Portrait St Isaac Jogues
St Patrick Cathedral - New York City
Jogues - a Jesuit priest - became a missionary, a captive of Indians, a victim of torture, an escapee, and finally a martyr.
He left his native France in 1636 to join his fellow Jesuits in what is now Canada to minister a variety of missionary posts.
In 1642, a Mohawk war party ambushed Jogues, his co-worker St. René Goupil, and several others, then tortured them savagely, killed Goupil and held Jogues as a slave. His Hair and nails where ripped out and his fingers crushed. Othe wounds that covered his body bacame so infected “ that worms dropped from them,’ he said.
He reported all this in a letter to his superior, adding that his left thumb had also be cutten off. “ I thank God taht they left me the one on my right hand, ” he said, so that he could write to his confreres. While he was in a fishing expedition with his captors, the group passed though a Dutch village where the settlers helped Jogues hide on a boat and escape to France. There, a fellow Jesuit reported, “ He is as cheerfull as if he had suffered nothing and es zealous to return among the Hurons, amid all those dangers, as if perils were to him securities. ”
Jogues did return in 1644. While acting as an ambassador of peace to the Iroquois in New York, he and his companion St. Jean de la lande wera attcked, beaten, and killed with tomahawks.
Feast (of the Martyrs of Northe America) : October 19.