Initially a surgeon practicing in France, René Goupil is the patron saint of anesthetists.
He wanted to become a priest but his deafness prevented him. Unperturbed, he joined a mission to Quebec in 1640 as a lay person alongside Fr. Isaac Jogues, and in 1842, on a mission to what is now New York State, he was captured by an Iroquois and killed with a hatchet, becoming the first North American Martyr. Before his death he taught native children how to make the sign of the cross and “took his religious vows before Fr. Jogues.
” It seems only right that his name, René, means “reborn.”