Thomas A. Droleskey
The North American Martyrs (Saints Isaac Jogues, Rene Goupil, Jean Lalande, Gabriel
Lalemant, Noel Chabanel, Anthony Daniel, Charles Garnier, and John de Brebeuf) shed their blood in the fifth decade of the Sixteenth Century to hallow the land of the northern part of North America, to make it possible for there to be here on this continent the same Social Reign of Christ the King that had overtaken the peoples of Central and South America following Our Lady's apparition to Juan Diego in 1531. The establishment of a new Christendom in Latin America helped to eradicate most of the pagan superstitions and barbaric practices that characterized this land of savagery. Some of those barbaric practices included the brutal murders of millions of people in ritual sacrifices.
The North American Martyrs left the comforts of France and the remnants of Christendom in Europe to seek the conversion of souls, understanding that there was a need to do in the northern part of North America what had been done in the southern part of North America and throughout South America in the 133 years between the time of the arrival of Christopher Columbus on the Island of San Salvador in 1492 and the arrival of Father John de Brebeuf in North America in the year 1625. A remarkable, truly miraculous flowering of a new Christendom had taken place in Latin America during those 133 years. Mexico City, Mexico, and Lima, Peru, had become thriving centers of Catholicism and Catholic learning. Lima produced no fewer than five Catholics renowned for their sanctity (Rose Flores, Archbishop Turibius, Martin de Porres, John Massias, Francis Solano). It was to try to plant the seeds for such glorious fruit for Christ the King and Mary our Immaculate Queen that the French missionaries came to the upper reaches of the North American continent (Mexico, of course, is part of North America, as is every country north of the Isthmus of Panama and the Panama Canal).
A fundamental zeal for souls motivated the Jesuit missionaries from France who came to the shores of what was then called New France at the beginning of the Sixteenth Century, just a few years after the Catholic-hating Calvinists had arrived at Plymouth Rock in what is now called Massachusetts. The contrast between the Jesuit missionaries and the Catholic-hating Calvinists could not be more clear. The Jesuit missionaries came here to convert souls to the true Faith, to convert the heathens out of their barbaric practices. The Catholic-hating Catholic-hating Calvinists of the Plymouth Bay Colony were giving thanks to God, as they saw it, that they were in a land where there were no Catholics and no offering of the Catholic Mass, which they hated with a particular fury and rage (which is why they abolished the celebration of Christmas Day!). If we lived in a Catholic nation, you see, our true Thanksgiving Day would be this day, September 26, the Feast Day of the North American Martyrs.
Father John de Brebeuf wrote to his superior in Quebec on December 28, 1637, of the inhospitable nature of the savages among whom he was working. His description of the nature of the savages he found in the upper reaches of North America nearly four hundred years ago could pass for a description of the savages found throughout North America today, the descendants of those Catholic-hating Calvinists whose rejection of the true Faith has plunged them into the darkness of naturalism and all of the savagery that is produced thereby:
We are perhaps upon the point of shedding our blood and of sacrificing our lives in the service of our good Master, Jesus Christ. It seem that His Goodness is willing to accept this sacrifice from me for the expiation of my great innumerable sins, and to crown from this hour forward the past services and the great and ardent desires of all our priests who are here....But we are all grieved over this, that these barbarians, through their own malice, are closing the door to the Gospel and to Grace.... Whatever conclusion they reach, and whatever treatment they accord us, we will try, by the Grace of Our Lord, to endure it patiently for His service. It is a singular favor that His Goodness gives us, to allow us to endure something for love of Him...."
The sad truth is, of course, that the very barbaric practices that the North American Martyrs sought to eradicate by converting the Indians to the true Faith have become part of "mainstream" law and culture in the supposedly "civilized" United States of America.
We have that, don't we? Over four thousand babies a day are sacrificed on the altar of the lie of the autonomy of man from the binding precepts of the Divine positive law and the Natural Law as the foundation of personal and social order. Countless other babies are dispatched "invisibly" by means of chemical abortifacients.
The horrible, demonic drum beat of the Indian tribes, which were meant to conjure up evil spirits, can be heard booming out of automobile radios, sometimes as far as a half a mile away from where the automobile is positioned (there should be a bumper sticker printed up that reads:" Future Deaf People of America" for those who drive under such demonic conditions).
All manner of people walk around as naked as the barbaric peoples of North America, some displaying the various ways in which they have mutilated their bodies by means of tattoos. People speak in the most vile, crude manner imaginable, harkening back to the horrors that pierced the ears of the Jesuit missionaries as they spent long winters in the same quarters as the Indians.
Let's just amplify this point a bit.
A woman at a bank in Spring Hill, Florida, on Monday, September 24, 2007, the Feast of Our Lady of Ransom, was displaying a tattoo of Minnie Mouse! Minnie Mouse. And it was about a month earlier there in Florida that we had encountered elderly women, who were in their late-seventies, who were talking in the most vile, vulgar, degrading, profane manner at a dinner table in public within earshot of children.
Get a grip on reality, you people out there in cyberspace who think that we are going to get some kind of "respite" from this barbarism. A land where women, who are supposed to carry themselves with the feminine dignity and grace of the Mother of God, can kill their own children and mutilate their bodies to display their affection for Minnie Mouse--or for Betty Boop--and speak in profane, scatological terms is not going to get any kind of "respite" from God, Who is going to permit this land to degenerate more and more until He turns to Him through His true Church and by honoring His Most Blessed Mother publicly. A country that does not recognize Christ the King as He has revealed Himself through His true Church and that does not honor His Most Blessed Mother must degenerate more and more into savagery. There is no naturalistic way to stop this. None.
Silvio Cardinal Antoniano wrote about this less than one hundred years before the martyrdom of the North American Martyrs:
The more closely the temporal power of a nation aligns itself with the spiritual, and the more it fosters and promotes the latter, by so much the more it contributes to the conservation of the commonwealth. For it is the aim of the ecclesiastical authority by the use of spiritual means, to form good Christians in accordance with its own particular end and object; and in doing this it helps at the same time to form good citizens, and prepares them to meet their obligations as members of a civil society. This follows of necessity because in the City of God, the Holy Roman Catholic Church, a good citizen and an upright man are absolutely one and the same thing. How grave therefore is the error of those who separate things so closely united, and who think that they can produce good citizens by ways and methods other than those which make for the formation of good Christians. For, let human prudence say what it likes and reason as it pleases, it is impossible to produce true temporal peace and tranquillity by things repugnant or opposed to the peace and happiness of eternity (Silvio Cardinal Antoniano, as quoted by Pope Pius XI in Divini Illius Magistri, December 30, 1929.)
