Following is a synopsis of the documents contained in the present volume:

LXVIII. This is a letter by Buteux to the father general, dated at Three Rivers, September 21, 1649. In reply to a note from the latter, the missionary returns thanks for promised aid, which is especially needed at this time, when the French are continually harassed by Iroquois raids. The little settlement of Three Rivers is so slightly defended that the French are in daily peril of their lives; but all connected with the mission—not only the priests, but their servants—are ready to lay down their lives, if need be, for the sake of the little Indian church which they have there founded.

LXIX. his is a vivid and sympathetic account of the martyrdom of Brebeuf and Gabriel Lalemant, written by Christophe Regnaut, one of the donnés in the Huron mission. Although he did not witness this tragedy, he obtained full particulars of it from the Christian Hurons taken captive by the Iroquois, who were present throughout the horrible torments inflicted upon the unfortunate Jesuits. He relates these in detail, and then describes the condition of the martyrs' remains, which he has helped to bring from St. Ignace to Ste. Marie, and afterward carefully examines, finding that the appearance of the bodies [page 9] fully confirms the statements of the Hurons. The bones of these victims are carried to Quebec, " where they are held in great veneration. "

LXX. he annals of the Quebec colony are continued by the Journal des Jésuites for 1649. Little is recorded for January outside of the usual list of New-year's gifts; but " on the pith, occurred the first execution by the hand of the hangman, in the case of a Creature of 15 or 16 years, a thief." At the same time, Abraham Martin is imprisoned on a scandalous charge connected with this poor girl; but "his trial is postponed till the arrival of the vessels." A few weeks later, " the 2nd execution of Justice took place."

Little else of importance occurs during the cold season. " The winter's Work was to pile sand for building and wood for heating." The bonfire was again made, this year, on St. Joseph's eve; " but the material was separated from the spiritual." At the governor's request, Lalemant kindles the fire. " The river St. Charles became open on the 27th and 28th, and sowing was begun."

Early in May, news comes from Three Rivers and Montreal that famine prevails there. There is also great scarcity at Quebec; but the Jesuits are able to aid the people there, with "more than 40 casks of grain," for seed and for food. On June 6, thirty-four Frenchmen are sent to the Huron country. A grant of two leagues of land, opposite Montreal, is made to the Jesuits.

" At 3 rivers, no bonfire was made on St. John's day,—the governor claiming that the warehouse ought to make it, and the warehouse referring it to the governor." The usual fisheries, especially that [page 10] of salmon, are this year almost a failure, except that of sturgeon, of which unusual numbers are caught.

In July, thirty Abenaki Indians come to Quebec; but they are forbidden to come hither again. They bring the first news of the year from France, for the fleet has not yet arrived. Savages from Tadoussac also bring items of information which they have gathered from the fishermen on the coast. On the 20th, the sad tidings come from Huronia that those tribes are destroyed, and that some of the Fathers have become martyrs. A few weeks later, aid is sent to the Huron mission,—a detachment of soldiers, and several donné.

The long-delayed fleet finally arrives, August 23 and 24; it brings a new missionary, Charles Albanel. Another ship had, in March, left France for Canada; but, as it has not arrived, it is accounted lost; the Jesuits thus incur a loss of 4,000 livres.

September 20 - 22, Father Bressani arrives from the Huron country, with two bands of Indians; and the French traders and soldiers come down, bringing 5,000 livres' weight of beaver skins. Bressani sets out on his return to the Huron mission; but, a few days later, he comes back with his Huron companions, who probably through fear of the Iroquois—refuse to go beyond the river Des Prairies. When the last vessel returns to France, it conveys an Iroquois captive. This year's trade amounts to 100,000 livres. A number of Hurons come down to three Rivers and Quebec to spend the winter; they are aided by the Jesuits with food, blankets, etc.

At the departure of the vessels, this year, begins ''an exaction of 20 sols on each passenger ticket, to be paid to the Governor's secretary; and money was [page 11] taken from the fines, for salary or perquisites to the same secretary, and to other officers." The king has " appropriated 19,000 livres for the affairs of the country; " and out of this sum a defensive wall is begun at Sillery. The masonry of the Jesuits' building is finished, this season, and the roof put on. Their estate of Notre Dame des Anges is rented, at 100 écus.

LXXI. The Relation of 1648 - 49 contains only Ragueneau's report of the Huron mission for the year ending May 1, 1649. It recounts the destruction of that mission, the martyrdom of three priests, and the dispersion of the Huron converts, in a sanguinary raid made by the Iroquois. Accompanying it is a brief note from Lalemant, superior of the Canadian missions, to his provincial in France, explaining why he sends this year no report for the St. Lawrence missions.

Ragueneau begins by relating the capture, by the Iroquois, of the mission village of St. Joseph (Teanaustayé), on July 4 of the preceding summer (1648). Father Daniel, in charge of that mission, is killed while encouraging his flock to resist the enemy, whose sudden and unexpected attack finds the Christians at their little church, attending the celebration of mass. They make such resistance as they can, but it avails little; the enemy soon master the village, and set it on fire, massacring the helpless inhabitants—men, women, and children alike. Daniel soon sees that all is lost; and he hastens through the cabins, baptizing all whom he can reach, that at least their souls may be saved. Finally, as the enemy approach the church, Daniel goes forth alone to meet them, that he may engage [page 12] their attention, and give his disciples a better opportunity to escape. They overwhelm him with arrow and gun shots, and throw his naked corpse into the flames which are consuming the church,—truly a noble funeral pyre. While they delay thus, many of the converts are enabled to escape; but many others are slain or captured—especially mothers burdened with their infants. Ragueneau describes the zeal and devotion which animated Daniel throughout his missionary career; and the apparitions of his departed spirit which were visible to his brethren. In the capture of St. Joseph, about 700 Hurons are slain or taken captive; but a much larger number than this escape, and take refuge in other villages,—many at Ste. Marie. The relief, both temporal and spiritual, needed by these desolate fugitives casts a heavy burden upon the mission.

Early in September, a reinforcement arrives, consisting of four additional missionaries, and a score of Frenchmen besides. This gives the Fathers new courage, and they even strive to extend their labors to more distant tribes. They maintain eleven missions,—eight Huron, and three Algonkin. " Everywhere, the progress of the Faith has surpassed our hopes,—most minds, even those formerly most fierce, becoming so docile, and submissive to the preaching of the Gospel, that it was sufficiently apparent that the Angels were laboring there much more than w e. " About 1,800 persons have been baptized during the year, not including those baptized by Daniel at the destruction of St. Joseph. A new mission has been established among the Ottawas on Manitoulin Island. The writer gives a brief survey of the older missions in the country, among [page 13] which La Conception (Ossossané) is conspicuous for the number and zeal of its Christians; numerous instances of their piety are related. In this mission, the Father in charge has entire control of his people, and is regarded as the chief of all their captains. The other missions show the blessed results of these noble examples; and the superior is rejoiced at the piety and devotion which he sees everywhere among the native Christians. " But what has most delighted me is, to see that the sentiments of the Faith have so far entered these hearts, which we formerly called Barbarian, that I may truthfully say that grace has stifled in many of them the fears, the desires, the joys, and the feelings of Nature."

" The blessings of Heaven were Rowing down in abundance upon these peoples," when another and more crushing blow was dealt them by their enemies. On March 16, 1649, a thousand Iroquois, well armed—" mostly with firearms, which they obtain from the Dutch, their allies "—make a sudden attack, at daybreak, on the village Of St. Ignace (not more than ten miles southeast of Ste. Marie itself). This place, although well fortified, is taken " almost without a blow, " the people being asleep; and nearly all of them are slain or captured. Not stopping here, the enemy immediately proceed to the attack of St. Louis, the next village on the road to Ste. Marie. This, although bravely defended by its few warriors, is soon captured and burned; and the enemy cast into the flames all whom they cannot take with them as prisoners—the old, the sick and wounded, and the little children. Here occur two more martyrdoms; Father Jean de Brebeuf and Gabriel Lalemant are in charge of this mission, and [page 14] they refuse to desert their flock in order to save their own lives; and, like Daniel, they devote themselves to comforting! encouraging, or baptizing all who need their ministrations. At last, the enemy forces an entrance, and most of the Christians are made prisoners, as well as the two Fathers. The Iroquois plan to attack Ste. Marie next; but a partial defeat of their advance-guard, and a sudden panic which, on St. Joseph's day, seizes them, induce them to give up this scheme. They accordingly depart homeward, after having burned to death many captives, most of these being Christians.

A chapter is devoted to " the blessed deaths " of Fathers Brebeuf and Lalemant; this is mainly a repetition, in somewhat different form, of Regnaut's account in document LXIX. preceding. Ragueneau adds a sketch of Gabriel Lalemant's life and character, with a copy of certain pious meditations written by the latter and found after his death; he also devotes more than a fourth part of this Relation to a similar account of Brebeuf,—recounting at length the religious experiences and visions, and praising the virtues, of this pioneer missionary. For the former, he finds material in the personal memoirs written by Brebeuf at his superior's command.

Ragueneau concludes this Relation with a review of "the present state of Christianity, and means of helping these Peoples." The blows dealt by the Iroquois have filled the Huron land with consternation, and its people are dispersing in every direction. To add to their wretchedness, famine is raging everywhere—worse than for fifty years past. The Jesuits help all whom they can; in less than a year, they have received and aided at Ste. Marie over [page 15] 6,000 persons. Fifteen villages have been abandoned by their inhabitants, who have fled—some westward, to the Tobacco tribes; others to St. Joseph (Charity) Island in Georgian Bay; others still talk of going to the Manitoulin Islands. To this last refuge the Fathers intend at first to follow their flock, abandoning their residence of Ste. Marie; they consider it a central and convenient location from which to extend their work among the Northern and Western Algonkin tribes, and to maintain the trade of these with Quebec and Three Rivers. Ragueneau's final decision, however, is to go to St. Joseph Island, whither most of the fugitive Hurons decide to flee. To that island the residence of Ste. Marie will be transferred; and it will be, as at the old location, the center of mission activities in Western Canada. A letter is appended, written by Chaumonot, who during the past year has been in charge of a mission on St. Joseph .

This Relation, as originally published, ends with Chaumonot's letter; but the second edition appends a postscript, containing additional nears—brought by a later vessel from Canada—of the fortunes of the Huron mission. One of the letters thus received—written from St. Joseph Island, in August, 1649—states that three hundred Huron families have taken refuge on that island; and that the Jesuits have also gone thither, having abandoned Ste. Marie. Here all suffer fearful privations; for, having fled from their cultivated fields to a wilderness, they must resort for food to wild roots and fruits. The Fathers are, however, consoled by the eagerness of these people to embrace the Faith; during the past thirteen months, they have baptized [page 16] over 2,700 persons, besides those who received that rite at the hands of the martyrs, at the storming of their villages. The Paris editor adds the description of a terrible shipwreck which occurred last summer off the Great Banks; and the miraculous rescue, by an English vessel, of the lost ship's crew, when, reduced to the last extremity, they were about to eat the flesh of one of their own number. This shipwreck is apparently that of the vessel mentioned as lost, by Lalemant, in the Journal des Jésuites, in the last entry under August, 1649 (q.v. in the present volume).

In this volume, we take pleasure in presenting an excellent portrait of Rev. Arthur Edward Jones, S. J the learned archivist of St. Mary's College, Montreal, in whose keeping are many of the precious literary remains of the early Jesuit missionaries in New France. To Father Jones's friendly counsels and active bibliographical assistance the Editor has, from the first inception of the present enterprise, been deeply indebted. We also publish herewith Father Jones's map of Huronia, made for this series; and his accompanying notes, which have geographical as well as antiquarian interest.

R. G. T.

Madison, Wis., November, 1898. [page 17]





Epistola P. Jacobi Buteux ad R. P. Vincentium Caraffam, Præpositum Generalem Societatis Jesu; ad Tria flumina, 21 septembri, 1649


Recit veritable du Martyre et de la Bien heureuse mort, du Pere Jean de Brebœuf et du Pere Gabriel L'Alemant, par Christophe Regnaut; undated


Journal des PP. Jesuites, en l'annee 1649

Sources: Doc. LXVIII. is from Martin's apograph of the original Latin (ex. MSS. Soc. Jes.), in the archives of St. Mary's College, Montreal. Doc. LXIX. we take from Brymner's Report on Canadian Archives, 1884, pp. Xiv, xv, lxiii - lxvii. Doc. LXX. we obtain from the original MS. in the library of Laval University, Quebec. [page 19]

¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯

Letter of Father Jacques Buteux to the Very Reverend Father Vincent Caraffa, General of the Society of Jesus.

ery Reverend Father In Christ,

Father Vincent Caraffa, Very Reverend General of the Society of Jesus, Pax Christi. Your Paternity's letter, dated September 29, came to us. . . . Just when misfortunes were surrounding us on all sides: conflicts without, which the fierce barbarians, most vindictive enemies of the Christian name, were stirring up; fears within, lest a great multitude of neophytes be abandoned by us, to wander, as before, like beasts through the forests. He who consoles the lowly has consoled us through Your Paternity' s letter, in which you promise relief to us,—not only those workmen from France whom we have already received, but also what we hope for in the way of masses from the Fathers of the society; if ever w e have needed these, we need them most at this time, when we are involved in manifest' peril of our safety. For indeed we are likely to undergo the same tortures and afflictions (Unless God avert them) which our Fathers among the Hurons have undergone, as will be evident to Your Paternity from their own letters. For here at Three rivers, where we take charge of the French as well as of the savages, there are no defenses except of wood; no walls except palings, which easily catch fire; there is no house except of bark or thatch; and in these we live, [page 21] with no defense against barbarian attach dub If God in his goodness deliver me, a sinner, to their fury, gladly and willingly for his glory, and for my sheep, will I lay down my life, which I do not hold more precious than their salvation. Of quite the same disposition are all of our Fathers and brethren who live here,—nay, even the domestics. We are five in all, of the society,—three priests and two brethren; and we have six domestics, whose labor we greatly need for cultivating the earth, and for aiding the savages in the same way. I mean the neophytes, and especially the newly-sprouted plants f this year,—with whom we all are prostrate at Your Paternity's feet, expecting to receive your holy blessing.

Jacques buteux.

At Three rivers,

September 21, 1649.

[page 23]

A veritable Account of the Martyrdom and Blessed death of Father Jean de Brebœuf and of Father Gabriel L'Alemant, in New France, in the country of the Hurons, by the Iroquois, enemies of the Faith.

ATHER Jean de Brebœuf and Father Gabriel L'Alemant had set out from our cabin, to go to a small Village, called St. Ignace, distant from our cabin about a short quarter of a League, to instruct the Savages and the new Christians of that Village. It was on the 16th Day of March, in the morning, that we perceived a great fire at the place to which these two good Fathers had gone. This fire made us very uneasy; we did not know whether it were enemies, or if the fire had caught in some of the huts of the village. The Reverend Father Paul Ragueneau, our Superior, immediately Resolved to send some one to learn what might be the cause. But no sooner had we formed the design of going there to see, than we perceived several savages on the road, coming straight toward us. We all thought it was the Iroquois who were coming to attack us; but, having considered them more closely, we perceived that they were Hurons who were fleeing from the fight, and who had escaped from the combat. these poor savages caused great pity in us. They were all covered with wounds. One had his head fractured; another his arm broken; another had an [page 25] arrow in his eye; another had his hand cut off by a blow from a hatchet. In fine, the day was passed in receiving into our cabins all these poor wounded people, and in looking with compassion toward the fire, and the place where were those two good Fathers. We saw the fire and the barbarians, but we could not see anything of the two Fathers.

This is what these Savages told us of the taking of the Village of St. Ignace, and about Fathers Jean de Brebceuf and Gabriel L'Allemant:

"The Iroquois came, to the number of twelve hundred men; took our village, and seized Father Breboauf and his companion; and set fire to all the huts. They proceeded to vent their rage on those two Fathers; for they took them both and stripped them entirely naked, and fastened each to a post. They tied both of their hands together. They tore the nails from their fingers. They beat them with a shower of blows from cudgels, on the shoulders, the loins, the belly, the legs, and the face,—there being no part of their body which did not endure this torment. " The savages told us further, that, although Father de Brebceuf was overwhelmed under the weight of these blows, he did not cease continually to speak of God, and to encourage all the new Christians who were captives like himself to suffer well, that they might die well, in order to go in company with him to Paradise. While the good Father was us encouraging these good people, a wretched Iron renegade,—who had remained a captive with he Iroquois, and whom Father de Brebœuf had formerly instructed and baptized,—hearing him speak Paradise and Holy Baptism, was irritated, and said [page 27] to him, " Echon," that is Father de Brebœuf's name in Huron, " thou sayest that Baptism and the sufferings of this life lead straight to Paradise; thou wilt go soon, for I am going to baptize thee, and to make thee suffer well, in order to go the sooner to thy Paradise." The barbarian, having said that, took a kettle full of boiling water, which he poured over his body three different times, in derision of Holy baptism. And, each time that he baptized him in this manner, the barbarian said to him, with bitter sarcasm, " Go to Heaven, for thou art well baptized." After that, they made him suffer several other torments. The 1st was to make hatchets red-hot, and to apply them to the loins and under the armpits. They made a collar of these red-hot hatchets, and put it on the neck of this good Father. This is the fashion in which I have seen the collar made for other prisoners: They make six hatchets red-hot, take a large withe of green wood, pass the 6 hatchets over the large end of the withe, take the two ends together, and then put it over the neck of the sufferer. I slave seen no torment which more moved me to compassion than that. For you see a man, bound naked to a post, who, having this collar on his neck, cannot tell what posture to take. For, if he lean forward, those above his shoulders weigh the more on him; if he lean back, those on his stomach make him suffer the same torment; if he keep erect, without leaning to one side or other, the burning ratchets, applied equally on both sides, give him a trouble torture.

After that they put on him a belt of bark, full of pitch and resin, and set fire to it, which roasted his whole body. During all these torments, Father de [page 29] Brebœuf endured like a rock, insensible to fire and flames, which astonished all the bloodthirsty wretches who tormented him. His zeal was so great that he preached continually to these infidels, to try to convert them. His executioners were enraged against him for constantly speaking to them of God and of their conversion. To prevent him from speaking more, they cut off his tongue, and both his upper and lower lips. After that, they set themselves to strip the flesh from his legs, thighs, and arms, to the very bone; and then put it to roast before his eyes, in order to eat it.

