In the public park near the martyr shrine at Midland, Ontario the guides were forbidden to tell the truth of how the Holy Canadian Martyrs’ died. I do not know what they were expected to tell people. The eight Jesuit missionaries became martyrs from eating the wrong spices? They thought wild hemlock was dill weed and sprinkled their food accordingly? They threw up once to often from sea sickness while crossing the Atlantic? Our treatment of the Jesuit missionaries who brought Christianity and thus civilisation to North America is the most shameful deceit and laundering of history possibly in the world.
It is not out of sensitiviy to the native’s self image that the truth has been censored. It is because the Jesuit martyrs are such a reproach to the mentality and spiritual sloppiness of Twentieth century Canadians. In and out of the Church people talk about uncomfortable as the biggest “ sin” if there was such as thing as sin. We are told by a nun that I mustn’t kneel because it is difficult for me. We are told by a priest that we can’t have any priest because he is uncomfortable with our spirituality. I can’t go to my mother- in- law’s non- funeral because I make others uncomfortable. As a former member of the legislature I was invited to the memorial service of Allan Blakeney. When I phoned and confirmed that I would be in attendance the lady in protocol just about started crying. We decided not paying bills made us more uncomfortable than travelling the length of the province for such a non- welcome.
The big question is why did the Jesuit’s bother? Why didn’t they mow down the natives as if they were annoying gophers stopping a good wheat crop? The answer is that they believed the natives and all other people were intrinsically sacred and that God wanted their souls saved to live with Him, their creator , in Heaven forever. They believed that to suffer for the cause of Christ was the greatest joy and purpose on earth.
It was not just the Iroquois who tortured prisoners but the Hurons and Algonquins did as well. The Neutrals, another tribe, would torture women prisoners as well. They would torture and do various other cruel acts to appease their god. They believed that their gods whom they called demons would be displeased and would punish them if they did not torture, defile, denigrate and eat their enemies.
Here is a short description of what Hurons did to an Iroquois captive:
“As soon as the prisoner was led in, braves pounced on him like tigers, tearing at him, beating him, pursuing him with flaming torches as he ran wildly from one end to the other. They would often stop him to break the bones of his hands, some pierced his ears with sharp sticks and bound his wrists with cords which they pulled on with all their strength. At one point he fell, and the elders, fearful he might die that night, stopped the tortures , only to resume them when he revived. ... The Iroquois was alive at dawn. They led him outside the village and tied him to a post on a scaffolding six feet high. They seared him with torches thrust these down his throat and into his fundament. They fastened red- hot hatchets about his shoulders and burned his eyes. They cut off a foot, then a hand, and finally severed the head from the shoulders. The trunk was dismemberd and put into kettles, and the Indians ate with relish the flesh of the Iroquois.”
It can well be argued that no missionaries at any time in history suffered as much as the Jesuits in Canada. Being mauled by a lion for a while in a coliseum of Rome was no
match to the ordeal that Pere Lalement suffered as well as others. Everything: the food, the climate, the travel, the isolation, the degenercy and filth was extreme in comparison to the spreading of the Gospel around the Mediterranean by the first Apostles. Canada became a Christian country because a small band of missionaries year after year gave everything to convert the natives. We ignore what they did to our peril.
The natives were cruel, superstitious, fearful and controlled by demon controlled sorcerers because they did not have the Gospel. The Jesuits gave them the Gospel. The natives were not lower in the evolutionary scale than the Romans , the Greeks, the Zulus or the Japanese. They were removed from the saving power of Christ. That offends because secular Canadians want to believe that people don’t need a Saviour, there is no Real Truth to share and no eternal consequences. Therefore history becomes lies.
Saints of the American Wilderness by John A.Obrien was first published in 1953. It uses as sources the Jesuit Relations and Protestant historian Francis Parkman. It has been republished by Sophia Press and can be purchased by St. Francis Books in Cannington, Ontario Tel. number is 705-432-8420. I dare you to read this book and discover for yourself how many lies of commission and omission we have been told and perhaps have spread. Holy Canadian Martyrs pray for us. Gay