"It is impossible to produce true temporal peace and tranquility by things repugnant or opposed to the peace and happiness of eternity." This statement is either true or it is not. If it is not, then go ahead and believe in naturalism. If it is true, as we know that it is, of course, then we must be about the business at all times and in all places of seeking the good of souls by insisting that there is only one foundation for personal and social order, Catholicism.
To enable the errors of naturalism in any way, shape or form is to be untrue to the Catholic Faith and to deceive souls into thinking that there is something short of the true Faith that can retard the evils of the day. There is no such thing. And anyone who believes that there is has no business calling himself a Catholic. And those who fashion themselves as somehow devoted to Catholic Tradition who believe that something short of Catholicism can retard the evils of the day have no business criticizing Jorge Mario Bergoglio/Francis as they believe in the exact same thing as he does. Bergoglio believes in the political ecumenism of the Sillon, which was condemned by Pope Saint Pius X in Notre Charge Apostolique, August 15, 1910, and of Jacques Maritain as the way to pursue "justice" within and among nations.
The North American Martyrs, although they bore themselves in kindness to all people as they sought their conversion to the true Faith, were uncompromising in their zeal to seek converts to the true Faith. One of the great ironies of the present time is that many of the pagan practices and ceremonies that Saint Isaac Jogues and John de Brebeuf and the others sought to eradicate forever from the lives of the Indians have been resurrected and "rehabilitated" in the name of the "inculturation of the Gospel" within the confines of the Protestant and Masonic Novus Ordo service and the counterfeit church of conciliarism. Paganism is now celebrated. False religions are heralded for their ability to produce "peace and justice."
Consider this description of the Assisi 2002 event as provided by Fathers Francisco and Dominic Radecki, CMRI, in Tumultuous Times:
On January 24, 2002, John Paul II organized a meeting at Assisi, Italy with 250 representatives of:: African animists (adherents of Voodoo), Anglicans, Baptists, Buddhists, Confucians, Hindus, Jains, Jews, Lutherans, Mennonites, Methodists, Moravians, Orthodox Churches, Pentecostals, Quakers, Reformed Church, Shintos, Sikhs, the Salvation Army, followers of Tenryiko (a faith healing sect), Zoroastrians and the World Council of Councils.
"The different religions went into different rooms in the convent of the Franciscan Friars to pray at the same time, but not together. The Franciscans removed the crucifixes from the vaulted rooms where the different leaders went to pray and provided prayer carpets for the Muslims. The Buddhists, however, had to contend with a large nativity scene in their room, as it was affixed to the room and could not be moved." (National Catholic Register, February 3, 2002.)
During his closing speech, John Paul II prayed: "In the name of God, may every religion bring upon the earth Justice and Peace, Forgiveness and Life, Love!" Praying for peace is very beneficial but such ecumenical prayer is forbidden by Divine Law. Many of the religious leaders that were present do not believe in a personal God; many deny the Blessed Trinity; some of them worship idols and others openly worship the devil. Therefore, which god were they invoking? Is the First Commandment now obsolete? This is illogical and blasphemous. John Paul II obviously believes that there are no false gods and that there is no one true God. What kind of church does he represent? (Fathers Francisco and Dominic Radecki, C.M.R.I., Tumultuous Times, Saint Joseph's Media, 2004, pp. 550-551.)
It is no wonder that a "priest" of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter has forbidden some of his spiritual directees to read Tumultuous Times while he refuses in a most craven act of supreme cowardice and submission to the enemies of Christ masquerading as "shepherds" to say anything--as is not a single, solitary word--in condemnation of Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI's calling Mount Hiei in Japan "sacred." One immersed in the counterfeit church of conciliarism's hatred for the Catholic Faith and its contempt for the First Commandment--and thus for the honor and glory of the Blessed Trinity--cannot have anyone exposed to something called the actual facts that prove the apostasies of the present moment. These apostasies are of the sort that the North American Martyrs themselves sought quite specifically to oppose and to replace with Catholicism. The North American Martyrs realized there is no such thing as a "little" offense to God. Souls had to be committed to Him entirely as He had revealed Himself exclusively through His true Church lest they run the risk of eternal perdition.
The North American Martyrs believed, therefore, in every word written by Saint Teresa of Avila:
"Know this: it is by very little breaches of regularity that the devil succeeds in introducing the greatest abuses. May you never end up saying: 'This is nothing, this is an exaggeration.'" (Saint Teresa of Avila, Foundations, Chapter Twenty-nine)
"I would give up my life a thousand times, not only for each of the truths of Sacred Scripture, but even more for the least of the ceremonies of the Catholic Church." (Saint Teresa of Avila, Life, Thirty-three, 3.)
The worshiping of false gods is not a "little" thing or an "exaggeration."
Anyone who believes this--or keeps silence as a matter of a "strategic prudence" when God Himself is grossly offended by those daring to claim that they represent Him and His Catholic Church--becomes an accomplice of the evil done in rendering false worship to the false gods. The North American Martyrs wanted the lands entrusted to their missionary work freed from the chains of the false religions and the barbaric practices associated therewith. It is only Catholicism--and absolutely nothing else--that can free men and their lands from enslavement to all of the falsehoods that flow forth from barbarism and naturalism, which include in our own day statism, collectivism, relativism, positivism, utilitarianism, materialism, hedonism, religious indifferentism, antinomianism, nihilism, individualism, liberalism, socialism--and all of its sorry permutations (fascism, communism), nationalism and commercialism, along with so many others.
