Feast of the Martyrs of North America

Martyrs of North America, Feast of the

October 19
The Feast of the North American Martyrs commemorates the death of eight priests who were killed by the Iroquois, mortal enemies of the Huron Indians, with whom the priests had been working for 34 years. There was a great deal of missionary activity being carried out in what is now Canada and upstate New York during the 1600s, and many of the devoted missionaries who worked among the Indians in the area extending from Nova Scotia to the Great Lakes met with torture and often cruel death. The eight who are remembered on this day are St. Rene Goupil (1608-1642), St. Isaac Jogues (1607-1646), St. John Lalonde (d. 1646), and their companions, French Jesuits who died in 1649. They were canonized together in 1930, and a shrine built for them at Auriesville, New York, holds a novena (a traditional Roman Catholic ritual of prayer lasting nine days) each year over nine days including October 19.
CONTACTS:
National Shrine of North American Martyrs
136 Shrine Rd.
Auriesville, NY 12016
518-853-3033
www.martyrshrine.org
SOURCES:
AmerBkDays-2000, p. 718
AnnivHol-2000, p. 175
DaysCustFaith-1957, p. 242
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