Friday, October 19, 2012

Feast of St. Isaac Jogues and Companions - The Blackrobes

Martyrdom of Rene Goupil

Picture sourced

The North American Martyrs

"The blood of martyrs is the seed of Christians."  It was  on such sacrifices that the Church and the United States h ave been built."

The martyrdom of St. Isaac Jogues is familiar to most people.  Therefore, I will share the account of  the martyrdom of Saint John de Brebeuf from one Father Christopher Regnaut's diary.

"Father Regnaut described how 1,200 Iroquois sprang from ambush on the village of Saint Ignace. In the surprise attack, Fathers de Brebeuf and Gabriel L'Alemant were captured. The Indians stripped their prisoners naked and tied them to posts. They tore the nails from their fingers, and beat them with clubs all over their bodies. Boiling water was poured upon Father de Brebeuf in imitation of baptism  then a string of red-hot hatchets was hung about his neck.  Then the Indians put a belt of pitch on him and lighted it, roasting his body. Next they cut out his tongue and began to peel the flesh from his bones.

'Those butchers seeing that the good Father began to grow weak," continued Father Regnaut, "made him sit down on the ground; and one of them, taking a knife, cut off the skin covering his skull.  Another one, seeing that the good Father would soon die, made an opening in the upper part of his chest, and tore out his heart, which he roasted and ate.  Others came to drink his blood, still warm, which they drank with both hands."

"No writer of fiction would be taken seriously if he invented such a series of torments, yet these are what one Jesuit missioner underwent without a single complaint!  Indeed, until Father de Brebeuf's tongue was cut out, he 'did not cease continually to speak of God, and to encourage all the new Christians who were captives like himself to suffer well, that they might die well, in order to in a company with him to Paradise."

Source:  Our American Catholic Heritage by Albert J. Nevins, M.M., Our Sunday Visitor

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