Saturday 22nd February 2020

Home » saints » Currently Reading:

Catholic Heroes… St. Isaac Jogues

October 25, 2018 saints No Comments


In the 1600s, the Jesuits sent many missionaries to the New World to convert the indigenous people. Those brave souls dedicated to bringing the love of God to North America came mainly from France; hence many of the cities around the Great Lakes possess names of French origin such as Detroit, Marquette, Charlevoix, and Grand Marais. Eight of the missionaries were martyred. They were canonized by Pope Pius XI on June 29, 1930 in Rome. Some were laymen, but most were priests such as St. Isaac Jogues.
Jogues was born in Orleans, France to Laurent Jogues and Francoise de Sainte-Mesmin on January 10, 1607. A wealthy family with nine children — Isaac was the fifth — they educated their children in the home. Isaac began going to Jesuit schools when he was ten. First he attended the school in Rouen and then studied at the royal college of La Fleche, founded by King Henry IV.
Jogues probably first heard about the missionary work in New France — as Canada was known then — from Fr. Louis Lallemant, who had relatives serving the Church there. He learned more from St. Jean de Brébeuf and Énemond Massé when they returned from their journey to Quebec.
Meanwhile, Isaac Jogues stayed at the College of Clermont at the University of Paris where he demonstrated a special gift for writing and teaching. He was finally ordained and approved for missionary work in 1636.
On April 8, 1636 he left for the New World with Charles Garnier among others. In June they arrived at Baie des Chaleurs. Sketches of Jogues at this time portrayed a refined man with gentle features — a deceptive impression which hid his tenacity and strong ability to endure pain and suffering.
Jogues continued his journey, arriving in Quebec on July 2. He wrote to his mother of his boundless joy:
“I do not know [what] it is to enter Heaven, but this I know — that it would be difficult to experience in this world a joy more excessive and more overflowing than I felt in setting foot in the New World and celebrating my first Mass on the day of the Visitation.”
On September 11 Jogues, after a most arduous journey through the untamed wilderness, arrived at the Jesuit Mission on Lake Huron, reporting to his superior, Jean de Brébeuf. Upon his arrival Jogues immediately fell ill with a raging fever. This then spread to the other Jesuits and then to the villagers.
As a result of this unfortunate turn of events, the Hurons believed that the “Black Robes” brought evil to their land to kill them. Fr. de Brébeuf eventually brought peace again and convinced them that the Jesuits were neither traders nor trappers, but men seeking to spread peace.
For six years Jogues lived in this village which came to be known as St. Joseph, studying the language and the culture of the Hurons. They came to respect Fr. Jogues, until the Dutch and English — envious of the respect accorded the Jesuits — told the Hurons that the Jesuits had been kicked out of Europe because they caused nothing but trouble.
These rumors spread rapidly. When Fr. Jogues and Fr. Garnier sailed to southern Ontario the villagers there were so unwelcoming that they accomplished nothing. The same reception awaited them village after village, filling them with discouragement about their mission.
The grueling hours of work, the toleration of bitter weather, harsh conditions of little food and crude shelters did not deter them. Slowly God blessed their faithful efforts and their new Jesuit superior sent them to build a fort at Sainte-Marie in the upper peninsula of Michigan. Thus in 1641 Fr. Jogues and Fr. Charles Raymbaut went to the land of the Ojibwe.
Arriving thirty years before Fr. Marquette, these two men were most likely the first white men to see Lake Superior — a lake so wide and deep that some call it a fresh-water ocean. Fr. Jogues paved the way by his gentleness and patience for the success Marquette would later achieve.
After a while, Fr. Jogues returned to the Huron village near the Wye River where a church, residence, cemetery, and hospital had been built. Slowly the place resembled a settlement that was part monastic and part patriarchal. As the Jesuits taught them how to farm and to store grain, they won the respect of the native people.
However, in 1642 a bad harvest — always a risk with such short growing seasons — resulted in many natives falling sick. A party was sent to Quebec for provisions, but they were attacked by the Mohawks with Fr. Jogues and René Goupil and others being captured.
The prisoners were taken to Ossernenon where they were beaten and tortured. When the Mohawks found the Dutch were willing to pay ransom, they decided not to kill Fr. Jogues. However, Goupil was killed for making the Sign of the Cross on a girl. Fr. Jogues held him, giving him the Last Rites before he died.
The Mohawks tortured Fr. Jogues for a year. He escaped once during that time, was recaptured, and then had his thumb and forefinger cut off so that he couldn’t celebrate Mass.
The Dutch finally arranged his escape and he sailed to Cornwall on November 5, 1643. He then arrived in Brittany, France on Christmas Day. He went to the rector’s house who eagerly welcomed this stranger who had just arrived from the New World. The rector asked the traveler if he had news of Isaac Jogues as the story of his capture had reached France. “I am he!” he responded.
Fr. Jogues avoided meeting people, including his mother, to spare her feelings. But when Pope Urban VIII allowed him to celebrate Mass, despite his deformity prohibiting him from properly holding the Host, he assented to celebrate Mass for the queen.
All of his fame he deplored, seeking only to return to Quebec to save souls. Finally, he arrived in June 1644. He helped build a fort in Montreal and participated in negotiations to normalize relations with the natives. The release of captives was obtained and the Mohawks were deeply moved by the gentleness of the man they had treated so cruelly. Peace obtained, the party returned to Montreal, but famine hit the Mohawks who again blamed the priests.
When Jogues and John Lalande returned to confirm the peace, they were captured and martyred. Once again the Dutch came to help and secure the personal effects and bodies of the martyrs.
The blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church, so three years after their deaths — the Mohawks honored the brave, gentle black robe — many converted and the missionaries were welcomed.
Jogues died on October 18, 1646 and his feast is celebrated with the other North American martyrs on October 19.
Dear St. Isaac, let us follow your example of zeal for souls and willingness to endure all hardships for their salvation. Even if we seem unsuccessful, may our prayers, sufferings, and sacrifices pave the way for others to complete the work of God! Amen.