While they tormented him in this manner, those wretches derided him, saying: " Thou seest plainly that we treat thee as a friend, since we shall be the cause of thy Eternal happiness; thank us, then, for these good offices which we render thee,—for, the more thou shalt suffer, the more will thy God reward thee. "

Those butchers, seeing that the good Father began to grow weak, made him sit down on the ground; and, one of them, taking a knife, cut off the skin covering his skull. Another one of those barbarians, seeing that the good Father would soon die, made an opening in the upper part of his chest, and tore out his heart, which he roasted and ate. Others came to drink his blood, still warm, which they drank with both hands,—saying that Father de Brebceuf had been very courageous to endure so much pain as they had given him, and that, by drinking his blood, they would become courageous like him.

This is what we learned of the Martyrdom and blessed death of Father Jean de Brebœuf, by several Christian savages worthy of belief, who had been [page 31] constantly present from the time the good Father was taken until his death. These good Christians were prisoners to the Iroquois, who were taking them into their country to be put to death. But our good God granted them the favor of enabling them to escape by the way; and they came to us to recount all that I have set down in writing.

Father de Brebœuf was captured on the 16th day of March, in the morning, with Father Lalemant, in the year 1649. Father de Brebceuf died the same day as his capture, about 4 o'clock in the afternoon. Those barbarians threw the remains of his body into the fire; but the fat which still remained on his body extinguished the fire, and he was not consumed. I do not doubt that all which I have just related is true, and I would seal it with my blood; for I have seen the same treatment given to Iroquois prisoners whom the Huron savages had taken in war, with the exception of the boiling water, which I have not seen poured on any one.

I am about to describe to you truly what I saw of the Martyrdom and of the Blessed deaths of Father Jean de Brebceuf and of Father Gabriel L'Alemant On the next morning, when we had assurance of the departure of the enemy, we went to the spot to seek for the remains of their bodies, to the place where their lives had been taken. We found them both but a little apart from each other. They were brought to our cabin, and laid uncovered upon the bark of trees,—where I examined them at leisure for more than two hours, to see if what the savages had told us of their martyrdom and death were true examined first the Body of Father de Brebeuf which was pitiful to see, as well as that of Father [page 33] L'Alemant. Father de Brebceuf had his legs, thighs, and arms stripped of flesh to the very bone; I flaw and touched a large number of great blisters, which he had on several places on his body, from the boiling water which these barbarians had poured over him in mockery of Holy Baptism. I saw and touched the wound from a belt of bark, full of pitch and resin, which roasted his whole body. I saw and touched the marks of burns from the Collar of hatchets placed on his shoulders and stomach. I saw and touched his two lips, which they had cut off because he constantly spoke of God while they made him suffer.

I saw and touched all parts of his body, which had received more than two hundred blows from a stick. I saw and touched the top of his scalped head; I saw and touched the opening which these barbarians had made to tear out his heart.

In fine, I saw and touched all the wounds of his body, as the savages had told and declared to us; we buried these precious Relics on Sunday, the 21st day of March, 1649, with much Consolation.

I had the happiness of carrying them to the grave, and of burying them with those of Father Gabriel L'Alemant. When we left the country of the Hurons, we raised both bodies out of the ground, and set them to boil in strong lye. All the bones were well scraped, and the care of drying them was given me. I put them every day into a little oven which we had, made of clay, after having heated it slightly; and, when in a state to be packed, they were separately enveloped in silk stuff. Then they were put into two small chests, and we brought them to Québek, where they are held in great veneration. [page 35]

It is not a Doctor of the Sorbonne who has composed this, as you may easily see; it is a relic from the Iroquois, and a person who has lived more than thought,—who is, and shall ever be,


Your Very Humble and very obedient Servant

Christophe Regnaut.

[page 37]

Journal of the Jesuit Fathers, in the year


JANUARY, 1649.

N the 1st Day, news was brought from 3 rivers of the suffocation of three soldiers in prison, by the fumes of charcoal and brandy; they were drunken blasphemers, and mutineers

Monsieur the governor sent his butler in the morning, to bring us two bottles of Spanish wine, a Turkey, and an Agnus dei;

The same to father Vimon, and twice as much Spanish wine to father le Jeune.

The Hospital nuns sent us a cask of Spanish wine, and two Capons.

The Ursulines sent nothing; but—as we sent a few bouquets of flowers to them, as well as to the Hospital nuns—they sent at evening a Rosary with a reliquary medal.

Toward the end of the year, and at the beginning of the new one, the cold was excessive .

I gave a little book to Mademoyselle the governor's wife, and a relic-cross to Monsieur the governor; a gerson to his Nephew.

Father duperon, propter N., came to live at Quebek on the 24th.

On the 19th, occurred the first execution by the hand of the hangman, in the case of a [page 39] Creature of 15 or 16 years, a thief. At the same time, they accused Monsieur Abraham of having violated her; he was imprisoned for this, and his trial was postponed till the arrival of the vessels. On the 15th of February, The 2nd execution of Justice took place.



On the Day of the purification, we did as in preceding years; we furnished Wax for the parish church, but with the resolution to furnish it no more, when the Church should be finished. One of our brethren, in surplice, carried to Monsieur the governor and to Mademoyselle his wife two handsomer tapers. There were two other priests to do the same for two of the Gentlemen of the Council,—who, it was thought, were to be present; but they were not present. Monsieur de St. Sauveur did not assist, as there appeared to be no need therefor. Litany after vespers, as usual at the feasts of our Lady. There was merely Instruction before the blessing, and a word about our lady after the Gospel; this is enough.

Shrovetide as usual; benediction after, Vespers on Sunday, at the parish church; on Monday at the hospital, on Tuesday at the Ursulines', at 4 o'clock. They expose the Blessed Sacrament from morning forward that is done in behalf of the country's affairs; and with some effort to approach what is done in France. [page 41]

Our fathers of Sillery were invited to come and see us.

Ash Wednesday, as last year.

MARCH, 1649.

Father Vimont preached This Lent at the Ursulines' and at the Hospital nuns', on Wednesday and Friday, and heard the Catechism at the parish church; father bailloquet on Sundays at the Ursulines'.

I ended the Lecturing at the Friday Assemblies held during the winter, with a general review of the actions for warning in regard to faults; and the two last, by reading the rules for priests and Coadjutors,—but the latter, on a feast-Day or Sunday. At these usual Friday Lectures, I read the rules or the last treatise of rodriguez, which is excellent and very suitable.

The winter's Work was to pile sand for building, and wood for heating.

The bonfire was made again this year, on the eve of St. Joseph's day; but the material was separated from the spiritual. Benediction was held about 6 o'clock; and, about 7, Monsieur the governor came to beg me to attend, and wished me to start the fire, which I did. At the Ursulines', the same as last year; but the prayer for the foundress, and that pro devotis amicis, were forgotten. On the Day, everything took place as last year, and went well.

On St. Joachim's Day occurred the investiture of sister de bologne,—called sister St. Dominique,—at the Ursulines'. [page 43]

About this time, or a little before, the savages started for their great hunt, with St. Denys and the son of Thomas Hayot.

On Passion Sunday at the hospital, everything occurred the same as last year,—except that the laudate Dominum omnes gentes was sung, instead of Domine salvum fac regem. However, neither the one nor the other is proper; but, instead of that, there should be added after the Ave regina the prayer pro devotis amicis, in the singular, in behalf of Madame the duchess d'Eguillon, the foundress.

On Annunciation Day the Cross and Images were uncovered; dulium est utrum fieri debeat,—suffice it for a picture or statue of our Lady, but not the Cross, etc.

On palm Sunday, all took place the same as last year. one of our brethren, in surplice, carried to monsieur the governor his palm (Mademoyselle the governor's wife was not there; they would have carried one to her, if she had been there with her husband); and the same brother afterward went to carry two palms to Monsieur de Chavigny and to monsieur Giffar, as members of the Council. The rest, as is usual with the consecrated bread. I gave notice that the palms must be held at the passion and at the Elevation,—and this last is not correct, but only the 1st. I sang the passion alone.

1649, APRIL.

All took place in Holy week very nearly as last year; the washing of feet at the hospital [page 45] was on Thursday afternoon, at 2 o'clock, at which I officiated, as superior, the hour being convenient. I had not done so in the preceding years, because the hour was Inconvenient in the morning; doing this at such an hour, expedit ad œdificationem Superiorem hœc facere. At the Ursulines', in the morning, was the 1st Communion of their girls; I preached there half an hour.

The Ursulines and Hospital nuns made no mistake, in truth, by ringing after us on Thursday, or before us on Saturday; but they were at fault in this, that they did not ring with us. For they ought to do so, either on Thursday or on Saturday, but especially on Saturday,—whether they have or have not said the prophecies. They may ring the Elevation bell during the Gloria, if they have finished before us, but not the great bell outside,—this they should do only when the parish bell has begun, and should ring with it.

The Ursulines made a remarkable mistake in that, during the tenebræ of the 3 Days, they had no Triangular candlestick or Taper lighted on the Altar,—save, on the 1st or 2nd Day, two white tapers.

Father le Jeune announced at Sillery, on palm Sunday, that they must go to the parish church; but that he had fortunately obtained leave to receive Communion at Sillery.

On Easter Sunday, father Vimont at the end of his Class did something similar to what father le Jeune did last year. Experience showed me that it would be quite proper that, [page 47] instead of a sermon in the morning,—as soon after five o'clock as there are people in the, Church,—there should be a Father to occupy the people until the 1st Mass: sive ex libro,—for instance, with the meditations of Dupont; or about the feast, or the Communion. One might take one's place at the lectern, turning it conveniently to be understood; and. at high Mass, a quarter-hour is sufficient after the Gospel, as usual.

Monsieur de St. Sauveur was not too fast at the lessons of Easter Even; but, as usual with him, he was too slow with the litany. He assisted me satisfactorily, as is his wont. I sang the passion alone, on Friday.

I gave notice on Easter Day that the benediction would take place at evening about 7 o'clock and, on the following Days, the benediction at the religious houses at the end of vespers at the parish church.

The great stress of Easter Day, and the great crowd, ceased after high Mass. There were 4 masses.

On Low Sunday I gave warning of the principal shortcomings of the parish, which might cause us to fear the wrath of God.

I went into Retreat on the subsequent Tuesday,—namely, the 13th. Our brother feoté went to 3 rivers in a shallop with 8 or 9 excellent sailors; he left on the 22nd, and came back on the 28th, but he should have waited Will later. They risked too much; the ice not vet having passed away, they found themselves much embarrassed. The journey, [page 49] despite this, was very successful; he brought back at least 14 or 15 casks of grain.

On St. Mark's Day, which was on Sunday, we made a procession to the Ursulines'; only that was feasible, after Vespers.

The river St. Charles became open on the 27th and 28th, and sowing was begun.

On the last of April, an old man,—Head servant at the warehouse,—suspected of theft and threatened with Justice, proved to be lost; it was believed that he went to drown him self.


Return of the Shallops from 3 rivers and Montreal, where famine was found on all sides. We succored the people down here, in the matter of seed and food,—and this to the number of more than [blank space],—with 16 casks of wheat sent from 3 rivers, and several puncheons of peas and Indian corn; and, furthermore, by the grist of the mill,—making in all more than 40 casks of grain.

On the 8th, I went to say low mass at St. Michel de Sillery, and that is all that was done there in the way of Solemnity this year; hoc est nihil, neque expedit.

On the 9th, father Drueilletes left for Tadousac with l'Epinay.

This same Day the procession was made at the Conclusion of vespers; we went to the hospital, then past Monsieur Hebou's; and, along the grande allée we came to the Ursulines'. That went well; the other half of the [page 51] circuit was made last year by way of the cap aux diamans, the grange, etc.

At the hospital and at the Ursulines', we Sang some articles of the litany of the virgin, and then was said the prayer defende, and that of rogation; then, at the hospital, o crux ave. and the prayer of the mass de cruce; and at the Ursulines', the Anthem of St. Joseph and the prayer as usual,—according to the tenor of the ritual, for the Churches by which the processions pass. The paschal Taper was borne in the procession.

At the beginning of may, I made a visitation at the hospital.

On the 17th, we left for 3 rivers. We arrived there the next day, and, two Days later, three Captive yroquois iced. We started on the 29th for Montreal, where, on the 30th, a poor French locksmith was captured.


On the 1st of June, we arrived at Montreal. On the third, which was the Day of Corpus Christi, we made no procession anywhere, on account of the rain; but on Sunday one was made at Quebek, also at Montreal, where I bore the Blessed Sacrament; 12 soldiers marched in front, their heads Covered,—quod grave mihi admodum fuit, nec deinceps tolerandum.

On that same 6th of June, those who were going to the Hurons left,—to the number of 34 Frenchmen and two Hurons, in twelve Canoes. [page 53]

I took possession of the two leagues of land opposite Montreal, from the Grant of Monsieur de Lauzon.

More than 300 Sturgeon were taken in 15 Days, as Montreal, during our sojourn.

We started thence on the 11th, and arrived the next day at 3 rivers, where we learned of the capture of 14 Algonquains by the yroquois, above the 2nd sault from 3 rivers.

A little later, arrived the great boat from Montreal, which brought the Savages and their peltry,—Algonquain savages, I mean, who had gone to trade with the petite nation. 3 of these having been surprised by fire catching in some powder that they had, one or two had died; and a 3rd had remained on the spot, very sick. They brought news that 7 Yroquois had been killed by those of the petite nation.

At 3 rivers, no bonfire was made on St. John's day,—the governor claiming that the warehouse ought to make it, and the warehouse referring it to the governor. They made one at Quebek: it was father Vimont who took part therein, for want of another.

We left 3 rivers on the 26th, and returned hither on the 27th. On arriving, we learned that a poor sailor had been drowned, and that there had been but little fishing,—the fish having failed, and every one having taken up his nets after a month of time lost. There were plenty of fine Sturgeon, which helped people to live; but there were few if any salmon.

JULY, 1649.

On the 1st, Monsieur Bourdon sailed in a bark, to cruise as far as Gaspé, and pick up commodities; with him went 12 or 15 habitans. Father bailloquet also went, to stop at Tadousac and assist father Druillettes for some time.

On the 16th and 17th, the Abnakiois arrived, to the number of 30; they are notified that they are not to come again, and that their goods will be plundered if they return. They brought letters from the English. There was one from Mademoyselle de Repentigny to her husband, dated 31st of July, 1648, with news of the death of Monsieur de chastelets.

Item, came from Tadousac, by way of the savages, news of father lyonne's return to Miskou; of the troubles in France, etc.; and of the uncertainty as to the vessels.

On the 20th at night, arrived the sad news of the destruction of the Hurons, and of the martyrdom of 3 fathers. Vide relationem hujus anni.

The Abnaquiois take their departure, and carry away 20 bundles of Beaver.

The Day of St. Ignatius passed in this manner: there was no benediction on the eve; high mass was said on the Day; Vespers and sermon at the hospital, sung by the Mothers; and benediction at the Ursulines'.


On the 2nd, Monsieur Bourdon returns [page 57] with father bailloquet; the journey was quite successful: he brought salt, codfish, etch

On the 7th, news of the arrival of 20 Herons at 3 rivers; and then, on the 12th, departure of the soldiers, and of Domestics for the Hurons,—Tourmente, roger, Oliveau, and raison.

On the same 12th, departure of maurice and pierre Oliveau, for 3 rivers.

General inspection of the grains of the country.

On the 23rd, the arrival of three vessels, and, among others, next day, of the Cardinal. Father Charles Albanel, of the province of Toulouse, came in the first; and father la place and our brother liegeois, the next day, in the Cardinal with Medar.

The ship Næuf, which sailed from France in the month of march, not having arrived, was accounted lost. We lost thereby the value of 4000 livres.



On the 7th, Captain poulet's vessel Arrived, in which was father lyonne.

On the 19th, our brother liegeois left again with the Anglois; and, a little previously, Captain faloup.

Arrival of father Bressany with two bands—one from the Huron country, and the other encountered on the way. On the 22nd, the French brought back five thousand livres' weight of Beaver, which was more than 26 thousand livres for them; one desfosses, a soldier, with his brother, who had been a year [page 59] among the Hurons, brought for their share 747 livres' weight, for which they were paid at 4 francs a livre, and the rest at 5 livres, 5 sols.

On the 27th, arrived father André richar; and, on the 28th, our brother feuville. They came on board the nostra Dame, which did not arrive here until the month of October.

On the 28th, father Bressany left again for the Hurons, and father Charles Albanel for Montreal.


On the 3rd, father Bressany left 3 rivers again, with 4 Canoes.

On the 7th, Captain Poulet sailed; and about the same time father Bressany returned with his Hurons,—who, having arrived at the river des prairies, had turned back.

On the last day of October, father le Jeune sailed in the frigate, also the entire crew, with a captive yroquois. Item, sailed the nostra dame.

This year the trade reached 100 puncheons; the orders, a hundred thousand livres.

About the end of this same month, father Druillettes departed to winter with the Savages.


The bark for Montreal, which sailed from here the 27th of September, arrived at Montreal on the 3rd of November, and returned hither by the 22nd or 23rd.

On the 1st Sunday in Advent, which fell on the 28th, the 40 hours' devotion was observed at the hospital, with plenary Indulgence,—and this for the space of 4 Days. [page 61]

On the 2nd, the same Indulgences at the Ursulines',—all by virtue of the authority, and special privilege sent to the superior here for 15 years.

Many Hurons wintered here below,—20 at 3 rivers, and 20 down Here,—half of whom, or thereabout, lodged at the hospital. To assist them, we gave them, at the start, a cask of Eels, and a barrel of Indian corn; also 6 Blankets, 2 pairs of snowshoes, etc. For their Cabin, vide Infra.


This year, at the departure of the vessels, there began an exaction of 20 sols on each passenger ticket, to be paid to the Governor's secretary; and money was taken from the' fines, for salary or perquisites to the same secretary, and to other officers.

This same year, the wall at Sillery was begun with the Community's funds,—that is to say, the 19,000 livres appropriated by the king for the affairs of the country.

Our building also was finished as to the outside masonry, and covered; but the inside was not yet done.

I went to Sillery in the months of November and December, on a Friday, to give an exhortation; item, in January, February, and March.;

Father Bressany preached at the Church, and father Vimont taught Catechism there.

