Father Jacques Marqette, May 18

May 18, 2010

Father Marquette preachingFather Jacques Marquette

Laon, France, June 1o, 1637 – May 18, 1675, Ludington, MI

Father Jacques Marquette SJ, sometimes known as Pere Marquette, was a French missionary who founded Michigan’s first European settlement, Sault Ste. Marie, and later founded St. Ignace, Michigan. Father Marquette and Louis Jolliet were the first non-Native Americans to see and map the northern portion of the Mississippi River.

Jacques Marquette was born in Laon, France, on June 1, 1637 and joined the Society of Jesus at age seventeen. After working and teaching in France for several years, he was dispatched to Quebec in 1666 to preach to the Native Americans, where he showed great proficiency in the local languages, especially Huron. In 1668 Father Marquette (French: Père Marquette) was redeployed by his superiors to missions farther up the St. Lawrence River in the western Great Lakes. He worked at Sault Ste. Marie and at the Mission of the Holy Spirit in La Pointe, on Lake Superior, near the present-day city of Ashland, Wisconsin. Here, he came into contact with members of the Illinois tribes, who told him of the existence of the Mississippi River and invited him to come teach further south. Because of wars between the Hurons at La Pointe and the neighboring Dakota people, however, Father Marquette had to relocate to the Straits of Mackinac; he informed his superiors about the rumored river and requested permission to explore it.

Leave was granted, and in 1673, Marquette was joined by Louis Joliet, a French Canadian explorer. They departed from St. Ignace on May 17, with two canoes and five other voyageurs of French-Indian ancestry. They followed Lake Michigan to the Bay of Green Bay and up the Fox River. From there, they portaged to the Wisconsin River, which they were told led to the river they sought. On June 17, they entered the Mississippi near Prairie du Chien.

The Joliet-Marquette expedition traveled to within 435 miles (700 km) of the Gulf of Mexico but turned back at the mouth of the Arkansas River. By this point they had encountered several natives carrying European trinkets, and they feared an encounter with explorers or colonists from Spain.[2] They followed the Mississippi back to the mouth of the Illinois River, which they learned from local natives was a shorter route back to the Great Lakes. They returned to Lake Michigan near the location of modern-day Chicago. Marquette stopped at the mission of St. Francis Xavier in Green Bay in September, while Joliet returned to Quebec to relate the news of their discoveries.

Marquette and his party returned to the Illinois Territory in late 1674, becoming the first Europeans to winter in what would become the city of Chicago. In the spring of 1675, the missionary again paddled westward and celebrated a public Mass at the Grand Village of the Illinois near Starved Rock. A bout of dysentery picked up during the Mississippi expedition, however, had sapped his health. On the return trip to St. Ignace, he died near the modern town of Ludington, Michigan.

The Michigan Historical Marker at this location reads:

Father Marquette Memorial Father Jacques Marquette, the great Jesuit missionary and explorer, died and was buried by two French companions somewhere along the Lake Michigan shore on May 18, 1675. He had been returning to his mission at St. Ignace which he had left in 1673 to go exploring in the Mississippi country. The exact location of his death has long been a subject of controversy. A spot close to the southeast slope of this hill, near the ancient outlet of the Pere Marquette River, corresponds with the death site as located by early French accounts and maps and a constant tradition of the past. Marquette’s remains were reburied at St. Ignace in 1677. ”

His grave is now located at what is currently the Ojibway Museum on State Street in downtown St. Ignace. Father Marquette is memorialized in several towns and rivers that bear his name (such as Marquette, Michigan), as well as the Father Marquette National Memorial near St. Ignace. Pere Marquette State Park near Grafton, Illinois, is located at the confluence of the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers and is the site where Indians of the Illini Confederation showed Marquette a faster return route to the Great Lakes.

SOURCE

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Saint Isaac Jogues, October 18

October 19, 2009

Saint Isaac Jogues

Saint Isaac Jogues, Priest and Martyr
Orléans, France, January 10, 1607 – Ossernenon, Canada, October 18, 1646

He was born January 10, 1607 at Orleans in France. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1624 and in 1636, after receiving ordination, he was sent to North America to evangelize indigenous peoples. Hhe went to the Great Lakes, where he lived for six years always exposed to various dangers. In 1642, Isaac Jogues, Rene Goupil and coadjutor with the forty Hurons, fell into an ambush stretched by the Iroquois. They were all tortured and savagely mutilated. The night they put them on the floor, naked and chained, and pour over them hot coals and ashes. Jogues was transferred to Albany, where the merchants Dutch Calvinists helped him to escape. He returned to France. But in 1644 the missionary departed for Canada. Two years later he was shot in the neck and decapitated. There were eight Jesuit Martyrs in North America, all Beatified in 1925 and Canonized in 1930 by Pope Pius XI.

Roman Martyrology: In the village of Ossernenon in Canada, the passion of St. Isaac Jogues, Jesuit Priest and Martyr, who was enslaved by some pagans and had his fingers mutilated, then died with his head smashed by a blow of the ax.

More information about St. Isaac may be found here.

Source: Santi e Beati


Father Louis Hennepin, July 15

July 15, 2009

Father Louis HennepinFather Louis Hennepin

May 12, 1626, Ath, Hainaut, Belgium-1705, Rome

Please note that as Father Hennepin’s exact date of death is unknown, I have assigned him to a random day. If you have further information regarding date and location of his death, please post in combox.

One of the most famous explorers in the wilds of North America during the seventeenth century.  In his writings he always refers to himself as a Fleming. Very little is known of his childhood and early manhood, but, after a proper course of education, he entered upon a novitiate in the Récollet branch of the Franciscan Order, whose members adopted the most austere regimen and undertook most arduous labours. he passed his novitiate in the Récollet monastery at Béthune, province of Artois (now the department of Pas-de-Calais), France. During his youth he had been sent to Ghent in Belgium for the purpose of learning the Dutch language, and, at the time, had mentioned to one of his sisters residing there the strong inclination which he had always felt to travel about the world. His sister attempted to dissuade him from such a design, but Hennepin continued under the sway of two impulses, of which one is described in his own language thus: “I always found in myself a strong inclination to retire from the world and to regulate my life according to the rules of pure and severe virtue, and, in compliance with this humor, I entered the Franciscan Order, designing to confine myself to an austere way of living. Read the rest of this entry »