+ + +

(Carole Breslin home-schooled her four daughters and served as treasurer of the Michigan Catholic Home Educators for eight years. For over ten years, she was national coordinator for the Marian Catechists, founded by Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ.)

Share Button

2019 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

The #USSCB preoccupies itself with open borders, climate change and "tolerance". Meanwhile < 30% of Catholics believe in the Real Presence.

How refreshingly "common sense" this statement is. Finally, a Catholic Bisho (Cardinal) who understands the principle of subsidiarity, as properly applied, and affirms the truth that difference is not a problem, but a gift.

Sachin jose on Twitter

“"Poland can tell Europe that each nation was created by God to be placed in a particular place, with its culture, its traditions, its history. ...

Bishop Strickland . . . Mary, Mother Of God And The Church -

Load More...

Rush has lung cancer. Catholics owe him BIG TIME. Wherein Fr. Z rants. ACTION ITEM!

Rush Limbaugh has advanced lung cancer.  He made the sad announcement yesterday. ACTION ITEM: Please pray for a complete, swift, durative miraculous cure for him, perhaps through the intercession of Ven. Augustus Tolton. Every reader here, every committed conservative, faithful…Continue Reading

Catholic parish will not host Episcopalian consecration

Richmond, Va., Jan 17, 2020 / 11:30 am (CNA).- The Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia will no longer hold a bishops’s consecration at a Catholic parish in Williamsburg, after an internet petition objecting to the event drew national attention. “It…Continue Reading

Cardinal Dolan conducting ‘Vos estis’ investigation into Brooklyn’s Bishop DiMarzio

New York City, N.Y., Jan 18, 2020 / 09:05 pm (CNA).- Cardinal Timothy Dolan is conducting an investigation into Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, following an allegation of sexual abuse. The investigation is being conducted under the provisions of Vos estis lux…Continue Reading

Theodore McCarrick has moved from Kansas friary

Denver, Colo., Jan 7, 2020 / 11:00 am (CNA).- The disgraced former cardinal Theodore McCarrick has moved from the Kansas friary where he had been living since 2018. A spokesman for the Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Conrad told CNA…Continue Reading

Vatican Archbishop: those who say Judas is in hell are ‘heretics’ and priests may ‘accompany’ assisted suicides

ROME, December 11, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — In a statement difficult to reconcile with Scripture and Tradition, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, has claimed on behalf of the Catholic Church that anyone who says Judas Iscariot is in…Continue Reading