Father la place was procuror and Minister there .

We rented nostre dame des Anges at the [page 63] price of a hundred écus, without any encumbrance.

At Sillery, the savages withdrew from the enclosure as early as All Saints' day, and I went away to the woods; our brother pierre and robert le Coq spent the winter there, at the forge.

Christmas matins were said, the same as last year; one might be satisfied with ringing the last bell a little before 10 o'clock. All went well; father Bressany said the midnight mass and preached. There were four Confessors during matins; three are enough. I went to say the midnight mass at the Ursulines', with a low mass following, and the last one about 9 o ' clock .

We went, on the two following feast-days, to the religious houses, in order to salute there the Blessed Virgin and their Manger. We said the litanies of the Virgin and of the Infant Jesus, at the close.

News from 3 rivers, by the Hurons and, Algonquains. On the last Day, at evening, I gave Images in vellum. [page 65]



Relation OF 1648 - 49


Source: For the body of the Relation, we follow the "Lamoignon copy" of the first edition, in Lenox Library; for the addendum (pp. 104-114, original pagination), the Lenox copy of the second edition

¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯





in the Mission of the Fathers of the Society of Jesus, among the Hurons, a country of New France, in the years 1647 and 1648.


Sent to


Superior of the Missions of the Society of Jesus, in New France.

By Father Paul Ragueneau, of the same Society.

To be forwarded to the Reverend Father Provincial of

the same Society.




Sebastien cramoisy,



ed by

Printer in ordinary to the King;

and to the Queen Regent,

ruë St. Jac-ques, at the



Gabriel Cramoisy.

sign of the Storks.





Table of the Chapters contained in this Relation.


Relation of what occurred in the Mission of the Fathers of the Society of Jesus among the Hurons, a country of New France, in the years one thousands six hundred and forty-eight and one thousand six hundred and forty-nine.


Page 1

Chap. I.

Of the capture of the Villages of the Mission of St. Joseph, in the Summer of the year one thousand six hundred and forty-eight.



State of Christianity it these Countries, in the Winter of the same year, one thousand six hundred and forty-eight.



Of the capture of the Villages of thg Mission of St. Ignace, in the month of March of the year 1649.



Of the blessed deaths of Father Jean de Brebeuf, and Father Gabriel Lalement.



Some remarks on the life of Father Jean de Brebeuf



Present state of Christianity, and means of helping these Peoples


Extract from the Royal License.

Y grace and Privilege of the King, SEBASTIEN CRAMOISY. Sworn Merchant Book-seller in the University of Paris, and Printer in ordinary to the King and to the Queen Regent, Citizen and sometime Alderman of this City of Paris, is permitted to print, or cause to be printed, a Book entitled, Relation de ce qui s'est passé en la Mission des Peres de la Compagnie de Jesus aux Hurons, pays de la Nouvelle France, és années 1648. et 1649. Envoyée au R. P. Jerosme Lalemant Superieur des Missions de la Compagnie de Jesus, en la Nouvelle France, etc. And this, during the time and space of ten consecutive years; with prohibition to all Booksellers and Printers to print, or cause to be printed, the said Book, under pretext of disguise or alteration that they might make in it; under penalty of confiscation, and the fine imposed by the said License. Given at Paris, in December, 1649.

Signed By the King in his Council,



Permission of the Rev. Father Vice-Provincial. |

WE, Louis le Mairat, Vice-Provincial of the Society of JESUS in the Province of France, have granted for the future to sieur Sebastien Cramoisy, Merchant Bookseller, Printer in ordinary to the King and to the Queen Regent, Citizen and sometime Alderman of this City of Paris, the right to print the Relations of New France. Done at Paris, this 24th of November, 1649.


[1] Relation of what occurred in the Mission

of the Fathers of the Society of JESUS

among the Hurons, a country of New

France, in the years 1648 and 1649.

To the Reverend Father Hierosme Lalemant, Superior of the

Missions of the Society of Jesus in New France.

Pax Christi.


This Relation which I address to your Reverence will show you the progress of the Faith with regard to these peoples,—more notable than ever it had been in the past, and, next, the desolation of these Countries during the time in which Christianity has appeared in them with greatest luster. What consoles us in these desolations is that Heaven becomes enriched by our losses, and is filled with the spoils of this Church militant,—which sustains itself in the storm, and which, at the climax of the miseries which assail it on all sides, maintains itself steadfastly in its faith, and animates itself in the hope of an immortal life, which is its sole support. We see the work of our hands scattered,—or, rather, the work of the hand of God alone. a number of rising Churches which bear upon themselves the true mark of Christianity,—I mean to say, the cross of Jesus Christ. We see a great number of our Christians, who have died by the edge of the sword; Others, who have suffered both the fires and the flames,—men, women, and children, and those who have escaped the scourge of war, constrained to abandon their goods their houses, their country, and to go into the woods,—to [page 79] die from privations and hunger, in order to avoid [3] a more cruel death. It is a blessing for us that a part of this truly heavy cross is our portion for ourselves; that we have seen some of our brethren there shedding their blood and enduring torments, the cause of which may indeed enable them to pass some day for martyrs; that there is not one of us who may not expect to follow them in the midst of the burning fires, wherein they have been consumed; and that now the state of affairs is such that we are happily compelled to suffer much, and to fear everything, in the service of the great Master whose grandeur we announce in these Barbarous countries. We adore his divine guidance, over both us and our flock, we bless him for the past, and we await with love—and, I may say, with joy in our hearts—that which our nature would especially dread, for it is thus alone that he deserves to be served. We pray him that his divine will be accomplished [4] upon us, both in life and in death. Your Reverence will assist us for this purpose with your prayers, as will all those who have any love for the conversion of these Peoples.


From the House of Sainte Marie among the Hurons,

this 1st day of May, 1649.

Your very humble and obedient

servant in our Lord,

Paul Ragueneau.

[5] To the Reverend Father, Father Claude de

Lingendes, Provincial of the Society of

JESUS in the Province of France.


The Relation of the Hurons which I send to your Reverence will show you the discomfiture and desolation of those poor upper nations, the massacre of the flower of our Christians, the glorious death of three of their Pastors, and their retreat with a part of their flock into an Island of their great lake.

After all, the Baptism of more than two thousand Savages, and the courage and hope for the future wherewith God fills the minds and hearts of all those who are among the Hurons, cause me to hope much for the future.

[6] Monsieur d'Ailleboust, our Governor, has done his utmost to help the country on this occasion, sending thither forces and munitions to resist the enemies. about sixty Frenchmen have gone up thither this year in two bands, the first of which was to return this Autumn, and the other to winter in the country. We do not yet know the outcome of their journey, I pray God that it be fortunate.

I do not send for this year any other relation to Your Reverence than that of the Hurons,—not that we lack cause for furnishing as much consolation as ever to Your Reverence in regard to the Missions down here, where the Savage Christians are increasing in number and in virtue beyond all our hopes,—but in order to interrupt the course of the usual Relations for this lower region. Their continuation without intermission, particularly on the [page 83] occasion of so extraordinary a relation [7] for the upper countries, might seem intrusive and affected.

The Iroquois have given us a little repose down here, but I know not whether it will be for long. our consolation is, that the differences of tines are as subject to God as those of places, and that we ought to be only too content with everything which it shall please his divine Majesty to ordain .

Be this as it may, Your Reverence sufficiently sees that we have need of extraordinary help from your holy Sacrifices and Prayers, which we very humbly pray you to grant us, and which we confidently expect from your goodness and charity toward us.


From Quebec, this 8th Very humble and very obe-

of September, 1649. dient servant in Our Lord,

Hierosme Lalemant.

[page 85]



AST Summer, in the past year, 1648, the Iroquois, enemies of the Hurons, took from them two frontier villages, from which most of the defenders had gone forth,—some for the chase, and others for purposes of war, in which they could meet no success. These two frontier places composed the Mission which we named for St. Joseph; the principal of these villages contained about 400 families, where the Faith had long sustained itself with luster, and where the Christians were increasing in number, and still more in holiness, through the indefatigable labors of Father Antoine Daniel, one of the earliest Missionaries in these regions.

Hardly had the Father ended Mass, and the Christians—who, according to their custom, had filled the Church after the rising of the [9] Sun—were still continuing their devotions there, when the cry arose, " To arms! and repel the enemy! "—who, having come unexpectedly, had made his approaches by night. Some hasten to the combat, others to flight: there is naught but alarm and terror everywhere. The Father, among the first to rush where he sees the danger greatest, encourages his people to a brave defense; and—as if he had seen Paradise open for the Christians, and Hell on the point of swallowing up all the Infidels—he speaks to them in a tone so [page 87] animated with the spirit which was possessing him, that, having made a breach in hearts which till then had been most rebellious, he gave them a Christian heart. The number of these proved to be so great that, unable to cope with it by baptizing them one after the other, he was constrained to dip his handkerchief in the water (which was all that necessity then offered him), in order to shed abroad as quickly as possible this grace on those poor Savages, who cried mercy to him,—using the manner of baptizing which is called " by aspersion."

Meanwhile, the enemy continued his attacks more furiously than ever; and, without doubt, it was a great blessing [10] for the salvation of some that, at the moment of their death, Baptism had given them the life of the soul, and put them in possession of an immortal life.

When the Father saw that the Iroquois were becoming masters of the place, he,—instead of taking flight with those who were inviting him to escape in their company,—forgetting himself, remembered some old men and sick people, whom he had long ago prepared for Baptism. He goes through the cabins, and proceeds to fill them with his zeal,—the Infidels themselves presenting their children in crowds, in order to make Christians of them.

Meanwhile the enemy, already victorious, had set everything on fire, and the blood of even the women and children irritated their fury. The Father, wishing to die in his Church, finds it full of Christians, and of Catechumens who ask him for Baptism. It was indeed at that time that their faith animated their prayers, and that their hearts could not belie their tongues. He baptizes some, gives absolution [page 89] to others, and consoles them all with the sweetest hope of the Saints,—having hardly other words on his lips than these: " My Brothers, [11] to day we shall be in Heaven."

The enemy was warned that the Christians had betaken themselves, in very great number, into the Church, and that it was the easiest and the richest prey that he could have hoped for; he hastens thither, with barbarous howls and stunning yells. At the noise of these approaches, " Flee, my Brothers," said the Father to his new Christians, " and bear with you your faith even to the last sigh. As for me " (he added), " I must face death here, as long as I shall see here any soul to be gained for Heaven; and, dying here to save you, my life is no longer anything to me; we shall see one another again in Heaven." At the same time, he goes out in the direction whence come the enemy, who stop in astonishment to see one man alone come to meet them, and even recoil backward, as if he bore upon his face the terrible and frightful appearance of a whole company. Finally,—having come to their senses a little, and being astonished at themselves,—they incite one another; they surround him on all sides, and cover him with arrows, until, having inflicted upon him a mortal wound from an arquebus shot,—which pierced him through and through, in the very middle of his breast,—he fell. Pronouncing [12] the name of JESUS, he blessedly yielded up his soul to God,—truly as a good Pastor, who exposes both his soul and his life for the salvation of his Rock.

It was then that those Barbarians rushed upon him with as much rage as if he alone had been the object of their hatred. They strip him naked, they exercise [page 91] upon him a thousand indignities; and there was hardly any one who did not try to assume the glory of having given him the final blow, even on seeing him dead.

The fire meanwhile was consuming the cabins; and when it had spread as far as the Church, the Father was cast into it, at the height of the flames, which soon made of him a whole burnt-offering. Be this as it may, he could not have been more gloriously consumed than in the fires and lights of a Chapelle ardente.

While the enemy delayed around the Pastor of that Church, his poor scattered flock had at least more leisure to escape; and many, in fact, betook themselves to a place of safety,—indebted for their lives to the death of their father. The others could not escape promptly enough,—especially some poor distressed mothers, who succumbed beneath the burden of three [13] or four children; or who, having attempted to hide themselves in the depth of the forest, saw themselves discovered there through the innocent cries of an age which betrays itself, calling upon itself the misfortune which it most fears.

It was fourteen years during which this good Father had been working in this Mission of the Hurons,—with an indefatigable care, a generous courage in enterprises, an insurmountable patience, and an unalterable meekness; and with a charity which knew how to excuse everything, bear everything, and love every one. His humility was sincere; his obedience was thorough, and always ready to endure all and to do all. His zeal accompanied him even to death, which did not surprise him unexpectedly, although it was very sudden. For he always [page 93] bore his soul in his hands,—it being over nine years that he had spent in the most frontier districts of this country, and in the Missions most exposed to the enemy,—awaiting with hope and love the blessing of the death which fell to his portion.

But, no doubt, the Providence of God had led him to this death in a special manner; for it was only two days since he had made a general confession, [14] and had finished, in this House of Sainte Marie, the Spiritual Exercises of the Society in a retreat of eight days, which he had taken expressly for dealing with God alone, and for preparing himself for the passage to Eternity. It was there that he became more than ever inflamed with the desire to lavish his blood and his life for the salvation of souls,—in such sort that, having finished his Exercises, he would not take even a day of rest, feeling himself called by God to the labors of his Mission, whereinto he bore that fire from Heaven with which, no doubt, his soul was more ablaze than ever his body has been, though blessedly consumed in the midst of the flames. He had separated himself from us on the second day of July; the next day, having arrived in his Mission, he preached to all the Christians, and confessed a great number of them,—telling them that they should prepare themselves for death. On the 4th day of July, at the very time when the enemy appeared, he had just left the altar, and was again preaching to those good Neophytes about the joys of Paradise, and the happiness of those who die in the service of God. These were his last discourses,—being nearer to death than he thought; but [15] God was conducting him thither with as much blessedness as if he had had some assurance of it. [page 95]

He is the first of our Society who has died in this Mission of the Hurons. He was a native of Dieppe, being born of very honest and worthy parents,; He seemed to have been born only for the salvation of these Peoples, and had no stronger desire than to die for them. We hope that in Heaven all this country will have in him a powerful intercessor before God.

Although some reasons might oblige me, perhaps, to be more reserved in publishing what follows, I have nevertheless believed it my duty to render to God the glory which is due him herein. That good Father appeared after his death to one of ours, on two different occasions; on one, he showed himself in a state of glory, wearing the aspect of a man about thirty years old, although he died at the age of forty-eight. The thought which most readily occurred to the person to whom he appeared was, to ask him how the divine goodness had permitted the body of his servant to be so unworthily treated after his death, and so reduced to powder that we even [16] had not had the happiness of being able to gather up its ashes. Magnus Dominus, et laudabilis nimis, he answered,—" Truly, God is great and adorable forever; he has regarded the reproaches cast upon this his servant, and, in order to recompense them in God, great as he is, he has given me many souls which were in Purgatory,—who have accompanied my entrance into Heaven and my triumph there."

Another time, he was seen to be present at an assembly that we held in regard to means for advancing the Faith in these countries,—when he appeared, strengthening us with his courage, and filling us with his light, and with the spirit of God with which he was completely invested. [page 97]

Be this as it may, he has left behind him with us the example of all his virtues; and with all the Savages, even the Infidels, so tender an affection for his memory, that I may say in truth that he has ravished the hearts of all those who have ever known him.

A part of those who had escaped from the capture and burning of that Mission of Saint Joseph came to take refuge near our house of Sainte Marie. The number of those who had there been [17] killed or taken captive was probably about seven hundred souls, mostly women and children; the number of those who escaped was much greater. We tried to assist them out of our poverty,—to clothe the naked, and to feed those poor people, who were dying of hunger; to mourn with the afflicted, and to console them with the hope of Paradise. If only God receive his glory from our losses they will always be a source of gladness to us; and that is enough for us, whatever it may cost us, provided that we see the number of the Elect increase for eternity, since it is for Heaven that we labor, and not for the earth. [page 99]




HE victorious return of the Huron fleet, which had gone down to three rivers in the Spring, and the aid received,—four of our Fathers, and a score of Frenchmen, who fortunately arrived here at the beginning of the month of September,—[18] was an act of God's love over these Peoples, and the salvation of many souls whom he wished to prepare for Heaven. For, finding ourselves more capable of bearing to a greater distance the word and the name of God,—our number being increased above the eighteen of our Fathers who were here,—fifteen were distributed among eleven various Missions. I felt myself obliged to send the greater part of them without other company save that of the guardian Angels of these Peoples, having given the four newly-arrived Fathers to serve as assistants in the most arduous Missions,—where, while rendering some assistance, they could at the same time learn the language of the country.

Of these eleven Missions, eight have been for the people of the Huron tongue, and the three others for the Missions of the Algonquin language. Everywhere, the progress of the Faith has surpassed our hopes,—most minds, even those formerly most fierce, becoming so docile, and so submissive to the preaching of the Gospel, that it was sufficiently apparent that [page 101] the Angels were laboring there much more than we.

The number of those who have received [19] holy Baptism within a year is about eighteen hundred persons, without including therein a multitude of people who were baptized by Father Antoine Daniel on the day of the capture of Saint Joseph. Of these we have been as little able to keep account, as of those whom Father Jean de Brebeuf and Father Gabriel Lalemant baptized at the capture of the villages in the Mission of saint Ignace, as we shall relate hereafter. It is enough for us that Heaven has kept good account of them; since, truly speaking, these Baptisms have served only to enrich the Church triumphant.

We do not yet know the success of a new Mission which we began last Autumn in an Algonquin Nation, about sixty leagues distant from us. one of our Fathers was sent thither to winter with those Peoples, who had been urging us for several years to go and instruct them.

We have not been able to receive any news of him during the eight months since he left us. What we cannot doubt is, that he must have had much to suffer there: but what consoles us is, our certain knowledge that everywhere sufferings [20] have been the price due for the conversion of the Nations conquered for the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. These peoples inhabit an Island which has a circumference of about sixty leagues, in our great Lake or fresh-water Sea, as we go toward the West. This Island is named Ekaentoton, which has given the name to the peoples who inhabit it; we have named it the Island of Sainte Marie.

The Mission of la Conception, being older than [page 103] all the others, not only has continued to bear the ripest fruits for Heaven, but it has become so fashioned in the true spirit of Christianity that it has served as example and model for all the other Nations, which have seen in its morals what the Faith can do in a country although Barbarian, when it has become Christian. Men, women, and children there have made so open a profession of what they wished to be till death, that often the neighboring nations gave them no other name save this, " the Nation of Christians. "

In fact, their Captains have been ardent there in maintaining the faith; and all the families have so generally submitted themselves to it [21] that, as very few Infidels remained among them, the Christians would no longer tolerate any of their former customs which remained from Infidelity, or which clashed with good morals.