The North American Martyrs were willing to endure all manner of tortures and martyrdom itself for the sake of the honor and glory of God and thus of the eternal good of the souls for whom He shed every single drop of His Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross. Brother Rene Goupil, S.J., was the first to suffer the blows of the savages, dying on September 13, 1642. He was martyred in the ravine to the west of the main grounds of the Shrine of Our Lady of the North American Martyrs in Auriesville, New York, preceding his friend Father Isaac Jogues to the ultimate crown of glory for the Catholic Faith by forty-nine months, six days. Anyone who walks down to that ravine will be filled with a sense of wonder and awe at the courage exhibited by Rene Goupil as he was treated so cruelly by men whose immortal souls were in the grips of the devil, who is consumed, as we know, with a hatred of the true God and the Catholic Church and thus for each of our immortal souls that are made in the image and likeness of the One he, the devil, hates. Saint Rene Goupil showed courage in the face of hostility to the Faith. We must do no less.
Father Isaac Jogues, S.J., was mutilated by these savages at the same time and at the same place,
Sennen, now called Auriesville, being rescued after a period of cruel slavery to the Indians by Dutch Calvinists, who took pity on him but nevertheless did not exactly feed him well during the time that he was in their "care" before he left the City of New Amsterdam to return to France. The scene of his touching return to France was described by Milton Lomask in St. Isaac and the Indians:
Off the coast of England, while waiting to change ships, he had been set upon by thieves. He had lost the fine cloak the Dutch had given him in New Amsterdam and the fine beaver hat. The ragged garments he now wore were the gift of a French fisherman.
A winter dawn lighted the streets of Rennes as Pere Isaac knocked at the door of the Jesuit College. One hand clutched an official-looking paper. It was a letter written by the director-general of New Netherlands and stamped with his seal. It identified Pere Isaac. It related how he had escape from the Mohawks and how the Dutch had taken him under their protection.
Pere Isaac knocked again on the thick oak door. He found it hard to believe that he was actually home. To think that in a few minutes he would once more clasp the hands of his fellow Jesuits!
In the drafty community room at the rear of the college building, Brother Porter was laying a fire on the hearth. He heard the pounding on the street door and frowned.
Brother Porter was feeling his years and his rheumatism this cold winter morning. He grumbled under his breath as he limped down the long, damp hallway. Decent people, he told himself, didn't come visiting at this early hour.
He opened the street door and peered with distaste at the bedraggled figure on the steps.
"I wish to see Father Rector," said Pere Isaac.
"Sorry," said Brother Porter in a high, shaking voice. "Father Rector is about to say Mass. If you care to wait, you may do so here." He led Pere Isaac into a small parlor. "If you're in a great hurry," he added, "I'll call one of the other priests."
"I do not wish to see one of the other priests," said Pere Isaac firmly. "I wish to see Father Rector--now!"
Brother Porter hobbled from the room, shaking his head. "These beggars," he muttered to himself. "Bold as kings, some of them!"
He pushed open the door to the sacristy and called to Father Rector. "A poor man to see you, I asked him to wait but he insists on seeing you now."
Father Rector was vesting for Mass. "A poor man?" he inquired.
"Poor in material things," squeaked Brother Porter, "but very rich in boldness.
Father Rector smiled. Brother Porter, he reflected, was never at his best on these cold winter mornings. "A poor man," he repeated, half to himself and half to Brother Porter.
"His need must be great to bring him here so early."
He removed his vestments. He swung down the hall into the parlor.
It was very dark there behind the thick window draperies. Father Rector took the letter that Pere Isaac thrust into his hand. He glanced at it in the gleam of a single candle. His eyes picked up the opening words only: "We, William Kieft, Director-General, and the Council of the New Netherlands, to all . . ."
He lay the letter on the table beside him. He examined the face of his visitor, a worn and tired face under a peasant's cap.
"What is it we can do for you?" he asked gently.
"I come from Canada," said Pere Isaac, "and I --"
He was not allowed to finish his sentence. "From Canada!" cried Father Rector. "From Canada, you say?"
"Yes, I have been there many years."
"Do you know any of our missionaries there?"
"I know practically all of them."
"Good!" cried Father Rector. "Perhaps then you can tell me what everyone in Francis is longing to know. What of Pere Isaac? Do the savage Iroquois still hold him? Is he alive?"
"He is alive. Indeed, he is free." Pere Isaac's voice broke. He flung himself to his knees, grasping the older Jesuit's hands. "Father Rector," he cried, "it is he who speaks to you!"
Father Rector gasped. His eyes went from the letter on the table to the heavily lined face below him. With a cry that rang through the house, he pulled Pere Isaac to his feet and embraced him.
He ran down the room. His voice echoed down the long corridor as he summoned the other priests.
They cam quickly, filling the little parlor. They could not believe it at first; then they were amazed and delighted. They shouted. They laughed and cried at the same time as, one by one, they embraced Pere Isaac. Brother Porter was called. Open mouthed, he received the news. Then he hurried, squeaking down the corridor--willingly this time--to procure a clean cassock for the welcome guest.
After Mass and breakfast, the Jesuits crowded into the community room. For hours they talked. Or rather, Pere Isaac talked. The others listened with wonderment and reverence. (Milton Lomask, St. Isaac and the Indians, Vision Books, 1956, pp. 158-161.)
Father Isaac's zeal for souls was such, however, that he did not want to remain in the safety of his native France for long. He desired to return to the very land where the tips of his two thumbs and forefingers had been chewed off by the savage Indians. Pope Urban VIII, who recognized Father Jogues as a "living martyr," gave him special permission to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with his mutilated fingers. Carrying the Crucifix which he received when making his profession as a member of the Society of Jesus, Father Isaac Jogues, S.J., returned to Canada to continue his missionary work there. So many Catholics today blanche at the prospect of speaking as Catholics to their own family members, mind you! Saint Isaac Jogues was willing to return to the land where savages had chewed off his fingers as they killed his lay associate, Brother Rene Goupil, in a most brutal manner.
We can do no less as we bear witness to the Faith and as we continue to denounce apostasy and betrayal by their proper names, never once, under any pretenses, making any concessions to the conciliarism or to its false shepherds who mock the honor and glory of God by praising false religions and who spit in the faces of true popes by deconstructing the very meaning of truth so as to justify their own embrace of one absolutely condemned proposition after another.