Buffalo’s Bishop Richard Malone resigns after year of scandal

Vatican City, Dec 4, 2019 / 04:01 am (CNA).- Pope Francis Wednesday accepted the resignation of Buffalo’s embattled Bishop Richard Malone. The Diocese of Buffalo will be administered by Albany’s Bishop Edward Scharfenberger until a permanent replacement for Malone is…Continue Reading

Chinese bishop says Catholics must put ‘love for homeland’ first

Beijing, China, Dec 3, 2019 / 04:30 pm (CNA).- A Chinese bishop has said that Catholics in the country must put their loyalty to the state before the faith. Bishop John Fang Xingyao made the statement during a Communist Party…Continue Reading

Canada’s largest newspaper: Catholic schools must back LGBT ‘rights’ or risk losing public funding

TORONTO, November 25, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Canada’s largest newspaper threatened Catholic schools in an editorial that unless they get in line with homosexuality and transgender “rights,” support will only grow for an end to their public funding. The Toronto Star’s…Continue Reading

Pope compares politicians who persecute gays, Jews to Hitler

Pope Francis denounced the persecution of gay people on Friday and compared public officials who stoke hatred and anti-gay sentiment to Hitler. Francis delivered his remarks at an international conference on criminal law at the Vatican City, Reuters reported. “It is…Continue Reading

7-year-old whose mom tried to ‘transition’ him chooses to attend school as a boy

DALLAS, Texas, November 5, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Seven-year-old James Younger, whose mother enrolled him in kindergarten as a “girl,” has finally been able to attend school as a boy for the first time. James’ parents’ fight over whether he should…Continue Reading

Cardinal Dolan on Biden communion denial: ‘I wouldn’t do it’

Washington D.C., Oct 31, 2019 / 04:58 pm (CNA).- Cardinal Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York has responded to questions about the denial of Holy Communion to former Vice President Joe Biden last Sunday. On an Oct. 31…Continue Reading

Judge blocks Alabama law banning abortions, pro-lifers plan to appeal to Supreme Court

October 29, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Alabama’s ban on virtually all abortions will not take effect on November 15 as planned, thanks to a preliminary injunction issued Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson. In May, Alabama Republican Gov. Kay Ivey signed the Alabama…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.

  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love


  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading


Today . . .

Italy is dying: Country’s birth rate drops to its lowest level in history

ROME, Italy, February 20, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) ― Italy welcomed its smallest number of newborns in 2019, leading its president to foretell the country’s doom. “This is a problem that concerns the very existence of our country,” said Sergio Mattarella, 78. “The fabric of our country is weakening, and everything must be done to counter this phenomenon.”

Bishop Schneider analyzes Pope’s Amazon text: ‘a glimmer of hope’ despite deficiencies

ROME, February 19, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — In a new in-depth analysis of the apostolic exhortation Querida Amazonia, Bishop Athanasius Schneider has praised what he views as Pope Francis’ decision not to weaken priestly celibacy or open the door to a female “diaconate.” But he has also criticized the “lamentable doctrinal ambiguities and errors” that he says the document contains. The auxiliary bishop of St. Mary in Astana, Kazakhstan, maintains that Querida Amazonia’s stance on priestly celibacy and…Continue Reading

Cardinal Zen criticizes Vatican for ‘despis[ing] the heroes of faith’ in China

NEW YORK, February 14, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The communist-run Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association “has always been objectively schismatic” and remains that way “but with the blessing from the Holy See,” Cardinal Joseph Zen said today. Cardinal Zen sat down with LifeSite for a one-on-one interview in New York today.


