Today, we remember our North American Martyrs. Our site is named after—and primarily dedicated to—the Canadian missionary martyr Saint Gabriel Lallemant (or “Lalemant,” depending on the particular reference). Born in France in 1610, Fr. Lallemant took a vow to devote himself to foreign missions after joining the Jesuits in 1630, which eventually brought him to Quebec. He was martyred at the mission of Saint Ignace on March 17, 1649. He was 39 years of age. His last moments are recorded as follows:
“At the height of these torments, Father Gabriel Lallemant lifted his eyes to Heaven, clasping his hands from time to time and uttering sighs to God, whom he invoked to his aid.” [He] “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 not been broiled, and in which he had not been burned alive,—even the eyes into which those impious ones had thrust burning coals.”
Saint Gabriel Lallemant was one of a group of eight Canadian Martyrs to whom our site is also dedicated. We remember them in prayer as follows:
Oh God, who inflamed the hearts of the blessed martyrs,
With an admirable zeal for the salvation of souls,
Grant me, I beseech thee, my petitions,
So that the favours obtained through their intercession,
Might make manifest before all people,
The power and the glory of thy Name.
Saint Jean Brebeuf, pray for us,
Saint Isaac Jogues, pray for us,
Saint Gabriel Lallemant, pray for us,
Saint Anthony Daniel, pray for us,
Saint Charles Garnier, pray for us,
Saint Noel Chabanel, pray for us,
Saint Rene Goupil, pray for us,
Saint Jean Lalande, pray for us,
Holy Mary, Queen of Martyrs, pray for us.
Here are more of our Saints:
Saint André Bessette
Saint Marie-Marguerite d’Youville
Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys
Saint Eulalie-Melanie Durocher
Furthermore, we rejoice at the upcoming canonization of Blessed Kateri Tekawitha—the flower of the Algonquins, the Lily of the Mohawks—a precious child of Jesus which we share with our American neighbours, as she lived in both what is present day New York State and the Province of Quebec. This event gives us our second Native American Saint after Saint Juan Diego, and our first Saint from the First Nations people of North America. We will be posting local events and celebrations leading up to the day of her canonization in the upcoming days.