The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents


Travels and Explorations

of the Jesuit Missionaries

in New France







Reuben Gold Thwaites

Secretary of the State historical Society of Wisconsin


Tomasz Mentrak


Vol. LII

Lower Canada, Iroquois, Ottawas


CLEVELAND:            The Burrows Brothers





Vol. LII

[Page iii]

The edition consists of sev-

en hundred and fifty sets

all numbered.


The Burrows Brothers Co.

[Page iv]



Reuben Gold Thwaites




|  Finlow Alexander


|  Percy Favor Bicknell


|  william Frederic Giese


|  Crawford Lindsay


|  william Price


|  Hiram Allen Sober



Assistant Editor

Emma Helen Blair



Bibliographical Adviser

Victor Hugo Paltsits



Electronic Transcription

Tomasz Mentrak


[Page v]

Copyright, 1899


The Burrows Company


all rights reserved

The Imperial Press, Cleveland

[Page ]





Preface To Volume LII






Relation de ce qvi s’est passé en la Novvelle France, aux années mil fix cens foixante-fept & mil fix cens foixante-huit. [Second and final installment.] François le Mercier, n.p., n. d.; François de Laval, Quebec, November 8, 1668; Marie de S. Bonnaventure de Jesus, Quebec, October 4, 1668.







Relation de ce qvi s’est passé en la Novvelle France, les années 1668. & 1669. [François le Mercier], n.p., n.d.












Bibliographical Data; Volume






[Page vii]







Photographic facsimile of title-page, Relation of 1668-69












[Page viii]


Following is a synopsis of the documents contained in this volume:

CXXIV. In Vol. LI. appeared Chaps. i.-viii. of the Relation of 1667-68; the rest of the document is here given. Le Mercier, having in preceding chapters outlined the state of the various distant missions, now returns to affairs at Quebec. A remnant of the Hurons — “small indeed, but very precious” — yet exists there. Still more, the Jesuits there are instructing over two hundred Iroquois, sixty of whom have been baptized. The details of some remarkable conversions among these people are given; and the writer describes the death of a Young Indian girl, who had planned to become an Ursuline nun, Her patience, purity, and devotion show that she has reached “the perfection of souls consummate in sanctity;” and she has a visit from the Virgin Mary, and a vision of angels at her death.

The Relation proper apparently terminates here; but various addenda are made, beginning with a letter from Laval to a French priest in Paris. He notes the recent arrival in Canada of several priests from France, enabling him to supply outlying settlements, which have hitherto been destitute of religious services. Laval mentions with much gratification his recent visit to Tadoussac (described in Chap. vii. of this Relation). He has undertaken to educate a [Page 9] number of Indian children in the French mode of life and language; but finds considerable difficulty in this, as the Indian parents cling to their children and will not be long separated from them. This seminary is a branch of the older one, which is, about this time, united with the Paris Seminary of Foreign Missions.

A postscript is added, “on the eve of the departure of the last ship,” stating that ambassadors have just arrived from the Senecas to ask that Jesuits be sent to instruct them; and that Father Frémin has already gone to that tribe, leaving the Mohawks to the care of Pierron. The comparative gentleness and docility of the Senecas, and the presence among them of a Christian Huron village, render this a promising field of labor for the Jesuits.

Next follows a circular letter on the death of Mother Catherine de St. Augustin, a Hospital nun of Quebec, who passed away May 8, 1668. The details of her life, character, and religious experiences are recounted at considerable length, as also are the particulars of her death. She has many visions, and the martyr Brébeuf appears to her as her celestial spiritual director. Another circular letter — sent for the French convents belonging to the Institute of Hospital Nuns at Dieppe — narrates many of her pious traits, and graces received from heaven. Among the latter are included a knowledge of the inmost feelings and secret sins of others, the ability to predict future events, visits from departed saints, and even from the Virgin and Christ. At the end of this letter is a short article, probably written by the Jesuit superior at Quebec, praising the admirable work done by the nuns, both Hospital and [Page 10] ursuline. Finally, in some copies of this Relation is found a letter from the hospital superior, similar in tenor to those of preceding years. She returns thanks for alms received by the hospital, mentions the death of Mother de St. Augustine (described in the circular letters preceding), refers to the need of more nurses for their work, and adds the usual list of articles needed for the sick.