At the beginning of the Winter, these good Neophytes assembled a general Council, in order to confer upon means of strengthening the Faith among them. Their conclusion was that it was necessary to apply to the Father who has charge of that Mission, that he might cut off, in their customs, those which are contrary to the Faith; that he should correct in others, unimportant in themselves all evil which might in any way corrupt the use of them; and that they would obey him in every point, and would regard him as bearing the word of God,—and, hereafter, as the chief of their Captains. The best is, that they have kept their word in that; and that in the slightest doubts which could arise, the Captains themselves came to the Father to receive and execute his orders. [page 105]

Toward the end of the Winter, some of the more stubborn Infidels having wished, for the cure of a sick man, to have recourse to certain [22] remedies, wherein indecency is, as it were, in its kingdom,—the girls deeming it an honor, on these occasions, to prostitute their honor itself,—not one of these Christians could be found who would listen to it. Some Infidel Captains of the neighboring Nations, who had been called in to aid this design, and to lend their voices to it, were constrained to withdraw, to their own confusion,—having found both hearts that were proof against temptation, and ears which were no longer open save for the words of Heaven.

Here is an act of zeal which has appeared to me considerable, in an old man aged nearly eighty years, who can have no warmth but that which the Faith gives him. It happened at a public recreation, where the custom of the country is, that the warriors, entering into a kind of martial fury, are permitted to burst open and break in the doors of the cabins,—as they would do while giving assault, and attacking some hostile place. A certain Infidel, a man of great credit for making a bold stroke,—and, as is supposed, in order to avenge himself, under a specious pretext, for some refusal which the Christians had given him in some matter wherein they feared sin,—undertook to break open [23] the door of the Church, and to fell a tree, at the top of which was hung the bell which rang as a signal for Masses and for public Prayers. In order to deal his blow with more assurance, this Infidel went about, entering the cabins, and singing, in a tone animated with fury, that has dream had commanded him to strike down t e Frenchmen's bell. This means that, according to [page 107] the customs of this country, it would have been an unheard of crime to oppose in the least degree the fulfillment of a dream proclaimed so openly. A good old Christian, hearing these threats, had recourse to our Lord, and, adoring him, offered him his life, rather than to permit an insolence which, he judged, would be to the reproach of Christianity. After having offered his prayer, hearing the voice of the Infidel,—who was advancing, hatchet in hand, on the point of dealing his blow,—he puts himself in between. " A blow from the hatchet," he said, " will better fall on my head than on a house consecrated to the honor of God." The Infidel is quite astonished. " No, no," said the Christian, " I openly profess that, as regards my death, I do not wish that any justice be exacted for it; neither the public, nor the man [24] who should kill me, will be in trouble about that. But I cannot be a witness of such profanation to the holiness of a house where God is adored; nor can I consent that the voice be brought low which summons us to invoke him" (thus he named the Church bell). The Infidel—who, according to the custom of these Countries, ought rather to have let himself be slain than to stop his own blow—found himself so surprised by this kind of opposition, which he had never expected, that he became colder than marble,—both admiring the zeal of that good old man, and wondering at himself for having met with resistance, at once so earnest in its purpose and so gentle, through a working which indeed had nothing of Nature about it.

The other Missions have been efficiently aided by these examples, which have preached louder than our words; and, no doubt, the Angels of Heaven have [page 109] taken pleasure in seeing, in all the regions of this country, the Faith respected, and the Christians glorying in that name which was in reproach there oil very few years ago. As for me, I would never have believed that I could see, after fifty years of labor, the tenth part of the piety, the virtue, and [25] the holiness of which I have everywhere been witness in the visits that I have made to these Churches, which have been arising in the midst of Infidelity. It has been a most heartfelt joy to me, to see the diligence of the Christians, which anticipated the Sunrise, in order to come to the public prayers, and how these poor people, harassed with toil, would come in a crowd before night, to render new homage to God; to see the children imitate the piety of their fathers,—accustoming themselves, at that innocent age, to offer to God their pains, their griefs, and their little labors Often little girls, going into the forest to cut some firewood there, have no more delightful conversation than to say their Rosaries; and, with a holy emulation, they take all their pleasure in seeing who might surpass her little companions in this piety. But what has most delighted me is to see that the sentiments of the Faith have so far entered these hearts, which we formerly called Barbarian, that I may truthfully say that grace has stifled in many of them the fears, the desires, the joys, and the feelings of Nature.

A little child of six years was extremely [26] sick in the Mission of saint Michel. His mother was unable to contain her tears, seeing the excess of his pain, and the approach of death to this her only son. " My mother," said to her this child, " why do you weep your tears will not give me back my health; but rather let us pray to God together, so that I may [page 111] be very happy in Heaven." After some prayers, his mother said to him, " My son, I must carry thee to Sainte Marie, so that the French may restore thee thy health." " Alas! my mother," said to her thief little innocent, " I have a fire burning in my head could they indeed quench it? I no longer think o life,—have no desire of it for me; but I will wart you of my death, and, when it is near, I will pray you to carry me to Sainte Marie, for I wish to die there, and to be buried there with the excellent Christians." In fact, some days later, this child warned his mother that his death was near, and that it was time to carry him to us. It is the custom in these countries, when any one is near death, to make a solemn feast to which are invited all the friends and the most considerable persons,—about a hundred. The mother would not [27] fail in this obligation,—desiring also to apprise all the people of the sentiments which her son had toward the Faith. This child, having seen the preparations for the feasts said to her: " What! my mother, would you have me sin so nigh to my death? I renounce all these superstitions of the country; I wish to die a good Christian." This child believed that that custom was among the number of those forbidden; and although his mother, an excellent Christian, assured him that there was no evil in that, he would never believe her, and could not resolve to comply with her wish, until the Father who has charge of that Mission had assured him that in that feast there was no sin. This little Angel was brought to us; and he died in our arms, praying even till death, and telling us that he was going straight to Heaven, and that he would pray to God for us; and he even asked his mother [page 113] for which of his relatives she wished him to pray chiefly, when he should be near God,—saying that no doubt he would be heard. He has been; for, shortly after his death, an uncle of his, one of those most rebellious against the Faith in these countries, and an aunt of his, asked us for instruction, and have become Christians.

[28] A little girl of five years, at the Mission of saint Ignace, of Infidel parents, came every day to prayers, morning and evening. She had so constantly adhered to this duty, even against the wishes and the prohibitions of her parents, that we could not refuse her Holy Baptism,—seeing that the spirit of the Faith was abundantly compensating in her for the years that she might lack in order freely to dispose of herself in a matter wherein grace has more right than nature. Some time after, this child fell sick; the Infidel parents, having recourse to the superstitions of the country, sent to fetch the Magician,—or, to speak more correctly, an impostor who made profession of that trade of hell. This juggler does not fail to say, as is his wont, that a certain Demon had reduced their daughter to that state; and that, in order to expel him, it was necessary to present the patient with some embellishments and ornaments of clothing, of which the girls of that age are sufficiently desirous. The little sick girl, although she was very low, nevertheless had strength enough, and her faith gave her courage enough, to belie this impostor. " I am a Christian," she said to her parents; " the Devils have no longer [29] any power over me. I do not consent to the sin that you have just committed, in consulting the Demons; I do not wish their remedies. God alone will cure me; let [page 115] this Magician go away." The father and mothers and all those present, were much astonished at this rebuke,—so innocent, but yet so efficacious that they made that juggler withdraw, not wishing to grieve this sick child. But their astonishment increased when, on that very day, this child asked to be carried to the Church, asserting that she would get well,—as, in fact, it happened. This event has beers the means of converting the father and the mother, who have adopted their daughter's faith, and have received Baptism after her,—blessing God for having called them with so much gentleness.

A young girl of fifteen years, among the most accomplished in the country, still a Catechumen, had been taken captive toward the end of last year's disinter; the enemies, however, had spared her life, and she remained with them in her captivity. She was the daughter and sister of two excellent Christians, who had no greater regret in the loss which they had incurred, than that this poor captive had not [30] yet been baptized. She, too, in her captivity did not forget her faith and often exclaimed to God: " My God,—and the God of my mother and my sister, who know you better than I, and who serve you so faithfully,—have pity on me! I have not been baptized; grant me this favor before I diets One day, when this poor afflicted one was in a field of Indian corn, which she was planting for those whose slave she was, she heard voices from Heaven which were singing a ravishing music in the air, from the chant of our Vespers, which she had formerly heard. She looks about her, supposing that some Frenchmen would accost her; but she sees nothing else. she kneels down, and prays to God [page 117] with all her heart; and she conceives a hope of seeing herself delivered from her captivity, though she sees neither means nor any probability of this Some days afterward, the same thing happens to her; she kneels again, with the same sentiments. Finally, having for the third time heard these same voices from Heaven,—and feeling her confidence increased, and her courage more animated,—she prays to God and hastens into a road which she [31] did not know, in order to return to these countries, without victuals, without provisions, without escort, but not without the guidance of him alone who had inspired her, and who gave her sufficient strength to arrive here, having traveled more than eighty leagues without any evil encounter.

She asked us for Baptism from the day of her arrival; and, seeing the hand of God over her with so much love, we could not put her off. she had come straight to this house of Sainte Marie, although her shorter way would have carried her to the village to which her parents belonged. Since then, she has continually increased in fervor, and cannot grow weary with relating to every one the mercies of God. Often, in her captivity, she found herself solicited to what she could not grant without losing innocence; but never could they draw from her lips even a single word of agreement. She even carried this so far that, seeing her in this disposition, which was not pleasing to those shameless Barbarians, some had often spoken of beating her to death; and she was awaiting that death with patience, preferring to die rather than to commit any sin.

This chapter would have no end, if I [32] should relate the effects of grace upon these poor Savages,—[page 119] which we admire every day, and for which we will bless God forever in Heaven, without weariness and without distaste. I cannot, however, omit a sufficiently prevailing sentiment of many good Christians, who—having lost all their property, their children, and what they had most precious in this world, and being even upon the point of undergoing a voluntary exile from their country which they were forsaking in order to avoid the cruelty of the Iroquois, their enemies—thanked God for it, and said to him: " My God, may you be blessed; I cannot regret these losses, since the Faith has taught me that the love which you have for the Christians is not in regard to the goods of this world, but for eternity. I bless you in my losses, with as good a heart as I have ever done; for you are my Father, and it is enough that I know that you love me, that I should be content with all the evils which can happen to me.

But what most astonishes me in these encounters is, that these feelings do not come at a late flour, after nature and passion might have possessed the first [33] emotions of the heart; grace often anticipates them, and becomes mistress even of the first impulses, which incline toward Heaven more readily than to the things of earth. May God be forever blessed for this. [page 121]



HE progress of the Faith kept increasing from day to day, and the blessings of Heaven were flowing down in abundance upon these peoples, when God chose to derive from them his glory in ways which are adorable, and which belong to the jurisdiction of his divine providence,—although they have been very severe for us, and were not in our expectations.

The 16th day of March in the present year, 1649, marked the beginning of our misfortunes,—if, however, that be a misfortune which no doubt has been the salvation of many of God's elect.

[34] The Iroquois, enemies of the Hurons, to the number of about a thousand men, well furnished with weapons,—and mostly with firearms, which they obtain from the Dutch, their allies,—arrived by night at the frontier of this country, without our having had any knowledge of their approach; although they had started from their country in the Autumn, hunting in the forests throughout the Winter, and had made over the snow nearly two hundred leagues of a very difficult road, in order to come and surprise us. They reconnoitered by night the condition of the first place upon which they had designs,—which was Surrounded with a stockade of pine trees, [page 123] from fifteen to sixteen feet in height, and with a deep ditch, wherewith nature had strongly fortified this place on three sides,—there remaining only a little a space which was weaker than the others.

It was at that point that the enemy made a breach at daybreak, but so secretly and promptly that he was master of the place before people had put themselves on the defensive,—all being then in a deep sleep, and not having leisure to reconnoiter their situation. Thus this village was taken, almost without striking a blow, there having been only ten Iroquois [35] killed. Part of the Hurons—men, women, and children—were massacred then and there; the others were made captives, and reserved for cruelties more terrible than death.

Three men alone escaped, almost naked, across the snows; they bore the alarm and terror to another and neighboring village, about a league distant. This first village was the one which we called Saint Ignace, which had been abandoned by most of its people at the beginning of the Winter,—the most apprehensive and most clear-sighted having withdrawn from it, foreboding the danger; thus the loss of it was not so considerable, and amounted only to about four hundred souls.

The enemy does not stop there; he follows up his victory, and before Sunrise he appears in arms to attack the village of Saint Louys, which was fortified with a fairly good stockade. Most of the women, and the children, had just gone from it, upon hearing the news which had arrived regarding the approach of the Iroquois. The people of most courage, about eighty persons, being resolved to [36] defend themselves well, repulse with courage the [page 125] first and the second assault, having killed among the enemy some thirty of their most venturesome men, besides many wounded. But, finally, number has the advantage,—the Iroquois having undermined with blows of their hatchets the palisade of stakes, and having made a passage for themselves through considerable breaches.

Toward nine o'clock in the morning, we perceived from our house at Sainte Marie the fire which was consuming the cabins of that village, where the enemy, having entered victoriously, had reduced everything to desolation,—casting into the midst of the flames the old men, the sick, the children who had not been able to escape, and all those who, being too severely wounded, could not have followed them into captivity. At the sight of those flames, and by the color of the smoke which issued from them, we understood sufficiently what was happening,—this village of Saint Louys not being farther distant from us than one league. Two Christians, who escaped from the fire, arrived almost at the same time, and gave us assurance of it.

In this village of Saint Louys were at that time two of our Fathers,—Father Jean de Brebeuf and Father Gabriel Lallement, [37] who had charge of five closely neighboring villages; these formed but one of the eleven Missions of which we have spoken above; we named it the Mission of St. Ignace.

Some Christians had begged the Fathers to preserve their lives for the glory of God,—which would have been as easy for them as for the more than 500 persons who went away at the first alarm, and had abundant leisure to reach a place of security; but their zeal could not permit them, and the salvation [page 127] of their flock was dearer to them than love for their own lives. They employed all the moments of that time, as the most precious which they had ever had in the world; and, during the heat of the combat, their hearts were only fire for the salvation of souls. One was at the breach, baptizing the Catechumens; the other, giving absolution to the Neophytes,—both animating the Christians to die in the sentiments of piety, with which they consoled them in their miseries. Accordingly, never was their faith, or the love which they had for their good Fathers and Pastors, more lively.

An Infidel, seeing affairs in a desperate condition, spoke of taking to flight; a [38] Christian, named Estienne Annaotaha, the most esteemed in the country for his courage and his exploits over the enemy, would never allow it. " What! " he said, " could we ever abandon these two good Fathers, who for us have exposed their lives? The love which they have had for our salvation will be the cause of their death; there is no longer time for them to flee across the snows. Let us then die with them, and we shall go in company to Heaven."

This man had made a general confession a very few days previously,—having had a presentiment of the danger wherein he saw himself involved, and saying that he wished that death should find him disposed for Heaven. And indeed he, as well as many other Christians, had abandoned himself to fervor in a manner so extraordinary, that we shall never be sufficiently able to bless the guidance of God over so many predestinated souls, for whom his divine Providence continues directing with love all the moments, both of life and of death. [page 129]

All this band of Christians fell, mostly alive, into the hands of the enemy; and with them, our two Fathers, the Pastors of that Church. They were [39] not killed on the spot; God was reserving them for much nobler crowns, of which we will speak hereafter.

The Iroquois having dealt their blow, and wholly reduced to fire the village of Saint Louys, retraced their steps into that of Saint Ignace, where they had left a good garrison, that it might be for them a sure retreat in case of misfortune, and that the victuals which they had found there might serve them as refreshments and provisions for their return.

On the evening of the same day, they sent scouts to reconnoiter the condition of our house at Sainte Marie; their report having been made in the Council of war, the decision was adopted to come and attack us the next morning,—promising themselves a victory which would be more glorious to them than all the successes of their arms in the past. We were in a good state of defense, and saw not one of our Frenchmen who was not resolved to sell his life very dear, and to die in a cause which—being for the interests of the Faith, and the maintenance of Christianity in these countries—was more the cause of God than ours; moreover, our greatest confidence as in him.

[40] Meanwhile, a part of the Hurons, who are called Atinniaoenten (that is to say, the nation of those who wear a Bear on their coat of arms), having armed in haste, were at hand the next morning, the seventeenth of March, about three hundred warriors,—who, while awaiting a more powerful help, [page 131] secreted themselves in the ways of approach, intending to surprise some portion of the enemy.

About two hundred Iroquois having detached themselves from their main body, in order to get the start and proceed to the attack of our house, encountered some advance-guards of that Huron troop. The latter straightway took flight after some skirmishing, and were eagerly pursued until within sight of our fort,—many having been killed while they were in disorder in the midst of the snows. But the more courageous of the Hurons, having stood firm against those who joined combat with them, had some advantage on their side, and constrained the Iroquois to take refuge within the palisades of the village of Saint Louys,—which had not been burned, but only the cabins. These Iroquois were forced into that palisade, and about thirty of them were taken captives.

[41] The main body of the enemy, having heard of the defeat of their men, came to attack our people in the very midst of their victory. Our men were the choicest Christians of the village of la Conception, and some others of the village of la Magdelaine. Their courage was not depressed, although they were only about one hundred and fifty. They proceed to prayers, and sustain the assault of a place which, having been so recently captured and recaptured, was no longer adequate for defense. The shock was furious on both sides,—our people having made many sallies, notwithstanding their small number, and having often constrained the enemy to give way. But,—the combat having continued quite far into the night,—as not more than a score of Christians, mostly wounded, were left, the victory remained wholly in the hands of the Infidels. It had, however, [page 133] cost them very dear, as their Chief had been seriously wounded, and they had lost nearly a hundred men on the spot, of their best and most courageous.