Saint Isaac Jogues wrote the following letter shortly before he began his last journey from New France to Ossernenon, not realizing that he would be captured en route thereto, the place of his first sufferings and the place of his own martyrdom:
The Iroquois have come to make some presents to our governor, ransom some prisoners he held, and treat of peace with him in the name of the whole country. It has been concluded, to the great joy of France. It will last as long as pleases the Almighty.
To maintain, and see what can be done for the instruction of these tribes, it is here deemed expedient to send them some father. I have reason to think I shall be sent, since I have some knowledge of the language and country. You see what need I have of the powerful aid of prayers while amidst these savages. I will have to remain among them, almost without liberty to pray, without Mass, without Sacraments, and be responsible for every accident among the Iroquois, French, Algonquins, and others. But what shall I say? My hope is in God, who needs not us to accomplish his designs. We must endeavor to be faithful to Him and not spoil His work by our shortcomings....
My heart tells me that if I have the happiness of being employed in this mission, Ibo et non redibo, I shall go and shall not return; but I shall be happy if our Lord will complete the sacrifice where He has begun it, and make the little blood I have shed in that land the earnest of what I would give from every vein of my body and my heart.
In a word, this people is "a bloody spouse" to me (Exodus iv, 25). May our good Master, who has purchased them in His blood, open to them the door of His Gospel, as well as to the four allied nations near them.
Adieu, dear Father. Pray Him to unite me inseparably to Him.
Isaac Jogues, S.J.
The story of Saint Isaac's demise--and of the conversion of his killer--should inspire us all to remain steadfast in the true Faith at all times and to pray for our persecutors, forgiving them their offenses against us as we are forgiven of our many sins by Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in the Sacred Tribunal of Penance at the hands and with the lips of an alter Christus acting in persona Christi:
Pere Isaac and his two companions talked. Occasionally, and for short spells, they slept. Toward evening, as the autumn dusk closed in, they prepared their supper.
Hearing footsteps outside the cabin, Pere Isaac hurried to the door. He was eager to hear what had been decided at the council fire. But it was not his [Mohawk] Aunt. A young brave stood on the porch.
The Mohawk lifted his arm. "Welcome again to the Mohawk villages, Ondessonk," he said. "I bring you an invitation. There is a feast at my house. You will follow me."
"One minute." Pere Isaac went to a corner of the cabin. From among some belongings he lifted a small rosary.
As he turned to leave, young La Lande leaped to his feet. The French youth placed himself at the door, barring the way.
"Mon Pere," he begged, "do not go!" The old woman said we must remain here till she returns. How do you know this is not some trick?"
"It may be," said Isaac quietly "All the same, I will go."
"But, mon Pere!"
"As a missionary," said the Jesuit, "I must respect the Indians' customs. To refuse an invitation to a feast is to make an enemy for life."
He dropped his hand on the youth's shoulder. Gently pushing the lad aside he lifted the door flap and went out.
The Indian was still on the porch. They walked together, in silence, through the dark streets, stopping before a large longhouse decorated with the roughly carved figure of a bear. It was not a cold night, only brisk. Clean-cut stars glistened in the darkening sky. The tangy fragrance of frostbitten apples hung in the air.
The Mohawk pulled aside the deerskin covering the door. "Enter, Ondessonk," he said, indicating that Pere Isaac was to go first.
The door was low The Jesuit was not a tall man. Even so, he was forced to bow his head.
Inside, in the shadows, a Mohawk brave waited--a tall, handsome man with a slanting back scar along his left cheek.
As Pere Isaac entered, the tall Mohawk lowered his tomahawk. Pere Isaac knew only a single, fleeting flash of pain before becoming God's own. It was about six o'clock in the evening. The date was October 18, 1646.
Ondessonk was dead.
The news drifted through the Indian villages like a sad breeze.
There was mourning in the Huron cabins, and in Iroquois cabins too, for many Mohawks had come to love and admire the brave blackrobe.
Pere Isaac's Aunt gathered together his few belongings and carried them to Rensselaerswyck. When she handed them to the Dutch minister, the dominie wept.
No one, anywhere, was more grieved than a sturdy young man named Jean Amyot--the same Jean, who, as solemn, freckle-faced las of ten, had gone with Pere Isaac to the Huron country ten years before.
Jean had grown to manhood among the Indians, first in the Huron cabins and later among the Algonquins near Quebec. In the fall of 1647, he led a band of Algonquins near Quebec on a scouting expedition. The Iroquois had dug up the war hatchet. They had broken the peace. All summer, along the St. Lawrence, they attacked and robbed.
In a forest clearing, not far from Quebec, Jean Amyot and the Algonquins met and defeated an Iroquois war party. Seven Iroquois were slain. As the victors were about to depart, Jean Amyot discovered an enemy brave hiding in the hollow trunk of a tree.
The captive was a Mohawk--a tall, handsome man. The Algonquins promptly nicknamed him the "Scarred One" because of the slanting black scar running across his left cheek.
They took him to Quebec. Living there were several Hurons who had been in the Mohawk capital, as captives, at the time of Pere Isaac's death. When these Hurons saw the Scarred One, they muttered among themselves.
Soon a strange rumor was heard on all sides. The Scarred One, people said, is Pere Isaac's murderer!
Word of the rumor reached the French governor. He called the tall Mohawk and questioned him. "Were you in the Mohawk capital on the night of Pere Isaac's death?" he asked.
"Yes," said the Indian. "I was there."
"Was Pere Isaac's death ordered by your chieftains?"
"No. It was not."
"Whey then was he killed?"
"Because some Mohawk braves were determined to destroy all Frenchmen."
The governor conferred with his aides. He turned back to the scarred Mohawk. "Some Hurons," he said," "say that you yourself killed Pere Isaac. Did you?"
The Indian did not answer. He had answered all the other questions forthrightly. Now he was silent.
The French governor conferred again with his aides. "We cannot execute this man," he said. "The Hurons say he is guilty. I myself believe he is. But no one here actually saw the murder committed. We must let this man go."
Leaving the fort, the Mohawk brave went at once to the Jesuit Mission house in Quebec. Several of the priests were present.
"I am here," he told them, "to request of you the waters-of-importance." He spoke in the Indian manner. "Waters-of-importance" was their phrase for the waters of baptism.
The Jesuits looked at one another, amazed. They too believed that this was the Indian who had killed Pere Isaac.
