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St. Jean de BrébeufThe first missionaries to North America arrived in 1608 in Acadia, Nova Scotia. They were the Jesuits Pierre Biard and Ennemond Massé, who began work among the Souriquois Indians.

This phase of the work of preaching the Gospel was brought to a standstill in 1613 as a result of an English raid.

After things had settled down, the indefatigable Governor of New France, Samuel Champlain, continuously asked for missionaries from France. At his request, several Franciscans came in 1615.

These labored heroically, but in need of additional help, appealed to the Jesuits. In 1625 three Jesuits landed in Quebec: Jean de Brébeuf, Charles Lalemant and Ennemond Massé returning from France.

Others joined the missions including: Antoine Daniel, Isaac Jogues, Charles Garnier, Noël Chabanel, René Goupil, Jean de Lalande, and Gabriel Lalemant.

By the late 1640's, after years of heroic perseverance, oftentimes in appalling circumstances, the Jesuits were making a considerable number of conversions mostly among the Hurons.

St. Isaac JoguesThe Iroquois, deadly enemies of the Hurons, considered the missionaries targets, and indeed massacred the seven mentioned above and also Jean de Brébeuf.

Some of them were tortured beyond belief before being tomahawked, beheaded or having their still-beating hearts wrenched from their chests.

Having survived the first round of tortures, Fr. Isaac Jogues had returned to France maimed, but he chose to rejoin the missions and finally met his death by martyrdom like his companions.

Canonized in 1930 by Pope Pius XI, the martyrs are, collectively, the secondary patrons of Canada.

Sts. René Goupil, Isaac Jogues and Jean de Lalande are considered the first U.S. saints because they were martyred in upstate New York.

 

 


 

 

 

Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for November 12, 2019

Without the burden of afflictions it is impossible to reach...

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November 12

 

Without the burden of afflictions it is impossible to reach the height of grace.
The gift of grace increases as the struggles increase.

St. Rose of Lima


DEFEND Our Lady's HONOR !

Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Josaphat Kunsevich

“Kill the papist!” His mutilated body was dragged to the...

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St. Josaphat Kunsevich

John Kunsevich was born in Lithuania around the year 1580. His father, a burgess for a wealthy family, raised his son as a Catholic and instilled in him a great love for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. As a young man John spent much of his time learning Church Slavonic as he desired to assist and participate more fully in the divine worship that he loved so much. In 1604, he entered the Monastery of the Holy Trinity at Vilna taking the name Josaphat, and dedicated his life to uniting the Ruthenians with the Roman Church.

Josaphat was ordained a deacon and soon after, a priest, becoming widely known as a Catholic reformer. While retaining unity with Rome, Josaphat opposed the total Latinization of the Ruthenian peoples and the suppression of Byzantine traditions. He was beloved for his great sermons and preaching, eventually becoming abbot of the monastery in Vilna. By 1617, he was consecrated Bishop of Vitebsk, and after the death of the archbishop a year later, succeeded him. He immediately sought unity with Rome, and began to reinstate Catholic practices that had fallen into disuse. By 1620, he succeeded in the endeavor.

Soon after Josaphat’s great victory, however, his work began to unravel. Meletius Smotritsky, the Archbishop of Polotsk, claimed that Josaphat’s goal was to completely eliminate Byzantine traditions in the name of Catholic unity, and Latinize all Ruthenians. Meletius gained a number of followers and so frenzied was the agitation against him that a plan was contrived to kill Josaphat. As he walked to church for morning prayers, he was attacked by the group of Meletius’ followers. He was beaten and shot as his attackers cried, “Kill the papist!” His mutilated body was dragged to the river Dvina and carelessly thrown into the water.

St. Josaphat was canonized in 1867, the first saint of the Eastern churches to be officially canonized.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

Centuries ago, in Toledo, Spain, there lived a Cistercian nu...

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A Favor Granted

Centuries ago, in Toledo, Spain, there lived a Cistercian nun called Mary. Being at the point of death, the Blessed Mother appeared to her, and Mary said to her:

"Oh Lady, the favor you do me of visiting me at this hour emboldens me to ask you another favor, namely, that I may die at the same hour that you died and entered into heaven.”

"Yes," answered Mary Most Holy. "I will satisfy your request; you will die at that hour, and you will hear the songs and praises with which the blessed accompanied my entrance into heaven; and now prepare for your death."

When she had said this she disappeared.

Passing by Mary’s cell, other nuns heard her talking to herself, and they thought she must be losing her mind. But she related to them the vision of the Virgin Mary and the promised grace. Soon the entire convent awaited the desired hour.

When Mary knew the hour had arrived, by the striking of the clock, she said:

"Behold, the predicted hour has come; I hear the music of the angels. At this hour my queen ascended into heaven. Rest in peace, for I am going now to see her."

Saying this she expired, while her eyes became bright as stars, and her face glowed with a beautiful color.

From the Glories of Mary, by St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori.

Centuries ago, in Toledo, Spain, there lived a Cistercian nun called Mary. Being at the point of death, the Blessed Mother appeared to her,

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