CXXV. The Relation of 1668-69 is here given entire. The missions among the Iroquois tribes are, of course, the chief subject of interest at this time, and much space is given to the account of their work. Letters by Pierron are quoted, which show that the Mohawks are now favorably disposed to the faith. He has learned enough of their language to explain the doctrines to them, and hear their confessions; he also finds effective aid to his labors in pictures, painted by himself. These greatly interest the savages, and impress upon their minds the religious teachings they receive. Representations of heaven and hell, of demons and angels, have especial influence upon them. The Father visits, every week, seven large villages. He describes some conversions among these people, mostly of old men. The medicine-men do not dare to practice their arts in his presence, since “by his address, he has rendered them so ridiculous.” Many, especially among the women, are regularly instructed in the catechism; and some adults have been baptized. The courage and devotion manifested by many of these neophytes shows that “the savages, as well as the French, are capable of everything in matters that concern piety and the service of God. They know all that is most difficult in the Mystery of the holy Trinity; they distinguish [Page 11] the two natures in Jesus Christ; they are familiar with what the Church teaches about the immortality of our souls, the judgment, mortal sin, venial sin, and original sin.”

The severe punishments recently inflicted upon the Mohawks by the new governor, Courcelles, have had a salutary effect. Their haughty spirit is humbled; and they even entreat the French to aid them in their war against the Mohican tribes. They also see the dangers and evils of brandy-drinking, and hold a public council to consider this matter. Under Pierron’s direction, they draw up a memorial to the English governor at New York, complaining that Albany traders sell them too much liquor. He writes to the Father in answer, promising to punish severely any offense of this kind.

During the two years 1668 and 1669, the baptisms among the Mohawks number one hundred and fifty-one. This harvest of souls is to be largely attributed to “the death and blood of the Reverend Father Jogues.”

Among the Oneidas, “least tractable of all the Iroquois,” Bruyas is toiling for their salvation. Not having been attacked by the French army, they are proud and haughty, averse to religion, and contemptuous toward the other tribes of their nation. The Father encounters, from most of them, only “rebuff s and scorn;” but he wins a few old persons, and baptizes some dying children — in all, nearly thirty. The infidels and drunkards often annoy him, and even threaten his life; but he labors on for their salvation, amid poverty, hardships, and persecution.

“During the greater part of the year, he has only dried frogs” for food. His greatest consolation is [Page 12] the holy life of a fervent Christian woman — which is described at some length in one of his letters.

In the Onondaga mission are two laborers — Pierre Milet and Julien Garnier. Their greatest obstacle is the faith of the savages in their dreams, and the superstitious rites which these occasion. Still, the Onondagas are, in most cases, disposed to hear and respect the truth; and the influence and friendship of the chief Garakontie are most helpful to the Fathers. The Huron captives have done much to prepare the way for the faith among these tribes; for they remember the instructions they had received in their own country, and practice all the Christian duties to the best of their ability. Over thirty persons have been baptized at this mission during the year.

At Cayuga, Father Carheil is in charge. The savages build him a Chapel, and many go thither for instruction. In a panic which follows a report that the village is to be attacked by enemies, the Father shows himself so fearless and resolute that he wins the admiration of all, and thus gains much advantage in his work. Here are won to the faith “not only children and women, but warriors, two of whom are among the most influential.” There was a rivalry between the Cayugas and the Onondagas, which tribe should have Carheil; but he was assigned to the former. Garakontié, the noted chief of the latter tribe, continues to be the warm friend of the French. He now earnestly desires baptism; but this privilege is deferred until he shall be thoroughly proved. Carheil has a propitious beginning for his mission; but his opposition to the superstitious rites of the savages, and the old notion that baptism causes [Page 13] death, arouse fear and dislike in many, and he is driven from their cabins when he tries to visit the sick. His life is even threatened by a medicine-man whom he opposes. Still, many come to prayers, and show an interest in the faith. As elsewhere, intemperance is a great hindrance to their conversion.

