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.