All night our French were in arms, waiting to see at our gates this victorious enemy. We redoubled our devotions, in which were our strongest [42] hopes, since our help could only come from Heaven. Seeing ourselves on the eve of the feast of the glorious Saint Joseph, the Patron of this country, we felt ourselves constrained to have recourse to a Protector so powerful. We made a vow to say, every month, each a Mass in his honor, during the space of a whole year, for those who should be Priests. And all, as many as there were people here, joined to this, by vow, sundry Penances, to the end of preparing us more holily for the accomplishment of the will of God concerning us, whether for life or for death; for we all regarded ourselves as so many victims consecrated to Our Lord, who must await from his hand the hour when they should be sacrificed for his glory, without undertaking to delay or to wish to hasten the moments thereof.

The whole day passed in a profound silence on both sides,—the country being in terror and in the expectation of some new misfortune.

On the nineteenth, the day of the great Saint Joseph, a sudden panic fell upon the hostile camp,—some withdrawing in disorder, and others thinking only of [43] flight. Their Captains were constrained to yield to the terror which had seized them; they precipitated their retreat, driving forth in haste a part of their captives, who were burdened above their strength, like packhorses, with the spoils which the victorious were carrying off,—their captors [page 135] reserving for some other occasion the matter of their death.

As for the other captives who were left to them, destined to die on the spot, they attached them to stakes fastened in the earth, which they had arranged in various cabins. To these, on leaving the village, they set fire on all sides,—taking pleasure, at their departure, in feasting upon the frightful cries which these poor victims uttered in the midst of those flames, where children were broiling beside their mothers; where a husband saw his wife roasting near him; where cruelty itself would have had compassion at a spectacle which had nothing human about it, except the innocence of those who were in torture, most of whom were Christians.

An old woman, escaped from the midst of that fire, bore the news of it to the village of Saint Michel, where there were about [44] seven hundred men in arms, who charged upon the enemy; but, not having been able to overtake him after two days' march, partly the want of provisions, partly the dread of combatting without advantage an enemy encouraged by his victories, and one who had mostly firearms, of which our Hurons have very few,—all these things obliged them to retrace their steps, without having done aught. They found upon the roads, from time to time, various captives, who—not having strength enough to follow the conqueror, who was precipitating his retreat—had had their heads split by a blow of the hatchet; others remained, half burned, at a post. [page 137]



S early as the next morning, when we had assurance of the departure of the enemy,—having had, before that, certain news, through some escaped captives, of the deaths of Father Jean de Brebeuf and of Father Gabriel Lallement,—we sent [45] one of our Fathers and seven other Frenchmen to seek their bodies at the place of their torture. They found there a spectacle of horror,—the remains of cruelty itself: or rather the relics of the love of God, which alone triumphs in the death of Martyrs.

I would gladly call them, if I were allowed, by that glorious name, not only because voluntarily, for the love of

God and for the salvation of their neighbor, they exposed themselves to death, and to a cruel death, if ever there was one in the world,—for they could easily and without sin have put their lives in safety, if they had not been filled with love for God rather than for themselves. But much rather would I thus call them, because, in addition to the charitable dispositions which they have manifested on their side, hatred for the Faith and contempt for the name of God have been among the most powerful incentives which have influenced the mind of the Barbarians to practice upon them as many cruelties as ever the rage of tyrants obliged the Martyrs to [page 139] endure, who, at the climax of their tortures, have triumphed over both life and death.

As soon as they were taken captive, they were stripped naked, and [46] some of their nails were torn out; and the welcome which they received upon entering the village of St. Ignace was a hailstorm of blows with sticks upon their shoulders, their loins, their legs, their breasts, their bellies, and their faces,—there being no part of their bodies which did not then endure its torment.

Father Jean de Brebeuf, overwhelmed under the burden of these blows, did not on that account lose care for his flock; seeing himself surrounded with Christians whom he had instructed, and who were in captivity with him, he said to them: " My children, let us lift our eyes to Heaven at the height of our afflictions; let us remember that God is the witness of our sufferings, and will soon be our exceeding great reward. Let us die in this faith; and let us hope from his goodness the fulfillment of his promises. I have more pity for you than for myself; but sustain with courage the few remaining torments. They will end with our lives; the glory which follows them will never have an end." " Echon," they said to him (this is the name which the Hurons gave the Father), " our spirits will be in Heaven when our bodies shall be suffering on earth. Pray to God for us, that he may show us mercy; we will invoke him [47] even until death."

Some Huron Infidels—former captives of the Iroquois, naturalized among them, and former enemies of the Faith—were irritated by these words, and because our Fathers in their captivity had not their tongues captive. They cut off the hands of one, and [page 141] pierce the other with sharp awls and iron points; they apply under their armpits and upon their loins hatchets heated red in the fire, and put a necklace of these about their necks in such a way that all the motions of their bodies gave them a new torture. For, if they attempted to lean forward, the red-hot hatchets which hung behind them burned the shoulders everywhere; and if they thought to avoid that pain, bending back a little, their stomachs and breasts experienced a similar torment; if they stood upright, without leaning to one side or the other, these glowing hatchets, touching them alike on all sides, were a double torture to them. They put about them belts of bark, filled with pitch and resin, to which they set fire, which scorched the whole of their bodies.

At the height of these torments, [48] Father Gabriel Lallement lifted his eyes to Heaven, clasping his hands from time to time, and uttering sighs to God, whom he invoked to his aid. Father Jean de Brebeuf suffered like a rock, insensible to the fires and the flames, without uttering any cry, and keeping a profound silence, which astonished his executioners themselves: no doubt, his heart was then reposing in his God. Then, returning to himself, he preached to those Infidels, and still more to many good Christian captives, who had compassion on him.

Those butchers, indignant at his zeal, in order to hinder him from further speaking of God, girdled his mouth, cut off his nose, and tore off his lips; but his blood spoke much more loudly than his lips had done; and, his heart not being yet torn out, his tongue did not fail to render him service until the last sigh, for blessing God for these torments, and [page 143] for animating the Christians more vigorously than he had ever done.

In derision of holy Baptism,—which these good Fathers had so charitably administered even at the breach, and in the hottest of the fight,—those wretches, enemies [49] of the Faith, bethought themselves to baptize them with boiling water. Their bodies were entirely bathed with it, two or three times, and more, with biting gibes, which accompanied these torments. " we baptize thee," said these wretches, " to the end that thou mayst be blessed in Heaven; for without proper Baptism one cannot be saved." Others added, mocking, " we treat thee as a friend, since we shall be the cause of thy greatest happiness up in Heaven; thank us for so many good offices,—for, the more thou sufferest, the more thy God will reward thee. "

These were Infidel Hurons, former captives of the Iroquois, and, of old, enemies of the Faith,—who, having previously had sufficient instruction for their salvation, impiously abused it,—in reality, for the glory of the Fathers; but it is much to be feared that it was also for their own misfortune.

The more these torments were augmented, the more the Fathers entreated God that their sins should not be the cause of the reprobation of these poor blind ones, whom they pardoned with all their heart. It is surely now that they say in repose, Transivimus [50] per ignem et aquam, et eduxisti nos in refrigerium.

When they were fastened to the post where they suffered these torments, and where they were to die, they knelt down, they embraced it with joy, and kissed it piously as the object of their desires and their love, and as a sure and final pledge of their [page 145] salvation. They were there some time in prayers, and longer than those butchers were willing to permit them. They put out Father Gabriel Lallement's eyes and applied burning coals in the hollows of the same.

Their tortures were not of the same duration. Father Jean de Brebeuf was at the height of his torments at about three o'clock on the same day of the capture, the 16th day of March, and rendered up his soul about four o ' clock in the evening. Father Gabriel Lallement endured longer, from six o'clock in the evening until about nine o'clock the next morning, the seventeenth of March.

Before their death, both their hearts were torn out, by means of an opening above the breast; and those Barbarians inhumanly feasted thereon, drinking their blood quite warm, which they drew from [51] its source with sacrilegious hands. While still quite full of life, pieces of flesh were removed from their thighs, from the calves of the legs, and from their arms,—which those executioners placed on coals to roast, and ate in their sight.

They had slashed their bodies in various parts; and, in order to increase the feeling of pain, they had thrust into these wounds red-hot hatchets.

Father Jean de Brebeuf had had the skin which covered his skull torn away; they had cut off his feet and torn the flesh from his thighs, even to the bone, and had split, with the blow of a hatchet, one of his jaws in two.

Father Gabriel Lallement had received a hatchet- blow on the left ear, which they had driven into his brain, which appeared exposed; we saw no part of his body, from the feet even to the head, which had [page 147] not been broiled, and in which he had not been burned alive,—even the eyes, into which those impious ones had thrust burning coals.

They had broiled their tongues, repeatedly putting into their mouths flaming brands, and burning pieces of bark,—[52] not willing that they should invoke, in dying, him for whom they were suffering, and who could never die in their hearts. I have learned all this from persons worthy of credence, who have seen it, and reported it to me personally, and who were then captives with them,—but whoa having been reserved to be put to death at another time, found means to escape.

But let us leave these objects of horror, and these monsters of cruelty; since one day all those parts will be endowed with an immortal glory, the greatness of their torments will be the measure of their happiness, and, from now on, they live in the repose of the Saints, and will dwell in it forever.

We buried these precious relics on Sunday, the 21st day of March, with so much consolation and such tender feelings of devotion in all those who were present at their obsequies, that I know none who did not desire a similar death, rather than fear it; and who did not regard himself as blest to stand in a place where, it might be, two days thence, God would accord him the grace of shedding both his blood [53] and his life on a like occasion. Not one of us could ever prevail upon himself to pray to God for them, as if they had had any need of it; but our spirits were at once directed toward Heaven, where we doubted not that their souls were. Be this as it may I entreat God that he fulfill upon [page 149] us his will, even to death, as he has done in their persons.

Father Gabriel Lallement was the last to come to the combat, and yet has fortunately borne away one of the first crowns. I mean to say that, although it is but six months since he arrived in this Mission of the Hurons,—and that, last of all,—he has been chosen by God as one of the first victims sacrificed to the hatred for the Christian name and Faith.

For several years, he had been asking God, with tears and sighs, to be sent to this Mission in the end f the world, notwithstanding his very delicate constitution. and the fact that his body had no strength except what the spirit of God, and the desire of suffering for his name, could give him. I cannot grudge to the public a private writing from his hand, which I found after his death, concerning the motives which he [54] had had, for so ardently desiring occupation in these Missions. Here are his own words:

" It is, my God, my Savior; 1st, to make good the obligations which I feel toward you: for if you abandoned your contentments, your honors, your comforts your joys, and your life, in order to save me, wretched one,—is it more than reasonable that I abandon, after your example, all these things for the salvation of souls,—which you esteem yours, which have cost you your blood; which you have loved even until death, and of which you have said, Quod uni em minimis meis fecistis, mihi fecistis?

"2. Even though, indeed, I were not moved by a spirit of gratitude, in making you these burnt-offerings of myself, I would do so with all my heart in consideration of the grandeurs of your adorable Majesty, and of your infinitely infinite goodness,[page 151] which deserves that a man sacrifice himself to your service, and that he blessedly cast himself away, in order to accomplish faithfully what he judges to be your will concerning him, and special inspirations which it pleases you to give him for the good of your [55] greater glory.

"3. Since I have been so wicked as to offend so greatly your goodness, O my Jesus, it is right to make amends to you by extraordinary pains: and thus I must walk before your face the remainder of my life, with my heart humbled and contrite in the endurance of the evils which you first suffered for me.

"4. I am indebted to my parents, to my mother, and to my brothers, and I must draw upon them the effects of your mercies. My God, never permit that any of this family, for which you have had so much love, shall perish in your presence, or that he be of the number of those who are destined to blaspheme you eternally. Let me be for them the victim,—Quoniam ego in flagella paratus sum; hîc ure, hîc seca, ut in œternum parcas.

"5. Yes, my Jesus and my love, it must therefore be that your blood, shed for the Barbarians as well as for us, be efficaciously applied for their salvation; and this is wherein I wish to coöperate with your grace, and to sacrifice myself for them

"6. It must be that your name be adored, that your Kingdom be extended through all the [56] Nations of the world; and that I consume my life, in order to withdraw from the hands of Satan, your enemy, these poor souls who have cost you both your blood and your life.

"7. Finally, if it be reasonable that some one [page 153] incline, from love, to give this satisfaction to Jesus Christ,—though at the risk of a hundred thousand lives, if he had so many, and with the loss of everything which is sweetest and most agreeable to nature,—thou wilt never find any one who is more obliged to undertake it than thou. Up then, my soul, let us blessedly cast ourselves away, in order to give this satisfaction to the sacred heart of Jesus Christ; he deserves it, and thou canst not forego it, if thou wouldst not live and die ungrateful to his love."

Such are the motives which had animated his zeal to come and die with us in the midst of this barbarism. There was no one more innocent than he, for he had left the world since his tender youth; and, in the nineteen years since he had been a Religious of our Society, he had always walked with a conscience so pure that the least shadow,—I will not say of sin, but of thoughts which approach it, and are not at all criminal—served only [57] to aid him in uniting himself more to God.

After his arrival here among the Hurons, he had applied himself with so much ardor to learn the language,—thankless, if ever there were such a one in the world,—and subsequently had made in it so much progress, that we did not doubt that God wished to use him in these countries for the advancement of his glory. His charity found no difference between the study of the higher sciences, which had occupied him until then, and the thorny difficulties of a barbarous language, which has nothing attractive about it,—except in so far as zeal for the salvation of one's neighbor leads one to find beauties in it. It is not one of the least difficulties in these countries, [page 155] that it is necessary to become a child at the age of 39 years, in order to learn to speak.

After all, his course has been quickly finished; but in this little time he has fulfilled the expectations which earth and Heaven could have for his labors. He has died in the cause of God, and has found in these countries the Cross of Jesus Christ which he sought in them,—of which he has borne upon himself the truly bloody marks.

Although, in leaving the world, he had left the share which his birth gave him in [58] honorable offices, yet I can say, with truth, that the robe which he has crimsoned with his blood is a thousand times more precious than the purple, or the loftiest expectations which the world could have promised him.

He was born at Paris, on the 31st of October in the year 1610. He entered our Society on the 24th of March in the year 1630; he died in it, upon a bed of glory, on the 17th of March in the current year, 1649, The Hurons named him Atironta. [page 157]



ATHER Jean de Brebeuf had been chosen by God to be the first Apostle of the Hurons, the first of our Society who set foot there,—and who, not having found there a single Savage who invoked the name of God, labored there so successfully for the salvation of those poor Barbarians that before his death he had the consolation of seeing nearly seven thousand baptized there, and the Cross of Jesus Christ planted [59] everywhere with glory, and adored in a country which, from the birth of the world, had never been Christian.

He was sent to New France in the year 1625, by the Reverend Father Pierre Coton; and for his first attempt, his first apprenticeship, he spent the winter roving in the woods, with the Montagnais tribes nearest Kebec, in which life he had much to suffer, until the Summer of the following year, 1626, He then came up here to the Hurons, devouring the difficulties of these barbarous languages with a success so felicitous that he seemed to have been born only for these countries. He adapted his own nature and temperament to the customs among these peoples, with so much ability,—becoming all things to all men, in order to win them to Jesus Christ,—that he had ravished their hearts, and was singularly loved there, when he was constrained to return to France, [page 159] in the year 1629,—the English having made themselves masters of this country, and not being willing to suffer in it the Preachers of the Faith.

The Englishman having been constrained to let go his hold, and to withdraw from a country which he occupied unjustly, the same Father was sent back to it in the year 1633, when he found himself [60] obliged to winter again at Kebec, being unable to go up to the Hurons before the following year,—though he was already master of the language, and was filled with the hopes that he had for the conversion of these tribes.

For so high an enterprise was required an accomplished man, and especially one of eminent holiness. This is what he did not see in himself, but what all those who have known him have always admired in him,—a virtue in which nothing was wanting, and which seemed to be natural to him, although that which appeared without was nothing in comparison with the treasures of grace wherewith God continued to enrich him, from day to day, and with the favors which he showed him.

Often, Our Lord appeared to him,—sometimes in a state of glory, but usually bearing his Cross, or indeed, being attached to it; these visions implanted in his heart such ardent desires to suffer much for his name, that, although he had greatly suffered on a thousand occasions,—difficulties, fatigues, persecutions, griefs,—all was naught to him, and he complained of his misfortune,—believing that he had never suffered anything, and that God did not find him worthy of having him bear the [61] least share in his Cross.

Our Lady also appeared to him very often; she usually left in his soul desires for suffering, but with [page 161] feelings so serene, and such submission to the will of God, that afterward his spirit remained for the space of several days in deep peace and in a lofty realization of the greatness of God.

In the year 1640, when he spent the whole Winter on a Mission to the Neutral Nation, a great cross appeared to him, which came from the direction of the Iroquois Nations. He mentioned it to the Father who accompanied him; the latter asking him for some further details of this apparition he answered him only this, that this cross was so great that it was adequate to hold not only one person, but all of us who were in these countries.

He had been commanded to write these extraordinary things which occurred within his soul,—at least, those which he could most easily remember; for they were too frequent, and care for the salvation of his neighbor hardly gave him any leisure to write from time to time. Here are the last two items which I have found [62] in his memoirs.

"Many crosses appeared to me, all of which I very gladly embraced. On the following night, while in prayer,—conforming myself to the will of God concerning me, and saying to him, Fiat voluntas tua, Domine; quid me vis facere?—I heard a voice which said to me, Tolle, Lege. The day having come on, I took in hand the little book of the 'Imitation of Jesus Christ;' and, without design, I fell upon the chapter, De rigiâ viâ sanctæ crucis. From that time I felt in my soul a great peace, and repose in occasions of suffering.

" Toward evening, being in prayer before the most blessed Sacrament, I saw in spirit, upon my clothes and upon the clothes of all our Fathers, [page 163] without any exception, spots all of blood,—which left me in a sentiment of admiration."

We know nothing further of this; and yet perhaps God has not chosen to warn us, by those crosses and that blood, that he will accord us the same favor with which he has chosen to recompense the merits of this good Father,—to die for his name, and to shed our blood for the establishment of his glory. Be this as it may, we [63] pray him that his most holy will be fulfilled regarding us, even to death.

This good Father felt himself so inclined to procure the glory of God, and to have only that in sight, that, more than eleven years before his death, he bound himself by a vow to do and suffer all that, during the remainder of his life, he might recognize as requisite to the greater glory of God,—a vow which he renewed every day at the altar, at the time of the most holy Communion.