Frémin has established a mission among the Senecas, which is regarded as the most hopeful of all the Iroquois missions; but, as at Cayuga, the medicine-men arouse opposition to his work. A war, moreover, is threatened between this tribe and the Ottawas; but the French are using all their endeavors to avert this danger.

At Lake Superior, Allouez has been laboring with the Ottawas. Dablon is sent to reinforce him, and to act as superior of that mission. They are stationed at Sault Ste. Marie, and Allouez has also ministered at Chequamegon. A third church will soon be established at Green Bay. A peace has been negotiated between the Iroquois and the Ottawas; but the fickle temper of these savage peoples makes the duration of the peace somewhat uncertain.

Allouez announces the conversion of an entire Ottawa tribe. These people had received instructions for several years, but had always made sport of the new religion. But at last the good seed has taken root, and they institute a complete reform. They abolish polygamy, give up their sacrifices, and flock to Allouez’s little Chapel. Some of the conversions here made are described at length, — especially that of their chief, Kekakoung. A hundred of them have already been baptized, — besides thirty-eight Hurons, who had fled to that country for [Page 14] refuge; and a hundred more, in other neighboring tribes.

Marquette, too, is stationed at Sault Ste. Marie, and he writes that “the harvest there is very abundant, and that it only rests with the Missionaries to baptize the entire population, to the number of two thousand;” but, knowing the fickle nature of the Indians, the Fathers are not disposed to trust them too far.

The Montagnais mission at Tadoussac is also flourishing. Father Beaulieu so quickly learned the language that he was able to take the entire charge of the mission, replacing Nouvel; but the hardships of the savage life have broken down his health. Nouvel has been among the savages of Gaspé; he finds that the instructions given them in preceding years are still bearing fruit, and that “the Faith is as dear to them now as ever.” These missionaries have also done what they could to confirm in the faith the wandering Papinachois tribes, who have been occasionally visited by the Fathers for several years past. These savages communicate to their tribesmen and allies the instructions they have received, “and thus become themselves Apostles.”

An important event occurs at Sillery — the election of a successor to the noted chief Noël Tekwerimat, who has been dead several years. This ceremony is described in detail.

The remnant of the Hurons at Quebec have retired to a new location, not far from the City, and have thus formed a village by themselves. The saintly lives and pious deaths of several of these Christians are circumstantially related. One of them, a Young girl of fourteen, is recompensed for the purity of [Page 15] her life by the incorruption of her body, — which, nine months after her burial, is “found intact, without the loss of even a hair from her head.” The last chapter describes at length “the holy death of Cecile Gannendâris, a Huron woman,” with an account of her charity, piety, zeal, and other virtues. [Page 16]

R. G. T.

Madison, Wis., August, 1899.


Relation Of 1667-68



The first installment (chaps. i.-viii.) was published in Volume LI. We give herewith the remainder of the document. [Page 17]




FTER having gone the round of the Missions scattered all about us, at last we find ourselves back again at Quebec, where we shall find the flower of the Christian Savages; it is also a remnant — small, indeed, but very precious — of a Church that formerly flourished in the country of the Hurons. Those who were the authors of its ruin are now striving for their own salvation; for, during the last three years, we have here instructed thoroughly in all our Mysteries more than 200 persons from the country of the Iroquois. Of this number, 60 have had the good fortune to receive Holy Baptism, — [127] most of them from the hands of Monseigneur the Bishop. These are so many acts of predestination for these poor Barbarians, many of whom have died in our arms, with no common evidences of their salvation.

