October 19, 2008

St. Isaac Jogues with missing fingers
St. Isaac Jogues with missing fingers
Generally speaking, on Sundays we do not keep the saints’ feast days. So today we did not keep the feast of the North American Martyrs. Nonetheless, it is good for us to call them to mind. Their blood shed for the faith sanctified this continent and made it a fertile ground for the Church.

They were Jesuits and lay men who accompanied the Jesuits to New France in the early 17th century. The two most famous among them are St. Isaac Jogues and St. John de Brebeuf. St. Isaac Jogues had two of his fingers bitten off by hostile Indians. He was given special permission by the Pope to continue to say Mass. Then he asked to be allowed to go back to North America, where he was killed.

There are two beautiful shrines of the North American Martyrs, both of which are very much worth visiting. One is located near Albany, New York, in Auriesville. This is the place where St. Isaac Jogues was killed.

North American Martyrs Shrine in Midland, Ontario
North American Martyrs Shrine in Midland, Ontario
Even more wonderful is the shrine in Midland, Ontario, north of Toronto. This is where St. John de Brebeuf was killed.

In addition to the beautiful shrine, there is also a reconstruction of the original Jesuit mission, which is evocative down to the last detail.

The Hurons lived a rough life there. They liked to season the dried fish they ate in the winter, but of course they had no salt. So they used ashes from the fire.

Clinton Portis and Co.
Clinton Portis and Co.

On a much more mundane note: Clinton Portis is awesome! It was not a pretty game. We will, however, take the W.

And poor, poor Dallas…losing to those scrubs, the St. Louis Rams. Maybe the Rams are actually not so bad after all.