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Saint Isaac Jogues

Updated on August 12, 2010

About Saint Isaac Jogues

Saint Isaac Jogues was born in January of 1607 in Orleans, France. His mother and father were both devout Christians, and taught him how to be a good person and follow the ways of Christ.

Isaac knew from a quite young age that he really wanted to become a member of a religious group of some nature. When he was finally old enough to make a decision in 1624, he chose to devote his life to being a member of the Society of Jesus. The Society of Jesus sent Saint Isaac Jogues to try and convert some of the Huron and Algonquin tribes of North America to Christianity. This was not an easy task by any means.

While Isaac lived with the Huron tribe, a battle broke out. The Mohawk tribe hated Christians and captured Isaac, to his misfortune. They decided to torture him along with many others of his faith. Isaac lost several fingers to methods of torture by the Mohawk.

Isaac never gave up hope of some day reaching freedom again though, and his hopes would eventually become reality. Before that Isaac was used as a slave for the Mohawk people though. Dutch traders came into contact with the tribe one day and brought Isaac back to New York with them.

Isaac was given a boat ride back to France by the Dutch traders. When he returned home, many were shocked to see him because they had thought the worst had happened on his journey to North America. He had been professed a martyr by many already, but upon his return he became a "living martyr"

Isaac was not content living in France though and went back to North America to seek out the Mohawk people. He wanted to show them the ways of Christianity and change their violent ways. Isaac saw small success and convinced a few members of the tribe that Christianity was good. Most thought of Isaac and Christianity as some sort of foreign magic that was meant to fool them. This is how things turned ugly for Isaac. The Mohawk people had a terrible harvest and put him in the position of scapegoat.

Saint Isaac was taken away and beaten senseless until he was found to be dead. The Mohawk people were extraordinarily belligerent and they proceeded to behead Isaac's dead body. This occurred on the 18th of October in 1646. In 1930, Pope Pius XI made Isaac a saint by canonizing him for his work. 


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