Saturday, October 19, 2013

October 19: Saint Isaac Jogues and the North American Martyrs

North American Martyrs Holy Card, circa 1930
Published in the U.S. between 1923-1963
Copyright not renewed.


In the 1600s, Saints Isaac Jorgues, Jean de Brébeuf, Anthony Daniel, Gabriel Lalemant and  Noel Chabanel were Jesuit priests who went to the Huron region of Canada to teach Native Americans about Jesus. Saints Jean de Lalande and René Goupil were their helpers. But the Native Americans were having hard times. The Huron tribe was dying from sickness and starvation, and the Iroquois were constantly attacking them. The medicine men of both tribes and of the Mohawks thought these Christian men were the cause of all their troubles. Father Jorgues was captured, tortured and released. He went back to Europe briefly, where he was blessed by the pope, but his love for the Native people led him back to America, no matter what he might suffer. One by one, each of the saints were killed by the Native Americans, the first Christian martyrs on the continent.


Father Jorgues and all of the other North American Martyrs loved the Native Americans and immersed themselves in Native culture. They lived and ate with the tribes they ministered to, so they could understand them better. Here is a recipe made from two of the most important foods for the Huron: corn and maple syrup.

Maple Cornbread

From “The Huron” by David C. King

1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 egg
3 tablespoons melted butter
½ cup pure maple syrup (not maple-flavored syrup)
¾ cup milk

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and butter a 9x9 square baking dish.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt.
3. In a medium mixing bowl, beat the eggs. Then add the melted butter, syrup and milk to the bowl and whisk them together. Pour these liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients in the large bowl.
4. Stir the two mixtures together only until the dry ingredients are wet. Batter should be lumpy. Pour batter into the baking pan and bake about 20 minutes, or until the top is a light golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes, and then cut into squares and serve.

North American Martyrs, pray for us!

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