Today is the feast of the North American Martyrs, 8 mainly Jesuit missionaries who served, educated and brought the Gospel to what is now Canada. Next time you’re at St. Margaret’s for Mass, look for the window of St. Isaac Jogues. There story is here, but there’s a shorter version here.
Ways to celebrate the feast day today (suggestions from Catholic Culture):
Things to Do:
- Pray to the Holy Spirit to renew the evangelization of distant countries as well as the re-evangelization of our own nation.
- More Christians have been martyred in the 20th century than in the previous nineteen centuries combined. For example, pastors are being arrested and sometimes shot in China and Cuba. Believers are forbidden to buy goods or own property in Somalia. Christians who testify to their faith in Iran or Saudi Arabia may be put to death for blasphemy. Mobs have wiped out whole villages of Christians in Pakistan. Pray for courageous and zealous missionaries in these countries where the Church is persecuted.
- Support the Indian Missions in the USA.
- Visit the National Shrine of the North American Martyrs in Auriesville, New York.
- Learn more about each of the martyrs. This parish site offers a gallery of pictures and a short historical review. The North American Martyrs is an excellent historical novel depicting the lives of these heroic Jesuits. You might also like to read this definitive scholarly biography, Saint Among Savages: The Life of St. Isaac Jogues, by Francis Talbot, S.J.
- Learn for Christmas the Indian Christmas Carol, the first American Christmas carol John de Brébeuf wrote to teach the Christmas story to the Huron Indians.