St Isaac Jogues, martyr

On the eve of Corpus Christi, 1646, Father Isaac Jogues, a Jesuit missionary, discovered a beautiful lake and named it the Lake of the Blessed Sacrament.

...Hope dawned brightly over Huronia as the Jesuit missions gained stability. Ste.-Marie, the hub of the missionary efforts in New France, had been established in 1639, and the evangelism of the likes of Fathers Jean de Brébeuf, Antoine Daniel, and Charles Garnier had begun to bear fruit. With the Hurons still reeling from disease, drought, and supply shortages caused by Iroquois blockades along the St. Lawrence River, Isaac Jogues, a priest three years ordained, was sent to them. Like Fathers Brébeuf and Daniel, Jogues, born in Orléans, had been a novice in Rouen under the famous novice master Louis Lalemant. Father Jogues arrived in Québec on July 2, 1636, accompanied by Fr. du Marche. He was reputed for his quiet strength. His friend and fellow Jesuit in France, Fr. Jacques Buteaux, said of Jogues, “he was loved by ours as being most gentle and as being very observant of our way of life.”

Isaac Jogues joined the late-summer leg of a Huron trade convoy from Québec, arriving in Ihonahitria on September 11, 1636. There, the young Jesuit was trained by his more experienced confrères in missionary work, Fathers Brébeuf and le Mercier. Intelligent and receptive to instruction, Jogues was appointed to oversee construction of the new mission settlement of Ste.-Marie among the Hurons along with Jérôme Lalemant, the new Jesuit Superior in Huronia. Meanwhile, he had also worked alongside the influential Charles Garnier in the Tobacco Nation, where the blackrobes’ efforts nearly ended in disaster. Jérôme Lalemant wrote, “These missionaries see themselves the abomination of those whose salvation they seek, at the peril of their own lives.” Jogues’ labours with Garnier were short-lived; he was asked to investigate the possibility of expansion of the missions to the Sault Nation. Jogues and Fr. Charles Raymbaut reached the link between Lakes Huron and Superior, current site of Sault Ste.-Marie, after seventeen days of canoeing. They were welcomed by a new people estimated at 2 000 individuals...
More from this marvelous biography.



Agnes B Bullock said...

My husband and I live near the site where this beloved Saint and companions were martyred, and have visited. The peace that one gets from the place of their martydom. Also, Blessed Kateri's shrine is about 10 miles away, another favorite spot. Both will be missed when we move to Ohio next month. (The only things we will miss about NY, btw)

de Brantigny........................ said...

Oh no moving from the land of lakes to the state with no lakes. Ugh.
I can understand moving from NY but Ohio!
Move south!
All in fun,

Anonymous said...


I am the author of the article that you have quoted above. Thank you for your quotation and link to my blog. I'm very happy that you found my work on the Canadian Martyrs useful- particularly the above section on St. Isaac Jogues. I certainly enjoyed writing it.

I am currently a novice of the Congregation of St. Basil (Basilian Fathers) in Windsor, Ontario, Canada- not a novice for much longer, because I'll profess my first vows on August 15... I've had the privilege this year of living near where many of the events I wrote about took place. I've never visited either North American Martyrs' Shrine (near Orillia, ON, or Auriesville, NY) but I hope to eventually.

Those eight Jesuits, along with many of the people whose lives they touched were extraordinary people, priests, and religious. Let us pray for the grace to emulate their faithful courage and for all in the world who face persecution because of their faith.

Many blessings,
Warren Schmidt

I, Richard, said...

Thanks for your comment...and article. The jesuits have done many great things, and fully lived and in some cases died for the faith. I hope that God grants you a long and fruitful ministry, winning many souls to Christ.