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Jacques and Jean de Lamberville

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Jacques de Lamberville

Jesuit missionary, b. at Rouen, 1641; d. at Quebec, 1710. He joined the Society in 1661, and proceeded to Canada in 1675 to labour almost uninterruptedly on the Iroquois missions until his death. At Onondaga he discerned the soul of a saint in the Algonquin captive, Catherine Tegakwitha, whom he instructed and baptized. He helped his brother Jean to pacify the Iroquois, irritated by Governor de la Barres untimely campaign. After a few years of respite in Quebec and Montreal, he returned to Onondaga at the request of the natives, only to leave it in 1709 through the intrigues of Abraham Schuyler. Like his elder brother, he lived among the Iroquois during a period when the rivalry of the French and English to secure the alliance of that fierce nation endangered the lives of the missionaries. Charlevoix says he was "one of the holiest missionaries of New France "; he was called the "Divine man " by the Indians.

Jean de Lamberville

Elder brother of the preceding and also a Jesuit missionary, b. at Rouen, 1633; d. at Paris, 1714. He joined the Society in 1656, and came to Canada in 1669. He spent fourteen years with the Onondaga Iroquois. His patriotic aim was to maintain peace between the French and the Iroquois, with the latter of whom his influence was paramount. When Denonville secretly prepared to avenge the humiliating conditions of peace resulting from de la Barres rash expedition, Lambervilles life was greatly exposed through the governors fault, as he had been deceived into convoking the assembly at Cataracoui where several Iroquois chiefs were treacherously captured and condemned to the galleys; his reputation for honesty and uprightness alone saved him. He vainly strove to prevent the devastation of the Tsonnontouan villages, of which the massacre of Lachine (1689) was the retaliation. When the Onondagas and Mohawks harassed the French allies, Lamberville consented to negotiate peace. His wise diplomacy obtained a mitigation of the humiliating terms proposed at Governor Dongan's instigation, and Denonville duly praised his ability and devotedness. From France where shattered health forced him to retire, he tried to come back to his mission, but death intervened in 1714. The Menology of the Society says that "he had the spiritual physiognomy of Brébeuf."

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