He noted their expressions. "I speak in earnest," he assured them. "I wish to go to Heaven. I am sorry to have offended Him-Who-Made-All. We must all appear before Him, according to your saying. At that time you may say I have been false if my heart has not now the belief which my mouth declares to you."
His words moved the Jesuits. They instructed him. They found that he knew the beliefs of their faith and was wholly sincere. On September 16, 1647, the tall Mohawk was baptized and given the Christian name of Isaac Jogues. Soon after, the Algonquins took him away to one of their villages. There, sometime the following month, they executed him.
News of this reached Quebec in the late winter. There were several versions of what had happened. Some said that the Scarred One had admitted his guilt just before he died. Others said that he had remained silent to the end. One thing all agreed. The Indian Isaac Jogues had died, as the Jesuit Isaac Jogues had died before him, in the faith and like a man.
The name did not die with him. On June 29, 1930, Pope Pius XI raised Pere Isaac Jogues to the Altars of the Church. Today, he who was known to all the Indians of his time and place as Ondessonk, is known to all the world as Saint Isaac. (Milton Lomask, St. Isaac and the Indians, pp. 175-181.)
Each of the eight Jesuits whose feast we celebrate today died manfully in behalf of the Holy Faith. They did make converts to the Faith, although it was not within God's Holy Providence for the lands they evangelized to be as permeated with the Faith as were the lands from the parts of what are now the southeastern and southwestern United States of America south to Mexico and down to Argentina and Chile. This reminds us, you see, that there is work for us to do in demonstrating the exact same courage in the face of modern-day pagan savages as the North American Martyrs between 1642 and 1649. It does not matter that we may not make many converts or that the United States of America and Canada may not be converted to the true Faith anytime soon. What matters is our fidelity to the cause of Christ the King and to Mary our Immaculate Queen without making any concessions at all to the lies of civil and religious liberty that are the foundation of the modern, anti-Incarnational civil state that was destined for its very perverse beginnings to degenerate to the base level of savagery that characterizes it in our days.
Each of the eight North American Martyrs of the Society of Jesus were men of profound Eucharistic piety and deep and tender devotion to the Mother of God, especially by means of her Most Holy Rosary, which they taught their converts to pray. Saints Isaac Jogues, Rene Goupil, Jean de Brebeuf, Jean Lalande, Gregory Lalemant, Noel Chabanel, Anthony Daniel and Charles Garnier spent many hours in earnest prayer before the King of Kings in His Real Presence in the Most Blessed Sacrament. We must do no less. Consider it this way: if we want to spend all eternity in Heaven, ladies and gentlemen, isn't it a good thing to spend just a little bit of time with Our Lord in His Real Presence every day? You don't live near a true Catholic church that has the Real Presence of Our Lord within its tabernacle? Move! Move! Move! The North American Martyrs left the comforts of their native France to evangelize the Indians of the northernmost reaches of the North American continent. We can't move several hundred or a thousand miles or so to get ourselves under the protection of a true bishop and to be served by true priests in the midst of this time of apostasy and betrayal?
We must do no less than the North American Martyrs.
We must defend the Faith, starting by enthroning our own homes to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, seeking to built up the spirit of Christendom within the fortress walls of our own homes, shutting out the spirit of this empty world, which is in the grip of the devil, of pagan festivals and barbaric practices. This means, as has been noted on this site many times before, getting rid of the infernal box that brings immodesty and the promotion of sin right into your homes, making it possible for more and more demons to infest your homes and your own souls and those of your children. This means praying as many Rosaries as your states-in-life permit, getting to daily Mass as frequently as possible, reading stories about the lives of the saints aloud at meal times, and seeking to give all of our prayers and joys and sufferings and humiliations and whatever merit we earn for our indulgenced prayers and good works to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary. This is the path to true joy in this life as a preparation for eternal joy in the glory of the Beatific Vision of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, if we persevere to our dying breaths in states of Sanctifying Grace as members of Catholic Church.
Pope Leo XIII explained in Tametsi Futura Prospicientibus, November 1, 1900, how the missionary work of the Catholic Church converted barbarians while noting how the world was quickly returning to barbarism as a result of the Protestant Revolt and the rise of the organized forces of naturalism headed by Judeo-Masonry, reminding us every aspect of our lives, both personal and social, must revolve around the true Faith:
The greatest of all misfortunes is never to have known Jesus Christ: yet such a state is free from the sin of obstinancy and ingratitude. But first to have known Him, and afterwards to deny or forget Him, is a crime so foul and so insane that it seems impossible for any man to be guilty of it. For Christ is the fountain-head of all good. Mankind can no more be saved without His power, than it could be redeemed without His mercy. "Neither is there salvation in any other. For there is no other name under heaven given to men whereby we must be saved" (Acts iv, 12). What kind of life that is from which Jesus Christ, "the power of God and the wisdom of God," is excluded; what kind of morality and what manner of death are its consequences, can be clearly learnt from the example of nations deprived of the light of Christianity. If we but recall St. Paul's description (Romans i., 24-32) of the mental blindness, the natural depravity, the monstrous superstitions and lusts of such peoples, our minds will be filled with horror and pity. What we here record is well enough known, but not sufficiently realised or thought about. Pride would not mislead, nor indifference enervate, so many minds, if the Divine mercies were more generally called to mind and if it were remembered from what an abyss Christ delivered mankind and to what a height He raised it. The human race, exiled and disinherited, had for ages been daily hurrying into ruin, involved in the terrible and numberless ills brought about by the sin of our first parents, nor was there any human hope of salvation, when Christ Our Lord came down as the Saviour from Heaven. At the very beginning of the world, God had promised Him as the conqueror of "the Serpent," hence, succeeding ages had eagerly looked forward to His coming. The Prophets had long and clearly declared that all hope was in Him. The varying fortunes, the achievements, customs, laws, ceremonies and sacrifices of the Chosen People had distinctly and lucidly foreshadowed the truth, that the salvation of mankind was to be accomplished in Him who should be the Priest, Victim, Liberator, Prince of Peace, Teacher of all Nations, Founder of an Eternal Kingdom. By all these titles, images and prophecies, differing in kind though like in meaning, He alone was designated who "for His exceeding charity wherewith He loved