From that time, I see nothing more frequent in his memoirs than the desires which he had to die for the glory of Jesus Christ: Sentio me vehementer impelli ad moriendum pro Christo,—desires which continued with him eight or ten days in succession. Finally, wishing to become a burnt-offering, and a victim consecrated to death, and in order to anticipate more holily the happiness of the martyrdom which was awaiting him, he devoted himself to it in a vow which he conceived in these terms:

Quid retribuam tibi, Domine mi Jesu, pro omnibus quæ retibuisti mihi? Calicem tuum accipiam, et nomen tuum invocabo. Voveo ergo in conspectu æterni Patris tui, sanctíque Spiritus, in conspects sacratissimæ Matris tuæ castissimíque ejus sponsi Josephi; coram Angelis, [64] Apostolis et Martyribus, sanctisque meis parentibus [page 165] Ignatio, et Francisco Xaverio, Voveo, inquam, tibi, Domine mi Jesu, si mihi unquam igdigno famulo tuo, Martyrii gratia misericorditer à te oblata fuerit, me huic gratiæ non defuturum: sic ut in posterum licere mihi nunquam velim, aut quæ sese offerent moriendi pro te occasiones declinare, (nisi ita fieri ad majorem gloriam tuam judicarem) aut jam inflictum mortis ictum, non acceptare gaudenter. Tibi ergo, Domine mi Jesu, et sanguinem et corpus, et spiritum meum jam ab hac die gaudenter offrero, ut pro te, si ita dones, moriar; qui pro me mori dignatus es. Fac ut sic vivam, ut ita mori tandem me veles. Ita, Domine, calicem tuum accipiam, et nomen tuum invocabo, Jesu, Jesu, Jesu.

"My God and my Savior Jesus, what can I render to you for all the benefits which you have conferred upon me? I will take from your hand the cup of your sufferings, and I will invoke your Name. I then make a vow,—in the presence of your Eternal Father and of the Holy Ghost; in the presence of your most sacred Mother, and of her most chaste spouse, Saint Joseph; before the Angels, the Apostles and Martyrs, and my blessed Fathers Saint Ignatius and St. [65] Francis Xavier,—yes, my Savior Jesus, I make a vow to you never to fail, on my side, in the grace of martyrdom, if by your infinite mercy you offer it to me some day, to me, your unworthy servant. I bind myself to it in such a way that I intend that, during all the rest of my life, it shall no longer be a lawful thing for me, when remaining at my option, to avoid opportunities of dying and of shedding my blood for you. (Save only that, in some emergency, I should judge that, for the time being, it might be to the interests of your glory to behave otherwise in the matter.) And when I shall have [page 167] received the stroke of death, I bind myself to accept it from your hand with all pleasure, and with joy in my heart. And consequently, my beloved Jesus, I offer to you from today, in the feelings of joy that I have thereat, my blood, my body, and my life; so that I may die only for you, if you grant me this favor, since you have indeed condescended to die for me. Enable me to live in such a way that finally you may grant me this favor, to die so happily. Thus, my God and my Savior, I will take from your hand the cup of your sufferings, and I will invoke your [66] Name, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus."

Often the Infidels conspired for his death. If any misfortune had befallen the country, it was the Jesuits who were the cause of it, and Echon the chief of all. If pestilence prevailed, and contagious diseases depopulated certain villages, it was he who by his spells caused those Demons of hell to come, with whom he was accused of having dealings. Famine appeared here only by his orders; and, if the war were not favorable to them, it was Echon who had a secret understanding with their enemies; who surreptitiously received pensions from them, for betraying the country; and who had come from France only to exterminate all the tribes with whom he should deal, under the pretext of coming to announce the Faith there, and of procuring their welfare. In a word, the name of Echon has been, for the space of some years, held in such abhorrence that it was used for terrifying the children; and often sick people have been made to believe that his look was the Demon who had bewitched them and who gave the death-blow. But his hour was not come; all those evil designs which they had against him [page 169] served only to [67] augment his confidence in God, and to cause that every day he walked like a victim devoted to death, which he awaited only with loving desire, but of which he dared not speed the moments.

Our Lord often gave him to understand that he held us in his protection, and that the powers of hell might indeed become furious against us, but that they were not unchained. In the year 1637, when the cry arose throughout the country, " Murder them ! " " Massacre them ! "—as if we had been the authors of the contagious diseases which ravaged everywhere,—and when they had decided to exterminate us, a troop of Demons appeared to him at sundry times. These were now like men who were becoming enraged, at other times like awful monsters,—bears, lions, untamed horses,—which strove to fall upon him. These spectres gave him no horror, nor any impulse of fear; he placed his confidence in God. He said to them, " Do upon me that which God permits you; for without his will a hair will not fall from my head." And at these words, all those Demons disappeared in a moment.

[68] At other times, he saw death attached, with hands behind, to a post near him, endeavoring to spring forward in fury; but, unable to burst the bonds with which he saw it restrained, it fell at his feet without strength and without vigor, powerless to hurt him.

In the year 1640, being in the Neutral Nation, he said one evening to the Father who was with him that death, like a fleshless skeleton, had appeared to him threatening him. Not knowing what that signified, he was much astonished when, the next morning, one of our good friends, Captain of the village [page 171] where they were, came to bring the news to our Fathers that an Infidel Huron, named Aoenhokoui,—recently arrived in the Neutral Nation, and a deputy from the elders of the country,—having convoked the Council, had made a present there of nine hatchets (these are great riches in this country), in order that they should strike our Fathers dead, and that the consequences of this murder might not fall upon the Hurons. This affair had occupied the Council all night; but finally the Captains of the Neutral Nation would not listen to it.

[69] He derived this spirit of confidence in God from prayer, in which he was often much uplifted. A single word would give him a theme for whole hours,—not to his intellect, of whose inaction he was wont to complain, but to his heart, which relished the eternal truths of the Faith, and which remained attached to them with serenity, with love, and with joy. And, notwithstanding this facility of converse with God, he prepared himself for prayer as punctiliously as a Novice would do in his early stages.

By day,—his neighbor's needs not allowing him to occupy himself in solitude with God, according to the extent of his heart's desires,—he anticipated the usual hour, rising very early. Nevertheless, for the same reason, he urged every day far into the night, until nature was powerless to go further; and, sleep constraining him to succumb, he lay upon the ground,—fully dressed as he was, and a piece of wood serving him as pillow,—giving to the body only what he could not, in conscience, have denied it. At one time I find in his writings that, while he was in prayer, God detached him from all his senses, [70] and united him to himself; again, that he was [page 173] enraptured in God, and fervently embraced him; at other times, he says that his whole heart was transported to God by bursts of love which were ecstatic. But above all, this love was tender with respect to the sacred person of Jesus Christ, and of Jesus Christ suffering.

Often he felt this love as a fire, which, having inflamed itself in his heart kept increasing from day to day, and consuming in him the impurity of natures in order to cause the spirit of grace and the adorable spirit of Jesus Christ to rule in him.

At the feasts of Pentecost in the year 1640,—being at night in prayer, in the presence of the most blessed Sacrament, he saw himself in a moment invested with a great fire, which burned, without consuming aught, everything which was there around him: and, while these flames lasted he felt himself inwardly on fire with the love of God, more ardently than he had ever been.

He had many notable apparitions of Our Lady, of Saint Joseph, of the Angels, and of the Saints. He saw one day a high mountain all covered with Blessed [71] Virgins who were in glory—in such sort that, from the foot of the mountain even to the summit, the ranks continued to decreases until they were reduced to a unit, which was Our Lady, seated on the summit of that hill.

Sometimes, merely at the sight of the clothes with which the most blessed Virgin appeared to him to be clad, and of the fringes which hung at the bottom of her robes he was so much occupied and absorbed in the luster of her glory that he dared not raise his eyes higher for fear of being oppressed with the excess of the lights which might flash from her face. [page 175]

But those were not the favors which he desired, nor which he had ever desired. And he kept those favors so secret and concealed, except to those from whom he could not in conscience conceal anything, that he never spoke of them? nor even gave any one at all the least indication of them. And the conclusion which he drew from them, every time, was to humiliate himself further, to distrust himself, to esteem himself the least of the household, and to feat lest the Devil should deceive him. Finally, he never guided himself by these visions, although often God had [72] given him to understand things, afar off, and even gave him great illuminations ill the secret place of conscience, and in the depth of the heart. But he guided himself solelyby the principles of the Faith, through the operations of obedience and the lights of reason.

One day, speaking in prayer to Our Lord, and saying to him, Domine, quid me vis facere.?—he heard this answer, which Jesus Christ formerly made to St. Paul: Vade ad Ananiam, et ipse dicet tibi quid te oporteat facere. And from that time he was so confirmed in the resolutions which he had, of never seeking other guidance than that of obedience, that I may say, in truth, that this virtue was perfect in him,—seeing only God in the person of the Superior, discovering his heart to him with a child's simplicity, showing an entire docility to the answers which were given him, and acquiescing without resistance in everything which was said to him, although contrary to his natural inclinations,—not only in that which appeared to the eyes of men, but in the depth of his heart, where he knew that God sought the true obedience . [page 177]

[73] He said that he was fit only to obey, and that this virtue was natural to him, because—not having great intelligence and great prudence, and being incapable of guiding himself—he had as much pleasure in obeying as a child, who, not having enough strength to walk, takes pleasure in allowing himself to be carried in his mother's bosom, to whatever place it is necessary to go. Agnovi in me nullum esse talentum (he says in a paper which he wrote in the year 1631), tantùm pronum esse me ad obediendum; mihi visus sum aptus ad januam custodiendam, ad triclinium parandum, ad culinam faciendam. Geram me in Societate, ac si essem mendicus, per gratiam admissus in Societatem, et omnia mihi cogitabo fieri ex mera gratiâ. And yet he had a very excellent judgment, and a prudence as holy; and he was so detached from the passions which usually deceive us that I admired him every day in the conduct of the affairs wherein he was consulted, or of which he was given the management .

He had asked, on entering the Society, to be a Brother Coadjutor; and, before taking his vows, he proposed this again, esteeming himself unworthy of the Priesthood, and best fitted [74] for the humblest of fines,—which, in fact, he discharged extremely well whenever he was directed to them, either through necessity, or sometimes in obedience to his own humility. But he was not less capable of great things; and when he was Superior of this Mission, and when I had the benefit of being under him, I admired his management; his gentleness, which won hearts; his courage, truly generous in enterprises; his long-suffering in awaiting the moments of God; his patience in suffering everything; and his zeal in [page 181] undertaking everything which he saw for the glory of God.

It is very true that his humility caused him to- embrace with more love, more joy,—and, I may say, with more natural inclination,—the humblest and the most painful duties. If we were on a journey, he bore the heaviest burdens; if it were necessary to go through channels, he rowed from morning till evening; it was he who first sped to the water, and left it the very last,—notwithstanding the rigors of the cold and ice, when his bare legs were all red therefrom, and his body all chilled. He was the first to rise, [75] to make the fire and to cook, and the last of all in bed, finishing by night his prayers and his devotions. And, however harassed he was; whatever fatigues he endured, over roads which cause horror, and in which the most vigorous bodies lose courage; after all the labors of the day,—and sometimes thirty days in succession without rest, without refreshments, without relaxation, often even not having the means to take a single meal with leisure,—he nevertheless found time to acquit himself of all which our rules would require from a man who should not be so urgently employed, omitting none of his usual devotions, whatever occupation might come unexpectedly upon him. Accordingly, he sometimes said that God gave us the day for dealing with our neighbor, and the night for conversing with him. And what was most remarkable in those fatigues which he took upon himself is, that he did this so quietly and so cleverly that one might have supposed, to see him, that his nature had found its motive therein. " I am an ox," he said, alluding to his name, " and am fit only to bear burdens." [page 181]

To the continual sufferings which are [76] inseparable from the duties which he had in the Missions, on the journeys, in whatever place he was; and to those which charity caused him to embrace,—often above his strength, although below his courage,—he added many voluntary mortifications: disciplines every day, and often twice each day; very frequent fasts; haircloths, and belts with iron points; vigils which advanced far into the night. And, after all these, his heart could not be satiated with sufferings, and he believed that he had never endured aught. A very few years before his death, writing of himself, he speaks of the matter in these terms: Timui meam reprobationem, eò quòd nimis suaviter hactenus mecum egerit Deus, tuuc benè de mea salute sperabo, cùm patiendi occasiones se dederint,—" I have been afraid lest I be of the number of the reprobate, seeing that God has treated me hitherto with so much mildness: then I shall hope that God will choose to show me mercy, when his goodness shall furnish me opportunities of suffering something for his love." And yet we may say that his life was but one continuation of crosses and of sufferings.

[77] When any humiliation befell him, he blessed God for it, and felt from it an inward joy,—saying to those from whom he could not conceal all the emotions of his heart that those were not humiliations for him, because in whatever low place he might be, he always saw himself higher than he wished; and that he had as much inclination for descending Continually lower as has a stone, which never has a tendency to rise. Accordingly, he begged the Superiors to humiliate him; and the good thing is that when, in order to cooperate with the grace of God [page 183] upon him, we did not spare him, we always found an even spirit, a contented heart, and a most serene countenance.

This sweetness of temper was the virtue in him which seemed to float above all the others; it was proof against everything. In the twelve years during which I have known him, when I have seen him as superior, as inferior, or as the equal of all,—now in temporal affairs, now in the labors and fatigues of the Missions; dealing with the Christian Savages, with Infidels, with Enemies; in sufferings, in persecutions, and in calumnies,—never have I seen him either in [78] anger, or even in the appearance of any indignation. Often, indeed, some persons have specially endeavored to annoy him, and to attack him unawares at what they believed must be his most sensitive points; but his look was always benign, his words were in mildness, and his heart in calmness. Accordingly, Our Lord had especially given him this grace.

In the year 1634, while accomplishing the Spiritual Exercises of the Society, our Lord appeared to him, crowned with thorns, and said to him these words: Habebis deiceps unctionem Spiritus in verbis tuis,—"Thou shalt have henceforth in thy words the anointing of the Holy Spirit. " And in the year 1640, in his act of thanks after holy Mass, he saw and felt a hand which anointed both his heart and the powers of his soul with a sacred balm. Ex qua visione, summa animi mei pax, et tranquillitas, consecuta est.—he adds in his memoirs.

A very few days after this vision, a sedition arose against us in the village of Saint Joseph, in which he was severely beaten, and with him some of our [page 185] Fathers,—the Captains themselves being the firebrands which kindled the sedition, [79] exciting against us the populace, who loaded us with insults and threatened to burn us. At evening, when the Father was thanking God for all that had happened,—feeling, nevertheless, some distress in his hearts proceeding from the fear lest those wretches should impede the progress of the Faith,—Our Lady appeared to him, having her heart pierced with three swords; and at the same time he was aware of an inward voice, which told him that the most blessed Virgin had always been perfectly submissive to the will of God, although often her heart had been deep in affliction: and that he must take her in his adversity for an example of what God wished from him.

The oil of this mildness did not extinguish the ardor of his zeal, but rather inflamed it, and was one of the most powerful means which God had given him for winning hearts to the Faith. He acknowledges this himself in these terms, in some remarks that he wrote in the year 1638, while making a review of the state of his soul. " God," he says, " through his goodness has given me a gentleness, benignity, and charity with respect to every one; [80] an indifference to whatsoever may happen; a patience for suffering adversities; and the same goodness has willed that, through these talents which he has given me, I shall advance to perfection, and shall lead others to eternal life. And consequently," he adds, " I will henceforth make my examination thorough, to see whether I indeed make a good use of those talents, for which I am responsible."

Here is a truly remarkable thing, which happened to him in the year 1640, during the time of his retreat [page 187] for the Spiritual Exercises. He writes it in these terms: " Contemplating the enormity of my sins, and their countless number, I saw Our Lord, who, with an infinite mercy, was holding out his loving arms to embrace me. He pardoned me the past, and forgot my sins; he restored in my soul both his gifts and his graces; he called me to his love, and said to me what formerly he said to Saint Paul: Vas electionis est iste, ut portet nomen meum in gentibus; ostendam ibi quanta oporteat eum pro nomine meo pati. Hearing these words, I thanked him for them, I offered myself for that, and said to him Quid me vis facere? fac me virum secundum cor tuum; nihil me in posterum separabit à charitate tua: non nuditas, [81] non gladius, non mors," etc.

It was in the ardor of this zeal that he offered himself very often to God, to suffer all the martyrdoms in the world, for the conversion of these peoples. " O my God, why are you not known? " he wrote some time before dying; " why is this Barbarous country not all converted to you? Why is not sin abolished from it? Why are you not loved? Yes, my God, if all the torments which the captives can endure in these countries in the cruelty of the tortures, were to fall on me, I offer myself thereto with all my heart, and I alone will suffer them."

In another place, he writes these words: " Two days in succession, I have felt in me a great desire for martyrdom, and for enduring all the torments which the Martyrs have suffered. "

What gave him this courage was, on one side, distrust of himself; and, on another side, confidence in God, in the complete conformity which he had to his divine will. one day, asking him whether, if he [page 189] were taken by the Iroquois, he would not feel a very great repugnance if they had him stripped naked, " No, " he answered me, [82] " for it would be the will of God; and then I should not think of myself, but of God." Being asked whether he had not a horror of the fire, " I would fear it," he said, " if I contemplated my weakness; for the sting of a fly would be able to vex my patience. But I hope that God will always assist me, and, aided by his grace, I no more fear the terrible torments of the fire than the pricking of a pin.''

I would never be at an end of perusing the virtues which were in him. I may say, with truth, that I have material for composing a whole biography of them,—which would be full of the glorious illuminations which he had in the ways of holiness; of the favors of God toward him, which were extraordinary; and of the continual fidelity with which he responded to those favors, as well in little things as in great ones, for he esteemed nothing little in the service of God His poverty was so destitute that he had not even a single medal, nor anything at all in this world of which he desired to have the use, unless for necessity alone. In the year I637, our Lord showed him a superb Palace, richly 083] built, in beauties inconceivable, and in so many and such surprising varieties, that he was quite ravished out of himself, and could not comprehend even his own feelings. As this Palace was empty,—there being no one in it,—it was given him to understand that it was prepared for those who should dwell in poor cabins, and who had condemned themselves to these for the love of God; this greatly consoled him.

