IN TODAY’S LIVES OF THE SAINTS AND MARTYRS, A PRIEST WHO CHOSE TO RETURN TO HIS CAPTORS
Written by Jennifer Snow on 10/19/2017
Winchester, VA – Isaac Jogues was born in January 1607 in Orleans, France, into a middle class family, the fifth of nine children. From the age of 10 he attended Jesuit schools, and at 17 entered the Jesuit novitiate. His Jesuit community had a strong missionary spirit and were working hard at evangelizing New France. He was inspired by the stories of hardship, treacheries and tortures of the other priests who had returned from New France to France, and eagerly joined the missionaries headed to New France. His task was to evangelize the Huron and Algonquian tribes, both friendly to the French. He was stationed with Father Jean de Brebeuf on Lake Huron. For six years he lived as one of the natives, more or less being accepted by them. In 1642 he was captured by Mohawks, viciously tortured, and toted around as a captive to be tortured in different Mohawk villages for eight to ten months. Ransomed by Dutch traders, he returned to France, but was adamant about returning to New France to meet his martyrdom. He returned in spring 1646 and mere months later was murdered by a tomahawk wielding Iroquois. His murderer would later be caught and sentenced to death, and while awaiting his execution would be baptized and take the name Father Isaac Jogues. Saint Isaac Jogues, pray for us!
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