is for all people; no one can be excluded.”—Pope Francis

Prayer

O God, who chose to manifest
the blessed hope of your eternal kingdom
by the toil of Saints John de Brébeuf,
Isaac Jogues and their companions
and by the shedding of their blood,
graciously grant that through their intercession
the faith of Christians may be strengthened day by day.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(from The Roman Missal)

Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.

Access our archives of daily saint biographies here
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