Saints of the Day ~ October 19

SAINTS ISAAC JOGUES (1607-1646), JOHN de BRÉBEUF (1593-1649)
Priests, lay brothers and martyrs
Patron saints of the Americas and Canada

Today, the Church honors eight North American martyrs, 6 priests and 2 lay brothers. All were heroic members of the Society of Jesus who were martyred in North America and who brought the Christian faith to the Huron, Iroquois and Mohawk Indians.

French Jesuits were the first missionaries to go to Canada and North America after Jacques Cartier mapped part of Canada in 1534. Their mission region extended from Nova Scotia to Maryland, and they had tirelessly devoted themselves to bringing the true faith to the Indian natives of that region. All were tortured before gaining for themselves the martyr’s crown.

Three of the eight North American martyrs were put to death in New York State, the remaining five in what is now Canada. There is a shrine to the United States’ martyrs at Auriesville, New York. The shrine to the Canadian martyrs is located at Fort Saint Mary near Midland, Ontario.

The names of the eight North American martyrs are:

Brother Rene Goupil, a lay brother martyred in 1642 in New York State;
Father Isaac Jogues, a priest, martyred on October 18, 1646 in New York State, and
Brother John de Lalande, a lay brother, martyred on October 19, 1646, also in New York State;
Father Antoine Daniel, a priest, martyred in Canada on July 4, 1648;
Father John de Brébeuf,
Father Charles Garnier,
Father Noel Chabanel and
Father Gabriel Lalemant, all priests and all martyred in Canada between March 16th to December 7th, 1649.

All eight Jesuit martyrs were canonized saints on June 29, 1930 by Pope Pius XI.

In the United States, their joint feastday is commemorated on October 19. In Canada, it is commemorated on September 26.

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(The following prayer is from the Roman Breviary from the Proper for Saints Isaac Jogues, John de Brébeuf and Companions)

“Father, You consecrated the first beginnings of the faith in North America by the preaching and martyrdom of Saints John and Isaac and their companions. By the help of their prayers, may the Christian faith continue to grow throughout the world.

“We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”

3 thoughts on “Saints of the Day ~ October 19

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