A poor woman of the neutral Nation was among these. She had no sooner arrived at Quebec than she contracted an illness which reduced her to a very critical condition. The Father in charge of that Church made haste to instruct her; and, as she had an excellent mind, she understood everything in a short time. She would have been fit to receive Baptism, if the old belief of the Infidels, who thought that this Sacrament hastened the death of those who received it, had not still made [128] some impression upon her mind. It was necessary for the Father to [Page 19] employ the zeal of some good Huron women, who knew so well how to disabuse her mind that she asked, of her own accord, to be Baptized. And it was time, for we did not think that she would live one day; but God, wishing to reclaim her entirely from her error, permitted those sacred waters to have a salutary influence on both her Soul and her body at the same time. This cure, which was so unexpected, gave her so high an opinion of the Faith, and put her into so rare a fervor of devotion, that she did not walk on the streets without telling her Beads; and she served as an example, even to the most fervent of that Church.

God willed to crown this [12 i.e., 129] fervor, after sixteen months, during which she had exercised it without any relapse; and he even had the goodness to impart to her a knowledge of the glory that he had prepared for her — as she declared to a good Huron woman, who was with her one day before her death. For she informed the latter both of the time of her departure, and of the happiness that she was going to possess, — saying that she could no longer doubt it, after the assurances she had received upon so good authority. If that good Huron woman had had sufficient curiosity, perhaps we would have known the mystery, the truth of which has been only too well confirmed by a part of the result; for the woman died at exactly the time which she had predicted.





HE following gives occasion to admire the acts of Providence, who, by a wonderful chain of events, makes use of some persons for the conversion. [Page 21] of others; and of the latter to procure, for still others, the same happiness of which they have been made participants.

An Iroquois woman, of the Village of St., François Xavier among the Iroquois, had often heard the Faith spoken of by her husband, — a Huron by Nation, who had formerly been Baptized by our Fathers in his own country. These words had made a strong impression on [131] her, and had left in her a great desire that she might have an interview with some Father, for the purpose of being more thoroughly enlightened concerning the Mysteries about which her husband talked to her. Several years passed without her being able to satisfy her desires, and she had already made an engagement with this good Huron that they should go together on their hunting expedition toward Montreal, and thence should continue as far as Quebec, where they might find what she had been so long desiring.

When they were ready to depart, news was brought to the Village that a black Gown was coming. It was, in fact, Father Bruyas, who had no sooner arrived than this Iroquois woman became his Pupil; and the Father, in return, became her [132] Pupil, to learn from her the secrets of the Iroquois language, while he disclosed to her those of her salvation. She had to suffer great persecution from her relatives, and even from the whole Village, — which, of all the Iroquois Nations, is the least favorably inclined toward Faith. They upbraided her, saying that she was hastening her own death; and that Faith, which had already killed so many people, would not spare her, — to which that noble-spirited Catechumen made no other reply than this: “When I shall see that those [Page 23] who do not believe do not die, I will listen to your remonstrances; until then you will not change my mind in the least.” When, accordingly, she had received instruction for a considerable time, it was God’s will that she should go down [133] to Mont Royal. After she had arrived there, she urged upon her husband that they should go down as far as Quebec; and there she was more fully instructed by the Father in charge of that Huron Church. She was so well prepared that she was fitted to receive, from Monseigneur the Bishop’s own hand, three Sacraments at the same time, — namely, those of Baptism, Marriage, and Confirmation.

The joy she felt in her heart at these happy events was great, but not complete. She desired the same blessing for her relatives, — for her aunt, among others, — and for all her family.

Accordingly, she urged her husband that they should return to their own country as soon as possible, that they might [134] admonish their friends to make the same journey, for the purpose of receiving the same favor, It was more than a hundred leagues that charity made them undertake; but God came to their relief, by a stroke of Providence. Their return journey lay by the way of Montreal; and, when they arrived there, they found, by a remarkable accident, those in quest of whom they were going a long distance. The joy on both sides was alike; but, because these new-comers were utterly unacquainted in Quebec, they with difficulty made up their minds to proceed thither. “Come with me,” our good Iroquois woman said to them; “I wish to render this favor to You complete. I will gladly bear You company; and, returning thus on my steps, I do not Page 25] believe them lest, since they are employed [135] for so good an end.” Accordingly, they all went together; and God conferred so abundant a blessing upon the zeal of this fervent Iroquois woman that, in a short time, they were thoroughly instructed by the Father, and found worthy of holy Baptism. They received it from the hands of Monseigneur the Bishop, with a joy altogether extraordinary on the part of these good Neophytes, who resolved to leave their own country, where they lived in abundance; and to remain at Quebec, where they could live only on alms, that they might the better secure their Faith, — preferring it to all the conveniences and comforts of their native country.




