Pope Francis has been visiting Canada since July 24 and has already apologized to indigenous peoples on several occasions, even acknowledging that it is not enough but a starting point towards reconciliation. Is. Yet few remember the Jesuit martyrs killed by indigenous peoples in North America.
In September 1984, Pope St. John Paul II presided over a worship of the word with the indigenous people of Canada at the Shrine of the Martyrs, which was attended by approximately 75,000 people.
there he remembered French Jesuit Priest Between 1642 and 1649, Jean de Brabeuf, Isaac Joges, Gabriel Lelament, Antoine Daniel, Charles Garnier and Nol Chabanel were murdered.
“Influenced by a love of Christ and inspired by Saint Ignatius of Loyola, by Saint Francis Xavier and other great saints of the Society of Jesus, these priests came to the New World. Declare the gospel of Jesus Christ to the indigenous people of this country”, said the Polish pope in his home.
“Two fraternal brothers were part of this group of missionaries: René Goupil and Jean de la Lande. They helped the priests in their work with equal courage and enthusiasm, showed great dedication and service to the indigenous people, and The sacrifice of his life got him the crown of martyrdom“, St. John Paul II explained.
These missionaries came to Canada in the 17th century to preach to indigenous peoples such as the Huron and the Iroquois.
Five of them suffered martyrdom on the territory of present-day Canada: Jean de Brabeuf (March 16, 1649), Antoine Daniel (July 4, 1648), Gabriel Llemont (March 17, 1649), Carlos Garnier (December 7, 1649) and Nol Chabanel (December 8, 1649).
The other three died in the area that now corresponds to the United States: Father Isaac Yoges (October 18, 1646), and laymen René Gaupil (September 29, 1642) and Jean de la Lande. (October 19,1646).
His life in the service of Swadeshi
Saint Jean de Brabeuf devoted himself to teaching the Hurons and calling them Akon in their language. The convenience of the saint’s languages allowed him to learn more about his culture and spirituality.
Religious conversions were taking place gradually. In 1635 he was able to baptize some ferrets. In 1636 this number increased to 86.
In 1640, after an unsuccessful mission, Fr. Brebeuf broke his collarbone and was sent to Quebec to recover. He taught ferrets and was a religious confidant, he also preached to French settlers.
Around 1642 he composed the Ferret Christmas Carol, the oldest Christmas song in Canada. By 1647, the number of Huron converts to Catholicism numbered in the thousands.
Jesuit Martyrdom at the Hands of Indigenous Peoples
Fr. Brebeuf to Fr. Gabriel was caught up with Lelement when the Iroquois destroyed the Saint-Louis mission. These Indians tortured missionaries and native converts before killing them.
When he killed Saint Jean de Brabeuf, among other torments, he poured boiling water over his head and took his blood as a mockery of baptism, thinking that in this way he might gain the courage that the priest had endured through torture. was shown on his face.
Mohawk Indians killed priests Antoine Daniel, Carlos Garnier and Nol Chabanel in the town of Osernan between 1642 and 1646.
In September 1984, Pope Saint John Paul II stated that “as they offered their lives, these missionaries looked to the future, the day when the natives would reach full maturity and take on leadership roles in their church.”
“Saint Jean de Brabeuf dreamed of a fully Catholic and fully Huronian Church,” he insisted.
Pope Pius XI declared these martyrs as saints in 1930. His festival is celebrated on 19 October.
Fuente: ACI Press