Two Things

Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time – October 15, 2017

By Father Peter Richards

Firstly, I have reprinted an article below from the online Catholic News Agency on the North American Martyrs (also known as Canadian Martyrs; St. Isaac Jogues and Companions; Jesuit Martyrs of North America; Martyrs of New France.). Their feast day is celebrated in the United States this week on October 19th. I included it because they are martyr Saints to whom the Companions of Christ have a particular devotion (an article on my involvement in and our 25th anniversary of the Companions of Christ is coming out in the October newsletter).

The eight North American martyrs included six priests and two lay brothers. They were heroic members of the Society of Jesus who were martyred in North America in order to bring the Faith that is necessary for salvation to the Huron, the Iroquois and the Mohawk Indians. Five of the eight North American martyrs were put to death in what is now Canada, and three of them in New York State. There is a shrine to the United States’ martyrs at Auriesville in New York, and there is a shrine to the  Canadian martyrs at Fort Saint Mary near Midland, Ontario. The names of the eight  North American martyrs are:

Saint Rene Goupil, a lay brother martyred in 1642 in New York State,
Saint Isaac Jogues, a priest,
Saint John de Lalande, a lay brother, martyred in 1646 in New York State,
Saint Anthony Daniel, a priest, martyred in Canada in 1648,
Saint John de Brebeuf,
Saint Charles Garnier,
Saint Noel Chabanel and
Saint Gabriel Lalemant, all priests, and all martyred in Canada in 1649.

Saint Isaac Jogues, after thirteen months’ imprisonment by the Mohawks, had several fingers cut off of his hand. He went back to Europe, but returned again to North America and was killed by tomahawk blows at Ossernenon, now called Auriesville, in New York State. Saint John de Brebeuf declared before he died, “I have a strong desire to suffer for Jesus Christ.” He was tortured terribly, and a burning torch was put into his mouth, which strangled him. Saint Rene Goupil, thirty-five, was the youngest of the martyrs, and cried “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!” as he died. Saint Noel Chabanel was thirty-six, and Saint Isaac Jogues and Saint Gabriel Lalemant were thirty-nine. The oldest of the eight North American martyrs, Saint John de Brebeuf, was fifty-six when the Indians killed him. They were canonized June 29 of 1930 by Pope Pius XI. Their memorial is September 26th in Canada.

Secondly, we are joining in prayer with Allelulia Lutheran on the evening of October 25th beginning at 6:30 pm at the historic church in St. Michael and a 5k run on Saturday morning, October 28th called the “One Run 5k”. Please join these events. They have been planned to commemorate the 500th year of what Lutheran’s call the Reformation. In past centuries, commemorating the Reformation was an occasion to tell the story once again and in too many places to accentuate the differences and
justify division. This year, however, we are invited and challenged to commemorate this centennial from a different lens. I think it is important to at least pray for the advancement of unity amongst Catholics and other Christians. We can also be prepared to converse with our brethren, be they close friends or acquaintances, about
what unites and respectfully understand our differences. The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Lutheran World Federation in their document From Conflict to Communion remind us that 2017 is a year to “look back on events that occurred 500 years earlier by putting the gospel of Jesus Christ at the center.” (CF).

God bless you! Fr. Richards


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