E are going to witness a death, lovely and precious indeed, — and, at the same time, the reward of a life as illustrious in virtue as can be found in the most holy state of Christianity.

It is the death of a girl who, at the age of fourteen years, had the perfection of souls consummate in sanctity, Perhaps there will be difficulty in believing that Savages can, in so short a time, reach so high a degree of perfection. Yet this is what grace wrought in that innocent heart.

She had from her infancy a rare sensitiveness for purity; and [137] she knew nothing of the amusements customary with children of her age, so greatly did she fear that she might contract some taint therein. People often saw that Child go out of her Cabin, when any one began to use language that was in the slightest degree improper; or else cast severe [Page 27] looks even upon those to whom nature obliged her to pay respect; and she imposed silence upon them by even one of her glances.

The love for this virtue constantly increased with age; and at fourteen years, on the very day when she died, a person who was not in very good repute having approached her bed, she was so distressed thereby that, dying though she was, she made her mother [138] turn her over toward the other side, so that she might not have before her eyes so disagreeable an abject. Causing herself to be placed apart from the rest, that she might spend the last moments of her life outside the noise, in converse with God, she ceased not to thank God for making her die a Virgin, and gave her Father a thousand thanks for never having spoken to her of marriage. A single thing weighed on her mind — that she had been unable to carry out, with a companion of hers of the same age, the plan they had formed together of consecrating their Virginity to Our Lord in the Monastery of the Ursuline Mothers, a grace to which she aspired, to the full extent of her desires. In default of this, seeing herself in danger of dying, she obtained her [139] Spiritual Father’s permission to take the vow of perpetual chastity, — which she did, to the very great comfort of her parents, who had never seen anything similar in any Savage.

The patience which she showed during her last illness was not less admirable. She had lingered, during more than a year, in a state of continual weakness; and was so wasted away that, as her bones pierced through her flesh, she had, of course, to suffer greatly, — lying, as she did, on the bark of a tree. Yet she maintained such equanimity and so [Page 29] great serenity of countenance amid her sufferings, which were regarded as unbearable, that she excited the admiration of those who saw her so peaceful, in a condition so miserable.

[104 i.e., 140] The only pain she felt was that of giving pain to her mother. When the latter had promised to restrain her tears, “That is not enough, my good mother,” said the daughter; “the care you are taking of me is too great, and the sorrow you receive from my illness is excessive, since it prevents you from taking your food. Live, my dear mother, and let me die in peace; and, if you have kindness enough for me to assist me until the end of my life, what I ask of you with most urgency is, to come to the aid of my weakness, which prevents me from constantly reciting my Rosary. Do it in my place; and, while you pray thus with your lips, my heart [141] will not be idle.” Indeed, she spoke truly, for she occupied herself in holy and fervent aspirations until her last sigh, so that the convulsions of approaching death could not prevent her from keeping her heart fixed on God. This she made very evident after one of those Symptoms, during which her poor parents constantly prompted to her prayers, wishing her to die with these upon her lips. She made them a sign with her hand to stop this; and, recovering the use of her voice, she told them that these external noises interrupted the communings of her heart, which she earnestly hoped to continue until she should expire.

For a long time, God had been preparing her, for so glorious a death, by [142] marks of grace which were quite extraordinary. Some of these she disclosed last winter to her mother, telling her that often in the night she was made to smell such ravishing [Page 31] odors of Paradise, and her mouth was filled with some unknown substance, so delicious, that she would experience that sweetness and pleasure during all the following day. But these favors were not sterile and without fruit, because she was wont to hear, at the same time, a voice speaking to her heart, which told her not to waste even one of her actions, but to make an Offering of it to God.