us," gave Himself up for our salvation. And so, when the fullness of time came in God's Divine Providence, the only-begotten Son of God became man, and in behalf of mankind made most abundant satisfaction in His Blood to the outraged majesty of His Father and by this infinite price He redeemed man for His own. "You were not redeemed with corruptible things as gold or silver . . . but with the precious Blood of Christ, as of a lamb, unspotted and undefiled" (1 Peter i., 18-19). Thus all men, though already subject to His Kingly power, inasmuch as He is the Creator and Preserver of all, were over and above made His property by a true and real purchase. "You are not your own: for you are bought with a great price" (2 Corinthians vi, 19-20). Hence in Christ all things are made new. "The mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He hath purposed to Him, in the dispensation of the fullness of times to re-establish all things in Christ" (Ephesians i., 9-10). When Jesus Christ had blotted out the handwriting of the decree that was against us, fastening it to the cross, at once God's wrath was appeased, the primeval fetters of slavery were struck off from unhappy and erring man, God's favour was won back, grace restored, the gates of Heaven opened, the right to enter them revived, and the means afforded of doing so. Then man, as though awakening from a long-continued and deadly lethargy, beheld at length the light of the truth, for long ages desired, yet sought in vain. First of all, he realised that he was born to much higher and more glorious things than the frail and inconstant objects of sense which had hitherto formed the end of his thoughts and cares. He learnt that the meaning of human life, the supreme law, the end of all things was this: that we come from God and must return to Him. From this first principle the consciousness of human dignity was revived: men's hearts realised the universal brotherhood: as a consequence, human rights and duties were either perfected or even newly created, whilst on all sides were evoked virtues undreamt of in pagan philosophy. Thus men's aims, life, habits and customs received a new direction. As the knowledge of the Redeemer spread far and wide and His power, which destroyeth ignorance and former vices, penetrated into the very life-blood of the nations, such a change came about that the face of the world was entirely altered by the creation of a Christian civilisation. The remembrance of these events, Venerable Brethren, is full of infinite joy, but it also teaches us the lesson that we must both feel and render with our whole hearts gratitude to our Divine Saviour.
We are indeed now very far removed in time from the first beginnings of Redemption; but what difference does this make when the benefits thereof are perennial and immortal? He who once hath restored human nature ruined by sin the same preserveth and will preserve it for ever. "He gave Himself a redemption for all" (1 Timothy ii., 6)."In Christ all shall be made alive" (1 Corinthians xv., 22). "And of His Kingdom there shall be no end" (Luke i., 33). Hence by God's eternal decree the salvation of all men, both severally and collectively, depends upon Jesus Christ. Those who abandon Him become guilty by the very fact, in their blindness and folly, of their own ruin; whilst at the same time they do all that in them lies to bring about a violent reaction of mankind in the direction of that mass of evils and miseries from which the Redeemer in His mercy had freed them.
Those who go astray from the road wander far from the goal they aim at. Similarly, if the pure and true light of truth be rejected, men's minds must necessarily be darkened and their souls deceived by deplorably false ideas. What hope of salvation can they have who abandon the very principle and fountain of life? Christ alone is the Way, the Truth and the Life (John xiv., 6). If He be abandoned the three necessary conditions of salvation are removed.
It is surely unnecessary to prove, what experience constantly shows and what each individual feels in himself, even in the very midst of all temporal prosperity-that in God alone can the human will find absolute and perfect peace. God is the only end of man. All our life on earth is the truthful and exact image of a pilgrimage. Now Christ is the "Way," for we can never reach God, the supreme and ultimate good, by this toilsome and doubtful road of mortal life, except with Christ as our leader and guide. How so? Firstly and chiefly by His grace; but this would remain "void" in man if the precepts of His law were neglected. For, as was necessarily the case after Jesus Christ had won our salvation, He left behind Him His Law for the protection and welfare of the human race, under the guidance of which men, converted from evil life, might safely tend towards God. "Going, teach ye all nations . . . teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you" (Matthew xxviii., 19-20). "Keep my commandments" john xiv., 15). Hence it will be understood that in the Christian religion the first and most necessary condition is docility to the precepts of Jesus Christ, absolute loyalty of will towards Him as Lord and King. A serious duty, and one which oftentimes calls for strenuous labour, earnest endeavour, and perseverance! For although by Our Redeemer's grace human nature hath been regenerated, still there remains in each individual a certain debility and tendency to evil. Various natural appetites attract man on one side and the other; the allurements of the material world impel his soul to follow after what is pleasant rather than the law of Christ. Still we must strive our best and resist our natural inclinations with all our strength "unto the obedience of Christ." For unless they obey reason they become our masters, and carrying the whole man away from Christ, make him their slave. "Men of corrupt mind, who have made shipwreck of the faith, cannot help being slaves. . . They are slaves to a threefold concupiscence: of will, of pride, or of outward show" (St. Augustine, De Vera Religione, 37). In this contest every man must be prepared to undergo hard ships and troubles for Christ's sake. It is difficult to reject what so powerfully entices and delights. It is hard and painful to despise the supposed goods of the senses and of fortune for the will and precepts of Christ our Lord. But the Christian is absolutely obliged to be firm, and patient in suffering, if he wish to lead a Christian life. Have we forgotten of what Body and of what Head we are the members? "Having joy set before Him, He endured the Cross," and He bade us deny ourselves. The very dignity of human nature depends upon this disposition of mind. For, as even the ancient Pagan philosophy perceived, to be master of oneself and to make the lower part of the soul, obey the superior part, is so far from being a weakness of will that it is really a noble power, in consonance with right reason and most worthy of a man. Moreover, to bear and to suffer is the ordinary condition of man. Man can no more create for himself a life free from suffering and filled with all happiness that he can abrogate the decrees of his Divine Maker, who has willed that the consequences of original sin should be perpetual. It is reasonable, therefore, not to expect an end to troubles in this world, but rather to steel one's soul to bear troubles, by which we are taught to look forward with certainty to supreme happiness. Christ has not promised eternal bliss in heaven to riches, nor to a life of ease, to honours or to power, but to longsuffering and to tears, to the love of justice and to cleanness of heart.