1. The beloved Amazon region stands before the world in all its splendour, its drama and its mystery. God granted us the grace of focusing on that region during the Synod held in Rome from 6-27 October last, which concluded by issuing its Final Document, The Amazon: New Paths for the Church and for an Integral Ecology. The significance of this Exhortation 2. During the Synod, I listened to the presentations and read with interest…Continue Reading

Pope Francis’ Amazon exhortation calls for holiness, not married priests

Vatican City, Feb 12, 2020 / 04:00 am (CNA).- Pope Francis published his response to the Vatican’s 2019 Amazon synod in an apostolic exhortation Wednesday. Despite widespread speculation following the synod, the pope does not call for married priests, but seeks to expand “horizons beyond conflicts.” Querida Amazonia, Pope Francis’s much-anticipated post-synodal apostolic exhortation, presents the pope’s “four great dreams” for the Pan-Amazonian region’s ecological preservation and “Amazonian holiness.” The exhortation does not quote from…Continue Reading


If Duterte Wants Us Out, Let’s Go

  By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has just given us notice he will be terminating the Visiting Forces Agreement that governs U.S. military personnel in the islands. His notification starts the clock running on a six-month deadline. If no new agreement is negotiated, the VFA is dissolved. What triggered the decision? Duterte…Continue Reading

The Face of God Was Seen That Day

By ROBERT N. BORGHESE A veil separates the face of God From our world of flesh. Is it ever breached? The mystic said the most sublime act Sets another before you. Unconditional human love reflects the face of God; And God is love. When Jesus said there is no greater love Than to lay down…Continue Reading

A Champion of the Catholic Faith . . . Sister Mary Louise RIP


  Sister Mary Louise Matt, beloved aunt of Joseph Matt, the current publisher of The Wanderer was called to her eternal reward this past week. In an age that saw many changes in the Catholic church including within the sisterhood as conforming to the culture of the times – Sister Mary stood tall among her peers passionately…Continue Reading

Coronavirus, St. Jacinta And St. John Bosco

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY By one of those curious coincidences, the current threat from the Chinese coronavirus has come to prominence just as we celebrate the centenary of the death of St. Jacinta of Fatima, a death which can be attributed to complications arising from the Spanish flu pandemic which afflicted the world between January…Continue Reading

Don’t Trust Election Polls Predicting Huge 2020 Dem Victories

By TREVOR THOMAS (Editor’s Note: LifeSiteNews reprinted this with permission from American Thinker. All rights reserved.) + + + (American Thinker) — According to Real Clear Politics, in spite of the economy and everything else going well in the United States of America, almost every current national poll has President Trump trailing a hypothetical Democrat…Continue Reading


Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: In his weekly Bulletin at the Church of St. Michael in New York City, Fr. George Rutler listed some of the false predictions of the climate alarmists and noted their refusal ever to admit being wrong: “Inevitably, the list of mistaken predictions keeps growing. We may remember being told in the 1960s that, within twenty years, overpopulation would…Continue Reading

“What Will There Be For Us?” Amazon Synod Doesn’t Like The Answer

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Many of you know I happily served as a Navy chaplain for years. Some of my assignments were with Marine units. I found Marine officers were always very happy to have a priest along because, being celibate, he could more easily pick up and move with the unit at any time they were called upon…Continue Reading

The Temple Of God Is Holy

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Seventh Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Lev. 19:1-2, 17-18 1 Cor. 3:16-23 Matt. 5:38-48 In the first reading today, God instructed Moses to tell the Israelites that they were to be holy because the Lord God is holy. This makes sense on several levels. First, we are made in the image and likeness of…Continue Reading

Bishop Strickland . . . Mary, Mother Of God And The Church

By MOST REV. JOSEPH STRICKLAND I write this column on the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, one of many Marian memorials in the liturgical calendar of the Roman Catholic Church. That is because Mary is, and always has been, deeply loved and honored by Catholic and Orthodox Christians. It was only in the aftermath of the Protestant Reformation, that…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. In an exchange with a fellow on Facebook, he wondered how God could be a loving Father when He abandoned His Son Jesus on the cross. How can I answer him? — R.Q., Massachusetts. A. Your questioner is referring to Jesus’ words from the cross: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46). But Jesus was…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Frances Of Rome

By CAROLE BRESLIN Saints come from all states of life and forms of associations within the Church. Quite a few of them were members of Third Orders. A Third Order is an “association of the faithful established by religious orders. Dating from the thirteenth century, they may be either secular or regular. If secular, they are lay persons, commonly called…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Margaret Of Cortona

By CAROLE BRESLIN Great sinners make great saints. It takes a strong-willed child to become a saint. These are statements which would easily fit saints such as Mary Magdalene and St. Augustine. In the thirteenth century, a young lady free in spirit and strong in will led such a life that she was essentially driven from her home village, but…Continue Reading