His chastity was proof; and in that matter his eyes [page 191] were so faithful to his heart, that they had no sight for the objects which might have soiled purity. His body was not rebellious to the spirit; and in the midst of impurity itself,—which reigns, it seems, in this country,—he lived in an innocence as great as if he had sojourned in the midst of a desert inaccessible to that sin. A woman presented herself one day to him, in a place somewhat isolated, uttering to him unseemly language, and breathing a fire which could come only from a firebrand of hell. The Father, seeing himself thus attacked, made upon himself the sign of the cross, without answering any word; and this spectre, disguised beneath a woman's dress, disappeared at the same moment.

[84] The purity of his conscience was like the apple of the eye, which cannot suffer the least little dust, or a single grain of sand. From the year 1630, he writes that he felt in himself no attachment for any venial sin, nor the least pleasure in the world; that his will was as averse to it as to his greatest enemy; and that he would rather choose all the pains of hell than the least sin. And yet a little after, on the same day, he adds these words: Ne me Deus tanquam infructuosam arborem succideret, oravi ut me dimitteret adhuc hoc anno, et promisi me meliores fructus allaturum,—" For fear that God should cut me off at the root, as a fruitless tree, I have prayed him that he still suffer me to stand, this year; and I have promised him that I would yield him better fruits than in the past."

It once escaped him to tell one of our Fathers, that, since he had been among the Hurons, he had not sought even a single time his own taste in eating. As for me,—though I have been very [page 193] intimately associated with him, as much as any man in the world,—I have never been able to recognize in him any fault, not only what was sin, but not [85] even what infringed the least of our Rules. This also was one of his good sayings for nearly twenty years: Disrumpar potiùs quam ut voluntariè regulam ullam infringam. And this exactness was not only in that which appeared to the sight, but penetrated into the deepest recess of his heart. Nullum in corde commercium mihi habendum cum creaturis,—" The whole converse of my heart shall be with God; creatures shall no longer be aught to me." Numquam quiescam, numquam dicam satis,—" I will take no rest; never will I say that I shall have done enough.

" More than fifteen years before dying, in the memoirs that he wrote, making the review of his conscience from month to month,—here follows what he says of himself: " I feel in me a great desire to die, in order to enjoy God; I feel a great aversion for all things created, which it will be necessary to leave at death. It is in God alone that my heart rests; and, outside of him, all is naught to me, except for him.

" His death has crowned his life, and perseverance has been the seal of his holiness. He died at thf age of 56 years. He was born on the 25th of March in the year 1593, the day of the Annunciation of Our Lady,—of worthy parents, [86] in the Diocese o Bayeux; he entered our Society in the year 1617, on the fifth day of the month of October. He died while preaching, and exercising truly Apostolic offices,—and by a death which the first Apostle to the Hurons deserved. His martyrdom took place on the 16th day of March in the current year, 1649. [page 195]



N consequence of the losses incurred, a part of the country of the Hurons is seen to be in desolation; fifteen villages have been abandoned, the people of each scattering where they could,—in the woods and forests, on the lakes and rivers, and among the Islands most unknown to the enemy. Others have taken refuge in the neighboring Nations, more capable of sustaining the stress of war. In less than fifteen days, our House of Sainte Marie has seen itself stripped bare on every side, and the only one which remained standing in these places of terror, most exposed to the incursions of the enemy,—those who had left their former [87] dwellings having set fire to these themselves, fearing lest they should serve as retreat and fortresses to the Iroquois.

What increases the public misery is, that famine has been prevalent this year in all these regions, more than it had been seen in fifty years,—most of the people not having wherewith to live, and being constrained either to eat acorns, or else to go and seek in the woods some wild roots. With these they sustain a wretched life,—still too happy not to have fallen into the hands of an enemy a thousand times more cruel than the wild beasts, and than all the famines in the world. Fishing supports shoe of [page 197] them. But, after all, to whatever place we go, we see there nothing but crosses, present miseries, and fears of a greater evil,—death being, for most, the least of the evils that can befall them. The hopes of Paradise which the Faith furnishes to the Christians are the only consolation which sustains them at this critical time, and which makes them more than ever esteem the advantages of the blessing which they possess, which cannot be snatched from them, either by the cruelties of the Iroquois or by the [88] prostration of a famine which continually pursues them in their flight, and from which they cannot escape.

We have, nevertheless, tried to assist, out of out own poverty, a part of these poor Christians; and since those public miseries, which began not a year ago, we have received in the hospice of this House of Sainte Marie more than six thousand, by actual count; and every day the number increases, as well as their miseries. May God be blessed forever. Whatever befalls, it must be enough for us that he derive his glory from it; and if it please him to augment the faith of these peoples by multiplying his crosses both upon them and upon us, our hearts are prepared for it, and we shall embrace them with joy; and we will say to him upon the mountain of Calvary, with as good heart as if he had transported us upon the mountain of his glory, Bonum est nos hîc esse.

I speak in this way because I fear lest too much fear be felt for us. Æstimati sumus oves occisionis, sed in his omnibus superamus, propter eum qui dilexit nos. From the birth of Christianity, and since Jesus Christ redeemed the world only through his blood [page 199] shed upon the [89] Cross, we are assured that the Faith has not been planted in any region of the world except in the midst of crosses and sufferings. Thus these desolations console us; and in the midst of persecution, at the climax of the evils which attack us, and of the greatest misfortunes with which one can threaten us, we are all filled with joy, and our hearts tell us that God has never had a more tender love for us than that which he now has.

Moreover, it must not be supposed that all is lost. Non est abbrreviata manus Domini. The Christians who are fugitives have not lost their souls with their goods; they bear in their hearts the true Faith, which makes of them a living church. The Peoples which remain to be converted are of the domain of Jesus Christ, who gives us sufficient enlightenment to enable us reasonably to hope that we can make from them a people wholly Christian, notwithstanding the past losses and desolations which have preceded. It is true that the strongest of our hopes is in God alone; but it is the same in all affairs which are not of the jurisdiction of nature. Where would our merit and our faith be, if we did not journey [go] through these obscurities? where our confidence in God, if our support were altogether upon human agencies ? He who wishes to see too clearly in his affairs, does not sufficiently abandon himself to the guidance of God; and it is no longer in God that he trusts, but in himself. We pray our Lord that he may never permit in us so great unfaithfulness in the management of the affairs which he has put in our hands,< which are his own, more than ours. [page 201]

These are the opinions that we have; time will shed more light on them. It is difficult for the Faith to remain alive in these countries, unless we have a place which may be, as it were, the center of all our Missions; whence we can send the Preachers of the Gospel into the Nations who are spread abroad in all these regions; and where we can assemble from time to time, in order to confer there on the means which God will supply to us for procuring his glory, and on the light that he shall give us for that purpose. This house of Sainte Marie, where we have been until now, was at the most advantageous location that we could have chosen for this purpose, wherever we [91] might have been. But, affairs being in the condition in which we see them now, it would be but rashness in us to dwell in a forsaken place, whence the Hurons had retired, and where the Algonquins were unable to have further trade; not one would come to see us there, unless the Enemies, who would discharge upon us alone the whole weight of their hostility. Consequently, we are resolved to follow our flock, and to flee with the fleeing, since we do not live here for ourselves, but for the salvation of souls, and for the conversion of these Peoples.

But the Huron villages, which have become scattered, have taken various routes in their flight,—some having fled to the mountains where dwell those whom we call the Tobacco Nation, where three of our Fathers were cultivating, this last winter, three separate Missions; others having taken their stand on an Island which we name St. Joseph Island,{13} where we began, nearly a year ago, a new Mission; others, finally, having the intention of going into the [page 203] more distant Islands of our great Lake or fresh-water Sea. We will follow the latter, and we will try to establish our principal dwelling, [92] and the center of our Missions, in an Island which we call Sainte Marie Island, which the Hurons call Ekaentoton. It is this Island of which I spoke in the second Chapter, in which I said that we began last Autumn a new Mission, among the Algonquin peoples which inhabit it, and which is about sixty leagues distant from us.

This Island, it has seemed to us must be a more suitable abode, for our purpose, because in that place we shall be better able than in any other to occupy ourselves with the conversion of the Hurons and of the Algonquins; for we shall approach the Eskiaeronnon, Aoechisaeronon, and Aoeatsioaenronnon Algonquins and countless other allied peoples, continually proceeding Westward, and removing ourselves from the Iroquois our Enemies. From that same place, we shall be able also to send, by canoe, to the Tobacco Nation and the Peoples of the Neutral Nation, who desire us, some of our Fathers, who will take charge of the Missions in that quarter. Moreover, in that Island of Sainte Marie we shall always be able, more conveniently than in any other place, to maintain and preserve the [93] trade of the Algonquins and Hurons with our French at Three Rivers and at Kebec,—which is necessary for the maintenance of the Faith in all these regions, for the good of the French colonies, and for the support of New France. But we must await that time with patience and courage; for I believe that our Hurons will have difficulty for several years in making this voyage, being beset with famine and obliged to flee the scourge of war. When they shall have had leisure to come to themselves, [page 205] then they will be able again to find the way to Kebec, not only by the great River of St. Lawrence,—which perhaps will always be too much infested with the Iroquois Enemies,—but by sequestered routes, over which they can make this voyage with more security.

That Island of Sainte Marie abounds in fish; and the lands there, according to the report made to us about them, are good for cultivation. We will gladly put our hands to the plough, in order to live there by the sweat of our brows and by our own labor, if provisions fail us otherwise,—for hitherto it was the Huron villages which furnished us their [94] Indian corn, which has been the bulk and almost the total of our food. We do not esteem this occupation unworthy of our cares; and,—if it were necessary for us to become slaves of our enemies themselves, that we might find means to preserve, during the captivity, the Faith of these Churches which God has raised up in the midst of barbarism; and to announce, to all the Peoples which remain to be converted in these regions, the name of Clod, which they have not yet adored,—gladly would we abandon both our liberty and our lives to the cruelty of the Iroquois, and we would go to die in the midst of their flames and fires.

We know not what God reserves for us, and whether a stake and the flames will not perhaps be our portion, as well as that of our Brethren who have died here within so few days for the cause of God. Whatever may befall us, we shall be too happy to have spent our lives in his service, since he deserves that all men sacrifice themselves for his glory; and that they have not a single moment of life except for [page 207] his holy love, and for the salvation of the souls which he loved even until death.

[95] Since the above writing, most of the Huron villages which had become scattered have conceived the desire to reunite in the Island of St. Joseph; and twelve of the most considerable Captains have come to entreat us, in the name of all this poor desolate People, that we should have pity on their misery. They said that, without us, they saw themselves the prey of the enemy; that, with us, they esteemed themselves too strong not to defend themselves with courage; that we must have compassion on their widows, and on the poor Christian children; that those who remained Infidels were all resolved to embrace our Faith; and that we would make that Island an Island of Christians.

After having spoken more than three whole hours,—with an eloquence as powerful to bend us as the art of Orators could furnish, in the midst of France, to most of those who call these countries barbarous,—they made a display of ten large collars of porcelain (the pearls and diamonds of these countries); they told us that that was the voice of their women and children, who made us a present of the little which was left to them in their misery. They added that we knew well enough in what esteem [96] they held these necklaces, which are their ornaments and all their beauty; but that they wished us to know that the Faith would be more precious to them than were their goods; and that our instructions would be held dearer by them than all the riches which the earth could furnish them. They said that they made these presents in order to revive in our persons the zeal and the name of Father Echon (the name [page 209] which the Hurons have always given to Father Jean de Brebeuf); that he had been the first Apostle to the country; that he had died in order to assist them even to his last sigh; that they hoped that his example would touch us, and that our hearts could not refuse to die with them, since they wished to live as Christians.

In a word, their eloquence—or, rather, the disposition of their souls, and the reasons which nature could supply to them—conquered us. We could not doubt that God had chosen to speak to us by their lips; and although, at their coming, we all had entertained another design, we all found ourselves changed before their departure, and with a common consent we believed that it was necessary to follow God in the direction whither [97] he chose to call us,—whatever peril there might be in it for our lives, and in whatever depth of darkness we may continue,—for the remaining future, which is not in our power.

Our design is, therefore, to transfer the entire body of our forces, and this house of sainte Marie, to the Island of St. Joseph, which will be at once the center of our missions, and the bulwark of these countries. We have need more than ever of the prayers of France. Whatever may befall us, we carry with joy our souls in our hands, and our death will be our desire,—provided that our lives be spent only for the maintenance of the Faith and the glory of God in all these regions.

It will not be inappropriate to add, in this Chapter. the letter which the Father who had charge of that Mission writes to the Reverend Father Hierôme [page 211] Lalemant, Superior at Kebec, since it gives us a more ample knowledge of the state of that Mission.

Pax Christi.

y Reverend Father, After the death of little Jacques Douard, [98] who was assassinated last year, I remember that I offered to God, as a burnt-offering, the dearest thing I had in this world. I did this, in the thought which came to me that there was nothing, however precious it might be, the annihilation of which we ought not to delight in, provided that some glory accrued from the same to God. Among other things which I was offering to God, as those which I cherished the most in the world, were the Christians of la Conception, of whom I had charge, and then the house of Ste. Marie; the good God has accepted my offering. All my poor Christians of la Conception, except 3 or 4, have been killed or taken captive by the Iroquois; and the house of sainte Marie has been destroyed, although more quietly than I had persuaded myself it would be, long before, in my meditations. But the good Fathers de Brebeuf and Lalemant have offered to God a much more agreeable sacrifice, non aliena, non sua, sed seipsos immolando. Precious burnt-offering of those virtuous Fathers ! why can I not continue you in my person? This will be when God shall please. We all, as many Fathers as we are here, have never loved our vocation more, than after having seen that it [99] can raise us even to the glory of martyrdom; there is nothing but my imperfections which can make me give up my part. Alas, my Reverend Father, how I need humility and purity of heart, in order to be able to aspire to the honor [page 215] which the good God has shown your nephew! If Your Reverence ask it for me from the good Jesus, through the merits of his four great servants, Fathers Jogues, Daniel, de Brebeuf, and Lalemant, I hope that you will obtain it for me; and then the good Jesus might indeed give me grace to die for the advancement of his Kingdom. I have been for a month at Ahwendoe, on the Island of St. Joseph, where most of our poor Hurons have taken refuge; it is here that I see a part of the miseries which war and famine have caused to this poor desolate people. Their ordinary food is now nothing but acorns, or a certain bitter root which they name otsa, and yet, fortunate is he who can have any of these. Those who have none, live partly on garlic baked under the ashes, or cooked in water, without other sauce; and partly on smoked fish, wherewith they season the clear water which they drink, as they formerly did their sagamité. There are found [100] still poorer ones than all that,—who have neither corn, nor acorns, nor garlic? nor fish, and are poor sick people who cannot seek their living. Add to this poverty that they must work to clear new forests make cabins, and erect palisades, in order to secure themselves in the coming year from famine and war; indeed, seeing them, you might conclude that these are poor corpses unearthed. I would that I could represent, to all the persons having affection for our Hurons, the pitiful state to which they are reduced; certainly they could not contain themselves from sobbing, and shedding warm tears. Alas! how gladly would I tell them on the part of all this poor people, Miseremini mei, miseremini Mei, saltem vos, amici mei, quia manus Domini tetigit me. The most benign Jesus was [page 215] touched with compassion at the sight of a single widow, whose son they were carrying to the grave; how would it be possible that these imitators of Jesus Christ should not be moved to pity at the sight of the hundreds and hundreds of widows,—whose children not only, but almost all their kindred, have been either outrageously killed, or taken captive, and then [101] inhumanly burned, cooked, torn, and devoured by the enemy? Those who touch me still more are the poor widows and orphans of la Conception, which was the Village commonly named by the Hurons " the Believing Village,"—and that with reason, for there were very few infidels left. Last winter, there had not been any public sin committed there,—the Christians being the strongest, so that they could hinder the Infidels who might have wished to commit such. Among others, there was a desire for a Doutetha Dance,—to which the Musician, who had come from another Village, wished to annex a feast of Endakwandet. Having heard of this, the Christians opposed it so vigorously that there was not one Captain who was willing to make the proclamation of it; the Musician was therefore constrained to depart, and to return abashed to his own Village. This was the last act that our Christians accomplished in profession of their Faith; for, three days later, the Iroquois killed them, having taken away only six of them as prisoners,—all the rest having bravely fought, even to death, for the defense of their native country. I have been told that Charles Ondaiaiondiont, seeing that the enemy [ 1 02] was overwhelming by dint of numbers, knelt to pray to God; and that, a very little later, he was killed by an arquebus shot. Acowendoutie, of Arentet, [page 217] baptized over there, was found, after his death, with his hands clasped; he was one of the Hurons who recovered the body of Father de Noue, with his hands clasped, and, no doubt, he desired to imitate him. I wish, at the close of my letter, to communicate to Your Reverence the prayer offered by the good René Tsondihwannen at the departure of the Christians of la Conception, who were going to meet the enemy: " Lord God, Master of our lives, have pity on the Christians who are going to encounter the Iroquois; do not abandon them, lest the progress of the Faith be retarded by your enemies, if they have the upper hand." Although the good man did not obtain the effect of his prayer, he nevertheless came to adore God, in consequence of the death of Tsoendiai, his son-in-law, and of the captivity of Ihanneusa his son. I again heard the prayer which he made, in this form: " My God, what has happened, that our brothers have died, is the best; we have no sense, we men who demand, ' Why does the issue not happen thus? ' You alone know what must be for the best. As for [103] that time, we will avow in Heaven, when we shall arrive there, that matters, as they have come about, have well happened; and that they would not have gone well if they had happened otherwise." Your Reverence sees by that, that diligentibus Deum omnia cooperantur in bonum. I had the honor to be, for about three weeks, Instructor in the Huron language to your good Nephew,—incredible est dictu quantum insudaret linguœ addiscendœ quantúmque proficeret. In prœmium istiusmodi solertiœ nonnulli putarunt fuisse illi Deo concessam tam felicem mortem. "The pains that he took in learning the Huron language, and the progress that he made in it, are [page 219] almost incredible; some of our Fathers have thought that God has rewarded this great diligence by that blessed death." Adieu, my Reverend Father;

Let not Your Reverence forget, in your

Holy sacrifices and prayers,

Your very humble and very obedient

servant, J. M. Chaumonot,

of the Society of Jesus.

From the Island of St. Joseph,

this 1st of June, 1649.

