Monday, October 19, 2009

Feast Day: North American Martyrs

This is one of those not exactly politically-correct feast days since many would say that the eight Jesuit Missionaries slaughtered in the 1640s by indigent Native North Americans was just what they deserved.  That being said, this is a feast day where Catholics honor these self-same men for sacrificing their all to spread the Gospel.

I particularly like St. Isaac Jogues' comments about what (and why) he was doing what he was doing:
My confidence is placed in God who does not need our help for accomplishing his designs. Our single endeavor should be to give ourselves to the work and to be faithful to him, and not to spoil his work by our shortcomings. 
We were lucky, back in the summer of 1999 to see the Shrine of the North American Martyrs ... in Auriesville, NY.  It was a memorable drive from North Carolina, up through the Eastern seasboard states to drop two of our kids at CYO camps in New Hampshire and then on to Nova Scotia for a two-week camping trip with Baby Lego Maniac.  As we drove through rural New York State, the storm clouds dogging our heels, we stopped at a nearly-deserted Shrine which is so low-key and low-budget as to be filled with the aroma of sanctity!  Don't let the simplicity of the site fool you ... this is one very cool spot to rest and pray for all those who gave it up for God!

May the example made by the Eight North American Martyrs -- including St. Isaac Jogues and St. Jean deBrebeuf -- spark a new zeal for spreading the Truth!

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