What was most remarkable in this kind of grace was the visit with which the Blessed Virgin honored her, three days before her death. This is the account she gave of it to her father and mother, in the presence of [143] her Director: “I was not asleep,” said she, “last night, when suddenly I saw enter our Cabin a Majestic Lady, who bore in her arms a Child. She was accompanied by another Lady who enlightened my ignorance as to who her Companion was, and these were her very words: ‘It is Mary whom thou seest here; it is only to visit, not to teach thee, that she has come to thee; thou hast the Fathers, listen to them.’ Then, after these words, everything disappeared, leaving my spirit and my heart bathed in inconceivable delights.” Her mother asked her how the Blessed Virgin was attired. “I do not know,” she replied, “what name to give to the stuff with which she was clothed. What I do know [144] is, that there issued from every part of it bright rays, like those of the Diamonds that are found around Quebec, when they are struck by the rays of the Sun.”[1]

But here is something else very wonderful. On the evening of her death she announced that her soul was beginning to detach itself from her body, and that she was soon going to die. At this news, some [Page 35] one went in haste to call her Confessor, — to whom, as soon as he had entered, she made a sign that she had something to communicate to him. He came as near to her as he could in order to receive these last words, which she uttered in a dying voice: My Father,” said she, “behold the Inhabitants of Heaven, [145] coming to take my soul, which is gradually separating from my body.” She could say no more,

Two hours later, three of our Fathers, who had met at the same time in her cabin, were of opinion that she would live through the night, as they saw her so full of strength. Therefore, one of the three said to her: “My Daughter, I am going away; and I hope to find you again tomorrow still alive.” These words of confidence, and what happened afterward, make us believe that she had had a revelation of her death; for the Father who bad remained to watch her — after prompting to her some prayers suitable to her condition, which she repeated with great earnestness — wished to leave her a little while at rest, and himself to take some also, lying down to [146] sleep. Some time after that, the father of the patient, seeing that she was fast sinking, said that the Confessor should be awakened. “Wait,” said the Dying girl; “I will tell you when it is time,” She let about an hour more pass, after which she made a sign to awaken the Father, who found her in full possession of her faculties, and in a state of heart altogether delightful. She repeated with admirable fervor, although in a half-articulate voice, the prayers which he had her say, until, her voice failing her with her strength, she made an effort to carry the Crucifix to her lips, in order to kiss it while dying. But, not having strength enough for that, [Page 35] she died while making the attempt, [147] after pronouncing these two Words: Jesus Eskitenr,Jesus, you will have pity on me.” She died so calmly that one would have thought, at seeing her, that she had been overtaken by a peaceful sleep, rather than removed by death.

Her parents contributed not a little toward Procuring for her so happy a death. During the last two weeks of her illness, they received communion twice, — not to obtain from God by their entreaties the health of their dear daughter, but to gain for her patience in her illness, and the vigor of a Christian spirit against the terrors of death, and against the temptations of the evil one. After this, they remained so resigned to the will of God, in the loss they were about to suffer, of all that they held dearest and [148] most precious in the world, and felt themselves filled with so ardent a zeal to aid their daughter in dying piously, that it was astonishing to see them, and to bear them speak to her about the happiness that was hers in leaving the world before coming to a knowledge of its corruptions.

Some days before her death, a person appeared to her in a dream, and told her that she was not going to die, and that she would yet live in the new Village that was being prepared for them on the Sillery lands; and that she would see the plenteous harvest that would be gathered in the Fields which Were to be cultivated there. She told all this to her Mother, from whom she received this reply: “My daughter it is an illusion of the demon, who wishes [149] to hinder thee, by the hope of health, from Preparing thyself for death. No, no, my daughter, do not listen to that deceiver. Ah! a thousand times [Page 37] happy — yes, thou art a thousand times happier than I expect to be, — in dying without being tainted by the corruptions of the world, Who knows, if thou shouldst live longer, whether thou wouldst not be attacked by them? Ah, how willingly will Jesus and Mary embrace thee when thou goest to them with thy innocence!”

Those are the very words of a Mother, and of a Savage Mother, to her daughter whom she loved more than herself. As they came from a heart that was all affection, they made such an impression upon that of the Child that, from that time, she had no words more often on her lips than these: “Oh, how I long to see Jesus!”

