Saturday, July 23, 2016

inSPIREd Sunday

July 2016 - Sainte-Marie among the Hurons, ON

I have a beauty for you this week. I was looking up the historical village of Sainte-Marie and came across the Martyrs' Shrine. So I added it to the agenda on Thursday.

As we got close we both spotted a church in the distance, to our my delight, just kidding, John humours my passion for churches. You would even think I was quite religious!! Nope, just love the pomp and ceremony of religion of any kind. The history and the architecture also fascinate me.

It was a hot hot day with a really flat sky.

Click here to be taken to the website of the Shrine.

I do not remember being taught about the Canadian Martyrs in either Canadian History or religion. But then how much attention did we really pay in these lessons as a child?
Thank you to Wikipedia for the following information. I have left some links for those interested in more.

In 1907, Dennis O'Connor, Archbishop of Toronto, consecrated a small chapel at Waubaushene, near the site where Sts. Jean de Brébeuf and Gabriel Lalemant were martyred. In 1925, Fr. John M. Filion, provincial superior of Jesuits in Canada, decided to pursue the construction of a larger church closer to the mission. He bought the Standin farm in Midland, across the road from Sainte-Marie.

The craftsman used Longford stone from the east side of Lake Simcoe. The old St. Peter’s Church on Bathurst Street in Toronto was being replaced, so the Shrine got the three altars, the communion rail, the rose windows and the pews.

The Canadian Martyrs, also known as the North American Martyrs, were eight Jesuit missionaries from Sainte-Marie among the Hurons. They were ritually tortured and killed on various dates in the mid-17th century in Canada, in what is now southern Ontario, and in upstate New York, during the warfare between the Iroquois (particularly the Mohawk people) and the Huron. They are considered martyrs of Catholicism.

The martyrs are St. René Goupil (1642), St. Isaac Jogues (1646), St. Jean de Lalande (1646), St. Antoine Daniel (1648), St. Jean de Brébeuf (1649), St. Noël Chabanel (1649), St. Charles Garnier (1649),and St.Gabriel Lalemant (1649).

Incredible Stations of the Cross!

The same year the cathedral in London, Ontario was being renovated and the architect rejected the 14 Stations of the Cross which are now in this church and are one of its chief ornaments. We also got the stained glass windows from the cathedral. They were painted in Germany. They came gratis.

Joseph Chiwatenhwa was amongst the first believers of the indigenous peoples of Canada who accepted the Christian faith through the missionary and evangelistic work of the French Province of the Society of Jesus in the 17th century.

Joseph Chiwatenhwa sensed that he might eventually be killed for his faith and love for Jesus Christ. He was martyred on 2 August 1640, aged 38.

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux (born Marie Françoise-Thérèse Martin; January 2, 1873 – September 30, 1897), or Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, O.C.D., was a Roman Catholic French Discalced Carmelite nun widely venerated in modern times. She is popularly known as "The Little Flower of Jesus" or simply "The Little Flower".

We finished in the church and were surprised by the amazing grounds. There was a garden of the Stations of the Cross.

This map shows the layout.

To give you a perspective on how large the Stations are.

It's so hot I wouldn't mind being sprayed.

A wooden statue of John Paul II made from a 400 year old white pine log.

Jesuit missionaries worked among the Huron (Wendat), an Iroquoian-speaking people who occupied territory in the Georgian Bay area of Central Ontario. (They were not part of the Iroquois Confederacy, initially made up of five tribes south and east of the Great Lakes.) The area of their traditional territory is called Huronia. The Huron in this area were farmers, fishermen and traders who lived in villages surrounded by defensive wooden palisades for protection. Sainte-Marie among the Hurons was the headquarters for the French Jesuit Mission to the Huron Wendat people.

By the late 1640s the Jesuits believed they were making progress in their mission to the Huron, and claimed to have made many converts. But, the priests were not universally trusted. Many Huron considered them to be malevolent shamans who brought death and disease wherever they travelled; after European contact, the Huron had suffered high fatalities in epidemics after 1634 of smallpox and other Eurasian infectious diseases, to which aboriginal peoples had no immunity. (Epidemiological studies have shown the diseases were likely carried by the increased number of children immigrating after 1634 with families from cities in nations where smallpox was endemic, such as France, England and the Netherlands).

It was so hot we didn't walk up to everything. I stepped into here and it was like an oven.

The nations of the Iroquois Confederacy considered the Jesuits legitimate targets of their raids and warfare, as the missionaries were nominally allies of the Huron and French fur traders. Retaliating for French colonial attacks against the Iroquois was also a reason for their raids against the Huron and Jesuits. 

Joseph Chiwatenhwa 

St. Kateri Tekakwitha is the first Native American to be recognized as a saint by the Catholic Church. She was born in 1656, in the Mohawk village of Ossernenon. Her mother was an Algonquin, who was captured by the Mohawks and who took a Mohawk chief for her husband.

Father Isaac Jogues

Saint Kim Taegon Andrea, generally referred to as Saint Andrew Kim Taegon in English, was the first Korean-born Catholic priest and is the patron saint of Korea. In the late 18th century, Roman Catholicism began to take root slowly in Korea.

In 1846, at the age of 25, he was tortured and beheaded near Seoul.

In 1642, the Mohawk captured René Goupil, and Father Isaac Jogues, bringing them back to their village of Ossernenon south of the Mohawk River. They ritually tortured both men and killed Goupil. After several months of captivity, Jogues was ransomed by Dutch traders and the minister Johannes Megapolensis from New Netherland (later Albany). He returned for a time to France, but then sailed back to Quebec. In 1646 he and Jean de Lalande were killed during a visit to Ossernenon intended to achieve peace between the French and the Mohawk.

There are various altars set up around the grounds.

The martyrs were canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1930 They are collectively the secondary patron saints of Canada. St. René Goupil, St. Isaac Jogues, and St. Jean de Lalande are the first three U.S. saints, martyred at Ossernenon, 9 miles west of the confluence of the Schoharie and Mohawk rivers.

By far my favourite! Huge rosary beads.


  1. Well done love. Great research and write up. I'm akl churched out now, unyil next trip.❤

  2. Jackie, this is fabulous, like a visit to an art gallery!

  3. wow, gorgeous. i love the shot looking up the stairs, it looks so so tall. happy weekend. ( ;

  4. That is quite a large place. Thanks for all the history and enduring the heat to share it with us.

  5. Wow, I haven't been to Martyr's Shrine in ages and haven't seen any of these statues. Thanks for this tour!

  6. I haven't been there for many years. Lots of new things!

  7. What and amazing church to visit. Thanks for the tour


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