Isaac Jogues


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Jean de Brébeuf (1593—1649)


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(1607–46), Jesuit missionary and martyr in Canada. Born at Orléans, he became a Jesuit at Rouen in 1624, after which he was educated at La Flèche. In 1636 he was sent to Canada and preached the Gospel to the Mohawks, travelling as far as Lake Superior. In 1624 Jogues set out from Quebec on a mission of mercy to the Hurons, who were suffering from famine and disease. The expedition reached its destination, but on the return journey it was ambushed by the Iroquois, enemies of the Hurons. Jogues and his assistant were beaten with knotted sticks, had their hair, beards, and nails torn out and their fingers mutilated. Jogues remained a slave for some time, but managed to escape with Dutch help from Fort Orange. He then returned to France.

In 1644 he returned to Canada and worked near Montreal. He was sent on a peace mission to the Iroquois at Ossernenon (now Auriesville, NY), where he had been captured earlier. He left a box of religious objects behind him. This, however, was wrongly believed by the Indians to be the cause of crop failure and sickness which ensued soon after. The Bear clan of the Mohawks invited him to a meal and killed him with tomahawks: they cut his head off and set it up on a pole. This took place on 18 October. His feast is kept with his friend Jean de Brébeuf and their companions on 19 October.

From The Oxford Dictionary of Saints in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Christianity.

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