MEMORIAL: OCTOBER 19
St. John de Brebeuf and St. Isaac Jogues were Jesuit missionaries of the 17th century, and with their companions are known as the first recognized North American saints. St. John went to the Huron nation and worked for nearly 24 years through much suffering. Yet, he was able to baptize over 7,000 Hurons and translate a catechism into the Huron language. He was tomahawked after four brutal hours of torture for in his martyrdom.
St. Isaac was captured by the Iroquois and tortured for over a year. St. Isaac had his fingers gnawed off (the ones needed to say mass) and watched as many of his Huron converts were tortured in front of him.
St. Isaac was able to escape back to France, and was given a dispensation to say mass despite his mutilated hands. However, he returned to North America where he would be eventually beheaded by the Mohawks. The companions all died in a similar way. Yet, even though some of the Native Americans sought their deaths, they could not help but admire their courage.