St. Isaac Joques was a missionary to the Huron and Iroquois Indians in New France or Quebec Canada and Upper New York. The Indians and brutally tortured and made a slave of him for 13 months. Finally he was rescued and returned to France.
St. Isaac “was allowed by Pope Urban VII the very exceptional privilege of celebrating Mass, which the mutilated condition of his hands had made canonically impossible; several of his fingers having been eaten or burned off. He was called a martyr of Christ by the pontiff. No similar concession, up to that, is known to have been granted.” 1917 Catholic Encyclopedia
No man could be ordained priest or offer Holy Mass if he did not have his thumb and index finger to hold together after consecrating the Holy Host. The Indians and other anti catholics would purposely cut off those fingers to that the priest could no longer offer the Holy Mass.
He returned to continue his work with the Indians. But when a blight destroy the Indians crops they blamed it on St. Isaac. “The Indians “stripped him naked, slashed him with their knives, beat him and then led him to the village. On 18 October, 1646, when entering a cabin he was struck with a tomahawk and afterwards decapitated. The head was fixed on the Palisades and the body thrown into the Mohawk.” 1917 Catholic Encyclopedia
St Jean de Brebeuf also was a missionary to the Canadian and North American Indians.
“On 16 March, 1649, the enemy attacked St. Louis and seized Brébeuf and Lallemant, who could have escaped but rejected the offer made to them and remained with their flock. The two priests were dragged to St. Ignace, which the Iroquois had already captured.
On entering the village, they were met with a shower of stones, cruelly beaten with clubs, and then tied to posts to be burned to death. Brébeuf is said to have kissed the stake to which he was bound. The fire was lighted under them, and their bodies slashed with knives. Brébeuf had scalding water poured on his head in mockery of baptism, a collar of red-hot tomahawk-heads placed around his neck, a red-hot iron thrust down his throat, and when he expired his heart was cut out and eaten. Through all the torture he never uttered a groan. The Iroquois withdrew when they had finished their work. The remains of the victims were gathered up subsequently, and the head of Brébeuf is still kept as a relic at the Hôtel-Dieu, Quebec.” 1917 Catholic Encyclopedia
All Eight North American Martyrs and their birthdates into eternity:
Saint Rene’ Goupil — September 29, 1642
Saint Isaac Jogues — October 18, 1646
Saint John de Lalande — October 19, 1646
Saint Anthony Daniel — July 4, 1648
Saint John de Brebeuf — March 16, 1649
Saint Gabriel Lalemant — March 17, 1649
Saint Charles Garnier — December 7, 1649
Saint Noel Chabanel — December 8, 1649
Prayer To These Martyrs For United States and Canada, (Unknown Author).
Protect our land, O heavenly patrons, which you have bedewed with the rich treasure of your blood. Watch over our Catholic Faith which you helped to establish in this new land. Bring all our fellow citizens to a knowledge and love of the truth. Make us zealous in spreading abroad a knowledge of Catholic teachings, so that we may continue and perfect the work which you have begun with so much labor and suffering. Pray for our homes, our schools, our missions; for vocations, for the conversion of sinners, the return of those who have wandered from the fold, and the perseverance of all the faithful. Amen.
The original author of this blog passed away in July of 2016. RIP Father Carota.