October 20, 2008

Early American Missionary Martyrs

Home Sweet Home, or as Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz said, as she tapped her ruby slippers together, "There's no place like home" (actually, in the book, they're shiny silver slippers). I went through my mountain of mail this morning, put together laundry piles, exercised ... cleaned the guest bathroom, since we have a guest, Stan, coming tomorrow for a few days ...

I looked to see if I posted last year the calendar day's remembrance for the 19th, and 'no'. It was the Feast of The Jesuit Martyrs. I posted about what Protestant Europe thought about missionaries under 'William Carey' - mainly, they didn't believe in missions. And so often I think we think Protestants are the main ones who send missionaries, but 'No'. I've posted of other early Catholic missionaries who did amazing mileage and fetes for the times. This feast recognizes another of those stories.

Brave missionary priests from old France came to 'New France' in 1608, and were called by the Indians, "Blackrobes". Starting with the Hurons, seven Blackrobes were flayed, mutilated, scalded, dismembered ... and/or eaten by the Iroquois.

Isaac Jogues survived, escaping to Europe, and then returned to the Iroquois with a helper. But when a sickness came upon the tribe, the missionaries were blamed and tortured to death, probably around 1649. The Indians marveled at their courage, so they drank the martyrs blood and ate their hearts, hoping to gain some of their courage.

This is a piece, seeds, of Christianity in America.
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