[From second edition of the Relation:]

INCE this Relation was published, a vessel, recently arrived from that new World, has brought us letters of considerable length, treating of occurrences among the Hurons. We shall give here merely a brief specimen of these letters, reserving the remainder until its proper time. [104]

HEN the inhabitants of the Huron Villages (says a Father of the Society, writing from the country of the Hurons) were scattered in different directions, the great mass of these peoples sought refuge with the Tobacco Nation, whence I greatly fear the dread of the enemy may drive them. Others purpose planting a Colony at Kebec, whither a Captain made his way through a thousand dangers, expressly to see whether the French would approve their plan and be able to render them some assistance. Verily, this poor Church is worthy of compassion. I doubt not that our Fathers who are there would receive its members with open arms, and succor them to the best of their slender [105] ability. In the general devastation of their whole country, they need consolation. They are a people newly won to God, and he will not forsake them.

Three hundred families, nearly all Christian, took refuge on St. Joseph Island. Being entreated to join them, we set fire to our house at Sainte Marie, lest the enemy might take possession of it. This was a magnificent edifice, in the eyes of the Savages. [page 223] We left it on May fifteenth of the present year, 1649,—not without some little return of Natural feeling; for we were forced to destroy it at the very time it might have sheltered the poor old people and all who were sick or exhausted, or shattered by labors capable of prostrating Giants. We also abandoned the lands and fields whereon our sustenance largely depended; and here we are in a forest, more destitute of succor than when we first came to this country. Never were we more filled with content, and never have we had cause for keener sorrow.

During the two months, or thereabout, since we [106] came to this Island, God has rendered us such effectual succor that we believe ourselves to be in a complete state of defense, so that the enemy, despite all he can do, is little dreaded by us in our Intrenchments; but he holds sway on all the Mainland near our Island, and consequently reduces us to a state of famine more terrible than war. The Hurons whom we followed left their lands, just as we did; and they are forced to fortify themselves, and both they and we are obliged to build houses,—or, rather, cabins,—all at the same time; while, if we wish to harvest any grain next year, we must clear away forests in order to have fields and open lands. These labors, hindered by the fear of the enemy, are indeed arduous, and God alone can lighten them.

That is not all. As these poor People have neither hunting, nor fishing, nor grain, they scatter hither and thither in quest of acorns and roots. Our Fathers, unable to forsake them, accompany them when they constitute any considerable body,—preferring to perish with hunger rather than deny them the bread of the Gospel. [107] In this service, acorns [page 225] and exceedingly bitter roots seem to them a dish more delicious than the daintiest morsels of Europe. Those who have never tasted God without any creature comforts know not how sweet he is, taken all alone, so to speak. Non ex solo pane vivit homo.

At all events, these hardships cannot but seem all the more acceptable to us, the more abundantly they give us what we have come to seek in this remote corner of the world. Many a time have the Savages reproached us with the assertion that the faith was the sole cause of their calamities. That groundless belief has, it is true, caused us much suffering, and it aroused many of these barbarians to hostilities against the Fathers who were recently murdered; and yet we see plainly that the Cross, which caused the death of the Son of God, gives life to these people, and that persecutions beget faith. From the death of Father Antoine Daniel, which occurred July fourth of last year, sixteen hundred and forty-eight, up to that of Father Jean de Brebeuf and of Father Gabriel Lallemant, who were burned and eaten on the 16th and 17th of the month of March in the present year, 1649, we [108] baptized more than thirteen hundred persons; and, from the latter murders up to the month of August, we baptized more than fourteen hundred. Thus the Christian Church was increased by more than two thousand seven hundred souls in thirteen months, without counting those baptized at the Breach [i.e., the storming of the Huron villages], and those who were made Christians in other places. So true are those words, Sanguis Martyrum semen est Christianorum—" The blood of the Martyrs," if they may be so named, " is the seed and germ of Christians." [page 229]

I nearly forgot to tell you that, among Father Gabriel Lallemant's manuscripts, was found a paper from which we learned that, before coming to New France, he had devoted and consecrated himself to Our Lord for the purpose of receiving from his hand a violent death, either in exposing himself among the plague-stricken in Old France, or in seeking to save the Savages in the New,—with the added clause that he would esteem it a favor to he allowed to die for his Lord's glory in the flower of his age. That favor was granted to him richly.

In conclusion, experience taught us long ago that the [109] blessings which have come to us from the Cross of Jesus Christ are much more effectively received and communicated by crosses and sufferings than by prosperity. That is what consoles us amid persecution and want. Do not, however, cease to render us all the succor in your power, as it is not God's will that we should labor entirely alone in performing his work; many holy Souls are to share that honor. Saint Paul says that he is dead, and yet alive; thus it is that God treats this new Church, for which there is not one among us who does not wish to give his life and shed his blood.

Since we have inserted a part of a letter in this second edition, I believe it will not be out of place to add a very remarkable incident,—or rather, a miracle wrought by divine Providence on the crew of a Vessel Which set sail this last Spring for New France. While this vessel was sailing on the open sea,—at no great distance from the great bank, where the cod-fishery is carried on,—the mainmast broke its step, or came out of it, and pierced the Ship's bottom, so [110] that a flood of water rushed in. The crew, composed of about [page 229] thirty-seven persons, strove to check this flow,—some working the pump, others dipping water with buckets, while still others threw overboard the cannon and the Ship's cargo; but with all their efforts they could not overcome that torrent of water, and it soon sank the Vessel. As they were intending to fish they had lowered three Shallops, into which they leaped without being able to take any provisions with them,—only a little brandy being saved, as we were told. Behold them, then, with no biscuit or fresh water, in three small boats floating at the mercy of the winds, and of the waves which had just swallowed up their Ship. They saw nothing but Sky and sea, being more than a hundred leagues from the nearest land. one of these three Shallops became separated from the two others in the night, or in some storm, and we do not yet know what became of it. The occupants of the two others, having recourse to vows and prayers, appealed to the most holy Virgin, as to the [111] usual refuge of poor forsaken mortals. Thirteen days they pursued their way over those watery depths, accomplishing about three hundred and forty leagues, eating nothing, and drinking naught but a mere drop of brandy,—often contenting themselves, as some say, with wetting a stick in that liquor, and sucking it twice a day as their sole nourishment. I know not which is more marvelous, their living so long without eating, or their continuing so many days on the broad Ocean without perishing. When they felt their strength ebbing away. they talked of drawing lots to see which of them should serve the others for food. one of the number, who was rather stout and fleshy, said to them: " Do not resort to chance; I see no one in the [page 231] company better able to afford you nourishment than myself. " At this juncture a sea-turtle appeared near their Shallops. They seized it, dragged it in, and sucked its blood, which sustained them for some little time. When the strength derived from this cold nutriment had passed away, they again talked of drawing lots to decide who should be eaten by the others. All agreed to this. [112] Finally, the lot fell to that good, stout youngster who had already offered himself. " There," said he to them, " did not I tell you that it was God's will that you should eat me?" There was the victim, then, all ready; but as the French are not Savages, their abhorrence of eating human flesh,—and raw at that (for it will readily be believed that they had neither wood nor fireplace),—made one of them climb to the masthead, to take as wide a view as possible of the sea. By good luck, he saw a Vessel, and cried out, " A Ship, a Ship! I see a Ship!" At that word, all began to breathe new life; and they made straight for that Vessel, whose crew were greatly surprised at seeing so many men. The Frenchmen fell on their knees, and prayed that their lives might be saved. The others were Englishmen, who at first objected to receiving them, saying they had not enough food for so many. The French implored them, with clasped hands, only to give them daily a piece of biscuit as large as one's thumb, to keep them from dying. Some English women on board this Vessel threw themselves at their husbands' feet, and besought them [113] to take pity on those poor shipwrecked men,—offering even to fast a part of the time, for their sake. The men, moved by these good women's tenderness, received the suppliants; [page 233] and they gave to each, as a first dish, a glass of fresh water, and then a little pap. The next day they gave them a little more, to enlarge their stomachs by degrees, contracted as they were by so long a fast. In short, they saved their lives, and then took the men to the Island of Madeira, where they landed them. These good people were treated rather ill, according to their account, until they met with a Father of our Society and told him about their disaster; then the residents on that Island, seeing that our Fathers lent them aid, readily gave them everything they needed. this shipwreck caused serious loss to our Fathers in New France, and to many of its inhabitants; but God be blessed that the men were saved. We have learned the circumstances from them only in general, and, as it were, in fragments. One of the most noteworthy details is that those poor [114] shipwrecked men, upon arriving in France, went in a body to fulfill their vows in the house of the Holy Virgin at Saumur, and in that of Saint Anne in Brittany, before returning to their own houses, or greeting any of their relatives or friends. [page 235]




This is a Latin letter written by Jacques Buteux to the father general (Caraffa), dated at Three Rivers, September 21, 1649. The original MS. rests in the archives of the Society, where, presumably in 1858, Father Martin made a copy of it. six years later, Martin's translation of it into French was published in Carayon's Premiére Mission, pp. 247-253. In the present publication, we follow Martin's Latin apograph, now in the archives of St. Mary's College, Montreal, and our English translation is made therefrom.


Christophe Regnaut, a donne in the Huron mission, was sent with others, in the spring of 1649, to recover the bodies of the martyred Fathers Brebeuf and Gabriel Lalemant. This is his report of the expedition, with such particulars of their deaths as he could learn from Indian eye-witnesses. It is a graphic and interesting account, but is without date. We infer from the style, however, that it was written not long after the event, therefore have given it this order in our chronological arrangement. The original MS. was obtained in Paris by Douglas Brymner, archivist of the Dominion of Canada, and rests in the archives at Ottawa. Mr. Brymner [page 237] published the text of the original, and his English: translation thereof, in his Report on Canadian Archives 1884, pp. xiv, xv, lxiii-lxvii. We have here followed him in both, save a few verbal changes in the translation.


For bibliographical particulars of the Journal des Jésuites, see Vol. XXVII.


The Relation of 1648-49 (Paris, 1650) consists only of Ragueneau's Huron report to his superior. Jerome Lalemant did not render a personal account in this year to the provincial of the order in France. Ragueneau's Relation is represented by three French editions, and two distinct Latin versions. In reprinting the French text, we follow a copy of the first edition in the Lenox Library, known there; the " Lamoignon copy." But the addendum beginning, "Depvis qve cette Relation," is taken from the Lenox copy of the second editionñthe edition which it first appeared. The first edition is usually referred to as " H. 90," and the second as " H. 91 because described in Harrisse's notes, nos. 90 and 91. For the sake of convenience, and as a distinguishing mark, we shall use Harrisse's numbering.

Collation of H. 90 (first edition): Sig. ã in four, consisting of one blank leaf; title, with verso blank, I leaf; " Table des Chapitres," I leaf; " Priuilege with " Permission " on the verso, I leaf; Raguenea letter to his superior, Jerome Lalemant, pp. 1 - 4; Lalemant's introductory epistle to the provincial Claude de Lingendes, pp. 5 - 7; text, pp. 8 - 103; [page 238] verso of p. 103, blank. A letter from Chaumonot, dated "De l'Isle de S. Iofeph, ce I. Iuin 1649," begins on p. 97, and concludes this edition. Signatures: ã in four, A - F in eights, and G in four. There is no


The second edition (H. 91) is an entirely distinct edition from the preceding, and is differently composed. The title-pages agree so exactly in matter, punctuation, capitalization, and line-endings, that transcription would give them the appearance of identity; but they are not the same. The tail of the Q in " QVI," in the third line, varies in the two editions, and the ornament in H. 91 (the second edition) is a simple composition of printer's elements, such as enter into the make-up of head-ornaments. The tail-piece on p. 2 of the " Table des Chapitres" in H. 90, is lacking in H. 91; and the two editions have different ornamental initials and head-ornaments throughout. The second edition has also an addendum of eleven pages, beginning on p. 104, which is headed "DEPVIS QVE CETTE Relation," etc.

Collation of H. 91 (second edition): Title, with verso blank, I leaf; " Table des Chapitres," I leaf; Ragueneau's letter to Lalemant, pp. 1 - 4; Lalemant's epistle to the provincial, pp. 5 - 7; text, pp. 8 - 103; "Depvis qve cette Relation," pp. 104 - 114; " Priuilege" on p. 115, and "Permiffion'' on p. 116. Signatures: a in two, A - G in eights, H in two. There is no mispaging.

The third edition of this Relation was printed at Lille, and is much smaller in size than the Paris editions. Harrisse (Notes, no. 92) had not seen it, but bases his title and description on Mr. James [page 239] Lenox's desiderata list of Livres Curieux (New York, 1854), no. 86. A de visu description follows:

Relation | de ce qui soft paffe | en la Miffion des Peres | de la Compagnie | de Iesvs | avx Hvrons, | Pays de la Nouuelle France, és | années 1648. | & 1649. | Enuoyee | av R. P. Hierosme Lalemant, | Superieur des Miffions de la Compagnie | de Iesvs, en la Nouuelle France. | Par le P. Pavl Ragveneav, de la | mefme Compagnie. | Pour la faire tenir au R. P. Prouincial de la | mefme Compagnie. | [Cut of I H S. surrounded by rays and four cherubs] |

A Lille, | De l'Imprimerie de la Vefve de Pierre de J Rache, à la Bible d'Or, 1650.

Collation of H. 92 (third edition): Title, with verso blank, I leaf; Ragueneau's letter to Lalemant, pp. 3-5; Lalemant's epistle to the provincial, pp. 6-8; text, pp. 9-110; " Depvis qve cette Relation," pp. 111-121; "Table des Chapitres," pp. (2); "Approbation," p. (I). Signatures: A-G in eights, H in four, and I in two. The privilege and permission of former editions are replaced by the " Approbation," which was " Faict à Lille ce 2. de Mars 1650," and is signed by " IEAN PARENT Prestre Cenƒeur des Liures." There is no mispaging.

There are two distinct Latin versions of the Relation of 1648 - 49. The first is Gobat's translation, which follows the first French edition (H. 90), and appeared in the same year as the original text. It is Harrisse's no. 93. A description follows:

Narratio | Historica | eorvm, quæ so- | cietas Iesv in | Nova Francia ] Fortiter egit, & paffa eft, | Annis M.DC.XLIIX. & XLIX. | è Gallico in Latinum tranflata | a P. Georgio Gobat | eiufdem Societatis Iesv | Theologo. | [Ornament] | [page 240] Œniponti. | Typis Hieronymi Agricolæ. | Anno 1650. | Cum facultate Superiorum.

Collation: Title, with verso blank, | leaf; " Epistola Dedicatoria," pp. (12); " Interpretis. Ad Lectorem Preefatio," pp. (10); Ragueneau's letter to Lalemant, pp. 1 - 5; Lalemant's epistle to the provincial, pp. 6- 10; text, pp. 11-228; '; ProteRatio Interpretis," pp. 229-232; table, entitled " Elenchvs hvivs libelli capitum," pp. (2); " Menda," with verso blank, 1 leaf. Signatures: A - L in twelves, the last two leaves being blank. Signature K4 is misnumbered L4; and page 213 is misprinted as 113. CEnipons is the Latin form for Innspruck, the capital of Austrian Tyrol. The Agricola family of printers carried on business there as early as the latter part of the sixteenth century.

The second Latin version, poorly described by Harrisse (Notes, no. 99), has already been referred to in our Vol. XIV., pp. 283-284. It is in fact only an excerpt from the first Paris edition of Ragueneau's volume; and the rather free translation is given in a condensed form. It ends with the paragraph that speaks of Brebeuf's death crowning his life, and which corresponds to pp. 85 and 86 of the first Paris edition, and to pp. 187 and 188 of Gobat's Latin version. The volume of which it forms part I. is described as follows:

Progressvs Fidei | Catholicae | in Novo Orbe. | I. Jn Canada, Sive | Noua Francia. | II. | Jn Cochin China. | III. | In magno Chinensi | Regno: | De quo R. P. Nicolaus Trigautius | Societ. Iesv libris V. copiose & accurate | fcripfit. | [Six lines and ornament] |

Coloniæ Agrippinæ, | Apud Joannem Kinchium [page 241] fub | Monocerote veteri. | Anno M.DC.LIII. | PermiSu Superior. & Priuil. S. C. M. General.

Collation: Title, with " Lectori," etc., on the verso, | leaf; text of Part I., pp. 3 - 34; text of Part II., pp. 34 - 49; text of Part III ., pp. 49 - 60; " Omnia | ad maiorem | Dei | gloriam, | piorumque Catholicorum | consolationem. j ," with verso blank, I leaf. The volume is extremely rare, the only eopy known to us being in the private library of John Nicholas Brown, of Providence, R. I.

Copies of the first Paris edition are in the following eollections: Lenox, Brown (private), Ayer (private), Laval University (Quebec), Public Library of Toronto, British Museum, and Bibliothbque Nationale (Pans). Copies have been sold or priced as follows: Maisonneuve, of Paris, priced (1878) at 200 francs; Barlow sale (1890), nos. 1296 and 1297, sold for $5 and $6, respectively; Chadenat, of Paris, priced (1890) at 280 francs; Dufosse, of Paris, priced (X8g1 and 1892) at 200 and 150 francs, respectively; Dodd, Mead & Co., priced in list no. 42 (April, 1896), at $55.

Copies of the second Paris edition are in the following collections: Lenox, Brown (private), Laval University (Quebec), Library of Parliament (Ottawa), and British Museum. Copies have been sold or priced as follows: O'Callaghan sale (1882), no. 1228, sold for $50, and had cost him $37.50 in gold; Harrassowitz (1882), no. 33, priced at 160 marks; Chadenat, priced (1889, 1890, and 1893) at 250, 200, and 250 francs, respectively; Barlow sale (1890), no. 1298, sold for $70; and Dufosse (1891), priced at 200 francs. Copies of the third or Lille edition are in Lenox and Harvard libraries. We have no record of copies sold or offered. [page 242]

The Latin version of Gobat is in the following collections: Lenox, Harvard, Brown (private), British Museum, and undoubtedly, in several of the other collections of Relations. It is often catalogued vaguely, and apart from the French volumes, and hence does not appear under its proper heading. Copies have been sold or priced as follows: Leclerc (1878), no. 2578, priced at 130 francs, O'Callaghan (1882), no. 1227, sold for $12; and Barlow (1890), no. 1016, sold for $21. [page 243]


(Figures in parentheses, following number of note refer to pages of English text.)