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St. John de Brebeuf & Companions

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Feastday: October 19
Patron of Canada
Death: 1649

Jesuit martyrs of North America. John was born in Conde-sur­Vire, in Normandy, France, on March 25, 1593 . Joining the Society of Jesus, he was ordained in 1622. Three years later he volunteered for the missions in Quebec. Canada. For the next quarter of a century. with a brief interruption, he labored among the Huron Indians. His labors were placed in jeopardy because of Huguenot ren­egades and a smallpox epidemic that decimated entire Indian villages. John left for a brief time when the English captured Quebec, but returned to the Hurons again. In 1649 he was captured by the Iroquois, who were enemies of the Huron. John and his companions were cruelly slain on March 16 at Sault Ste. Marie near Georgian Bay. His companions were: Isaac Jogues. Anthony Daniel. Gabriel Lalement, Charles Gamier, Noel Chabanel, John Lalande, and Rene Goupil -- all Jesuits. John de Brebeuf converted seven thousand Indians and composed a dic­tionary and catechism in the Huron language. He was canonized in 1930.


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