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Jesuit missionary St. Isaac Jogues returned for a second time to New France in 1646. He had been there before, ministering and offering friendship to the First Nations people of Huronia, what is today in and around the Georgian Bay region of Ontario. Captured by members of the Iroquois nation, traditional enemies of the Huron people, Jogues was taken with Guillaume Cousture, Rene Goupil, and several Huron Christians to a village near the southern shore of Lake Ontario, where they were tortured. Jogues survived the ordeal, and spent his time as a captive attempting to win their friendship and their faith. Eventually, with the help of some Dutch merchants, he escaped from his enslavement and returned by ship to France. The "living martyr" was received with astonishment and joy.

Jogues was given special permission from Pope Urban VIII to say Mass with his badly mutilated fingers, as the Eucharist could not be touched by any fingers but the thumb and forefinger. He surprised many by expressing a powerful desire to return to New France, knowing full well that he would never see his homeland again. While he was still in Europe awaiting his mission, he wrote a letter to an unknown friend, in which he said the following:
Le cœur me dit que, si j’ai le bien d’être employé en cette mission, ibo et non redibo, mais je serais heureux si Notre Seigneur voulait achever le sacrifice où il l’a commencé, et que ce peu de sang que j’ai répandu en cette terre fût comme les arrhes de celui que je lui donnerais de toutes les veines de mon corps et de mon coeur. Enfin, ce peuple-là sponsus mihi sanguinum est, hunc mihi despondi sanguine meo.
My heart tells me that if I have the blessing of being used for this mission, I shall go and I shall not return; but I would be glad if our Lord should fulfil the sacrifice where he began it, and that the small amount of blood I shed in that land should turn out to be an advance payment for that which I would give from all the veins of my body and heart. For over there is a people which is a blood-spouse to me [Exodus 4:25], and I have espoused myself to it with my blood.
This moving passage evokes one of the greatest of all mysteries, the Pascal Mystery, in which blood is shed and a life freely given, for the redemption of many. Jogues was following directly in the footsteps of his Master, blazing trails that continue to be trod to this day.

A peace treaty was reached between all nations. Jogues was killed along with St. Jean de LaLande by disaffected Mohawks on October 18, 1646, while travelling as an ambassador to the south shore.

This blog is dedicated to the North American Martyrs, six Jesuits and two of their lay companions, who along with Saint Kateri Tekakwitha are its inspiration and co-patrons.

They were they first Jesuits to bring the Gospel to the new world. We hope to continue to good work they begun, for the benefit of souls and the greater glory of God.