From this it may clearly be seen what consequences are to be expected from that false pride which, rejecting our Saviour's Kingship, places man at the summit of all things and declares that human nature must rule supreme. And yet, this supreme rule can neither be attained nor even defined. The rule of Jesus Christ derives its form and its power from Divine Love: a holy and orderly charity is both its foundation and its crown. Its necessary consequences are the strict fulfilment of duty, respect of mutual rights, the estimation of the things of heaven above those of earth, the preference of the love of God to all things. But this supremacy of man, which openly rejects Christ, or at least ignores Him, is entirely founded upon selfishness, knowing neither charity nor selfdevotion. Man may indeed be king, through Jesus Christ: but only on condition that he first of all obey God, and diligently seek his rule of life in God's law. By the law of Christ we mean not only the natural precepts of morality and the Ancient Law, all of which Jesus Christ has perfected and crowned by His declaration, explanation and sanction; but also the rest of His doctrine and His own peculiar institutions. Of these the chief is His Church. Indeed whatsoever things Christ has instituted are most fully contained in His Church. Moreover, He willed to perpetuate the office assigned to Him by His Father by means of the ministry of the Church so gloriously founded by Himself. On the one hand He confided to her all the means of men's salvation, on the other He most solemnly commanded men to be subject to her and to obey her diligently, and to follow her even as Himself: "He that heareth you, heareth Me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth Me" (Luke x, 16). Wherefore the law of Christ must be sought in the Church. Christ is man's "Way"; the Church also is his "Way"-Christ of Himself and by His very nature, the Church by His commission and the communication of His power. Hence all who would find salvation apart from the Church, are led astray and strive in vain.
As with individuals, so with nations. These, too, must necessarily tend to ruin if they go astray from "The Way." The Son of God, the Creator and Redeemer of mankind, is King and Lord of the earth, and holds supreme dominion over men, both individually and collectively. "And He gave Him power, and glory, and a kingdom: and all peoples, tribes, and tongues shall serve Him" (Daniel vii., 14). "I am appointed King by Him . . . I will give Thee the Gentiles for Thy inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for Thy possession" (Psalm ii., 6, 8). Therefore the law of Christ ought to prevail in human society and be the guide and teacher of public as well as of private life. Since this is so by divine decree, and no man may with impunity contravene it, it is an evil thing for the common weal wherever Christianity does not hold the place that belongs to it. When Jesus Christ is absent, human reason fails, being bereft of its chief protection and light, and the very end is lost sight of, for which, under God's providence, human society has been built up. This end is the obtaining by the members of society of natural good through the aid of civil unity, though always in harmony with the perfect and eternal good which is above nature. But when men's minds are clouded, both rulers and ruled go astray, for they have no safe line to follow nor end to aim at.
Just as it is the height of misfortune to go astray from the "Way," so is it to abandon the "Truth." Christ Himself is the first, absolute and essential "Truth," inasmuch as He is the Word of God, consubstantial and co-eternal with the Father, He and the Father being One. "I am the Way and the Truth." Wherefore if the Truth be sought by the human intellect, it must first of all submit it to Jesus Christ, and securely rest upon His teaching, since therein Truth itself speaketh. There are innumerable and extensive fields of thought, properly belonging to the human mind, in which it may have free scope for its investigations and speculations, and that not only agreeably to its nature, but even by a necessity of its nature. But what is unlawful and unnatural is that the human mind should refuse to be restricted within its proper limits, and, throwing aside its becoming modesty, should refuse to acknowledge Christ's teaching. This teaching, upon which our salvation depends, is almost entirely about God and the things of God. No human wisdom has invented it, but the Son of God hath received and drunk it in entirely from His Father: "The words which thou gavest me, I have given to them" john xvii., 8). Hence this teaching necessarily embraces many subjects which are not indeed contrary to reason for that would be an impossibility-but so exalted that we can no more attain them by our own reasoning than we can comprehend God as He is in Himself. If there be so many things hidden and veiled by nature, which no human ingenuity can explain, and yet which no man in his senses can doubt, it would be an abuse of liberty to refuse to accept those which are entirely above nature, because their essence cannot be discovered. To reject dogma is simply to deny Christianity. Our intellect must bow humbly and reverently "unto the obedience of Christ," so that it be held captive by His divinity and authority: "bringing into captivity every understanding unto the obedience of Christ" (2 Corinthians x., 5). Such obedience Christ requires, and justly so. For He is God, and as such holds supreme dominion over man's intellect as well as over his will. By obeying Christ with his intellect man by no means acts in a servile manner, but in complete accordance with his reason and his natural dignity. For by his will he yields, not to the authority of any man, but to that of God, the author of his being, and the first principle to Whom he is subject by the very law of his nature. He does not suffer himself to be forced by the theories of any human teacher, but by the eternal and unchangeable truth. Hence he attains at one and the same time the natural good of the intellect and his own liberty. For the truth which proceeds from the teaching of Christ clearly demonstrates the real nature and value of every being; and man, being endowed with this knowledge, if he but obey the truth as perceived, will make all things subject to himself, not himself to them; his appetites to his reason, not his reason to his appetites. Thus the slavery of sin and falsehood will be shaken off, and the most perfect liberty attained: "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" john viii., 32). It is, then, evident that those whose intellect rejects the yoke of Christ are obstinately striving against God. Having shaken off God's authority, they are by no means freer, for they will fall beneath some human sway. They are sure to choose someone whom they will listen to, obey, and follow as their guide. Moreover, they withdraw their intellect from the communication of divine truths, and thus limit it within a narrower circle of knowledge, so that they are less fitted to succeed in the pursuit even of natural science. For there are in nature very many things whose apprehension or explanation is greatly aided by the light of divine truth. Not unfrequently, too, God, in order to chastise their pride, does not permit men to see the truth, and thus they are punished in the things wherein they sin. This is why we often see men of great intellectual power and erudition making the grossest blunders even in natural science.
It must therefore be clearly admitted that, in the life of a Christian, the intellect must be entirely subject to God's authority. And if, in this submission of reason to authority, our self-love, which is so strong, is restrained and made to suffer, this only proves the necessity to a Christian of long-suffering not only in will but also in intellect. We would remind those persons of this truth who desire a kind of Christianity such as they themselves have devised, whose precepts should be very mild, much more indulgent towards human nature, and requiring little if any hardships to be borne. They do not properly under stand the meaning of faith and Christian precepts. They do not see that the Cross meets us everywhere, the model of our life, the eternal standard of all who wish to follow Christ in reality and not merely in name.
God alone is Life. All other beings partake of life, but are not life. Christ, from all eternity and by His very nature, is "the Life," just as He is the Truth, because He is God of God. From Him, as from its most sacred source, all life pervades and ever will pervade creation. Whatever is, is by Him; whatever lives, lives by Him. For by the Word "all things were made; and without Him was made nothing that was made." This is true of the natural life; but, as We have sufficiently indicated above, we have a much higher and better life, won for us by Christ's mercy, that is to say, "the life of grace," whose happy consummation is "the life of glory," to which all our thoughts and actions ought to be directed. The whole object of Christian doctrine and morality is that "we being dead to sin, should live to justice" (I Peter ii., 24)-that is, to virtue and holiness. In this consists the moral life, with the certain hope of a happy eternity. This justice, in order to be advantageous to salvation, is nourished by Christian faith. "The just man liveth by faith" (Galatians iii., II). "Without faith it is impossible to please God" (Hebrews xi., 6). Consequently Jesus Christ, the creator and preserver of faith, also preserves and nourishes our moral life. This He does chiefly by the ministry of His Church. To Her, in His wise and merciful counsel, He has entrusted certain agencies which engender the supernatural life, protect it, and revive it if it should fail. This generative and conservative power of the virtues that make for salvation is therefore lost, whenever morality is dissociated from divine faith. A system of morality based exclusively on human reason robs man of his highest dignity and lowers him from the supernatural to the merely natural life. Not but that man is able by the right use of reason to know and to obey certain principles of the natural law. But though he should know them all and keep them inviolate through life-and even this is impossible without the aid of the grace of our Redeemer-still it is vain for anyone without faith to promise himself eternal salvation. "If anyone abide not in Me, he shall be cast forth as a branch, and shall wither, and they shall gather him up and cast him into the fire, and he burneth" john xv., 6). "He that believeth not shall be condemned" (Mark xvi., 16). We have but too much evidence of the value and result of a morality divorced from divine faith. How is it that, in spite of all the zeal for the welfare of the masses, nations are in such straits and even distress, and that the evil is daily on the increase? We are told that society is quite able to help itself; that it can flourish without the assistance of Christianity, and attain its end by its own unaided efforts. Public administrators prefer a purely secular system of government. All traces of the religion of our forefathers are daily disappearing from political life and administration. What blindness! Once the idea of the authority of God as the Judge of right and wrong is forgotten, law must necessarily lose its primary authority and justice must perish: and these are the two most powerful and most necessary bonds of society. Similarly, once the hope and expectation of eternal happiness is taken away, temporal goods will be greedily sought after. Every man will strive to secure the largest share for himself. Hence arise envy, jealousy, hatred. The consequences are conspiracy, anarchy, nihilism. There is neither peace abroad nor security at home. Public life is stained with crime.
So great is this struggle of the passions and so serious the dangers involved, that we must either anticipate ultimate ruin or seek for an efficient remedy. It is of course both right and necessary to punish malefactors, to educate the masses, and by legislation to prevent crime in every possible way: but all this is by no means sufficient. The salvation of the nations must be looked for higher. A power greater than human must be called in to teach men's hearts, awaken in them the sense of duty, and make them better. This is the power which once before saved the world from destruction when groaning under much more terrible evils. Once remove all impediments and allow the Christian spirit to revive and grow strong in a nation, and that nation will be healed. The strife between the classes and the masses will die away; mutual rights will be respected. If Christ be listened to, both rich and poor will do their duty. The former will realise that they must observe justice and charity, the latter self-restraint and moderation, if both are to be saved. Domestic life will be firmly established ( by the salutary fear of God as the Lawgiver. In the same way the precepts of the natural law, which dictates respect for lawful authority and obedience to the laws, will exercise their influence over the people. Seditions and conspiracies will cease. Wherever Christianity rules over all without let or hindrance there the order established by Divine Providence is preserved, and both security and prosperity are the happy result. The common welfare, then, urgently demands a return to Him from whom we should never have gone astray; to Him who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life,-and this on the part not only of individuals but of society as a whole. We must restore Christ to this His own rightful possession. All elements of the national life must be made to drink in the Life which proceedeth from Him- legislation, political institutions, education, marriage and family life, capital and labour. Everyone must see that the very growth of civilisation which is so ardently desired depends greatly upon this, since it is fed and grows not so much by material wealth and prosperity, as by the spiritual qualities of morality and virtue. (Pope Leo XIII, Tametsi Futura Prospicientibus, November 1, 1900.)
This great feast day has special meaning for me.
My late parents were married in the small rectory chapel that served at the time as the parish church of the North American Martyrs parish in Bayside, Queens, New York, on June 2, 1951. I was to take spiritual direction from a wonderful old Jesuit, the late Father Thomas Eagan, S.J., on the hallowed grounds of the Shrine of Our Lady of the North American Martyrs during the time that I was pursuing my doctorate at the State University of New York at Albany from January of 1974 through May of 1977 (the last year of which was spent teaching full-time at Mohawk Valley Community College in Utica, New York). Oh, I spent so many days in prayer there at Auriesville, not realizing at the the time that the North American Martyrs were trying to lead me away from Americanism to a true understanding of why they came here: to plant the seeds for the Catholicization of the northernmost reaches of the Americas.
The North American Martyrs shed their blood to hallow this land of ours for Christ the King and Mary our Immaculate Queen. We must willing to do no less. It is not the result that matters. It is the effort we make in behalf of our King and His Queen that matters, especially by praying as many Rosaries each day as our state-in-life permits.
May the North American Martyrs ever inspire us and ever intercede for us to remake all things in the United States and Canada--and around the world--in Christ the King and Mary our Immaculate Queen.
Vivat Christus Rex! Viva Cristo Rey!
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our deaths. Amen.
All to you, Blessed Mother. All to your Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, we love you. Save souls!
Viva Cristo Rey! Vivat Christus Rex!
Our Lady of the North American Martyrs, pray for us.