[150] On the day preceding her death, her good Mother uttered gentle complaints to her daughter, that, in losing her, she suffered a loss that affected her very keenly in all respects, — but especially because her Child would no longer offer prayers, morning and evening, in the Cabin, as was her custom. “I shah be inconsolable after thy death,” she said to her, “unless thou wilt promise me, in order to lessen my grief, that thou wilt offer those prayers in Heaven for me.” She was soon comforted, when her good daughter assured her that she would do so.

The Father had no less tenderness and piety than the Mother. Some time before his daughter’s death, thinking she was very near it, he took her in his [151] arms, in order that, dying upon his bosom and in his embrace, she might be offered by him as a Sacrifice to God. The daughter on her part, seeing herself thus about to be offered on this living Altar, wished also to have her Father become a Sacrifice; and begged him to promise her that he would every [Page 39] day of his life, recite the Rosary of the Blessed Virgin, whom she had always loved so much, She in her turn bound herself and promised him, that she would come for him at his death, if he practiced this devotion constantly; to which he acceded very willingly. Does all that indicate the Savage?

We will conclude the account of this precious death by narrating a noble deed performed by the parents. Not only did they not [152] shed a tear, either before or after the death of so dear and lovely a daughter; but they even called together all their compatriots to a feast which they offered them, at which the father of the deceased thus addressed them: “You know, my brothers, the regrets that our Nation has always been accustomed to show at the loss of our relatives, when death snatches them from us. You know that, for several years afterward, the hearts and souls of the survivors dwell buried, as it were, in the tomb of their dead ones. But I beg you to believe that this custom has had no effect on my mind, in regard to the daughter whom God has taken back to himself: my Soul has not followed her into the grave, but rather to Heaven; for such a holy death does not permit me to doubt that she [153] is there. It is for us to secure for ourselves a like death; and that is the happiness that I wish you, and that we ought to a& from God every day of our lives.”

The whole was concluded by a public prayer, which all those good Christians addressed to God, in order to obtain this favor. There is much reason to thank him for having given those poor Barbarians such pious sentiments; and to be filled with wonder, above ail, that the subject of this narrative — which is very faithful, and from which a great many remarkable [Page 41] details have been omitted — was a girl of fourteen, years, a Savage girl, of Savage parents, and brought up among Savages. But God has regard neither for Greek nor for Barbarian, when it is his will to communicate himself to a human soul; any age, any [154] Nation is qualified for that favor when there is submission to his purposes and faithful responsiveness to his grace.






The zeal that Our Lord has given you for this Infant Church, which it has pleased him to entrust to our guidance, and the care which you continue to take with so great love for all that can contribute to its increase, constrain me to send you Word, according to my custom, of the condition in which it is at present. The aid of the Ecclesiastics whom you sent us, [155] by the first Vessels, came to us very seasonably for enabling us to assist various places in this Colony that especially needed it, and that otherwise would have been destitute of all assistance.

The coming of Monsieur the Abbé de Queylus, with several good workers taken from the Seminary of St. Sulpice, brought us no less consolation.[2] We embraced them all, in visceribus Christi. That which gives us a deeper joy is the blessing of seeing our Clergy in a Holy disposition to work, all with one heart and one mind, to procure the glory of God and the salvation of the souls of both the French and the Savages. [Page 43]

The tokens of fatherly tenderness that the King [156] shows for his New France, and the considerable expenses that he incurs to render it populous and flourishing, afford all an ample harvest for the worthy employment of their zeal and the sacrifice of their lives for the love of our Lord Jesus Christ, — whoin his infinite goodness gave them the first inspiration to come and consecrate their lives to him in a Church upon which he has, ever since its infancy, poured out his tenderest benedictions, and which he continues, without ceasing, to load therewith.

The humiliated condition in which our enemies are at present has not only opened the door to the conversion of the Infidels in the most distant Nations, but has also rendered these very enemies fit to share [157] this blessing. The Jesuit Fathers are constantly occupied with their conversion, with the same zeal with which they have labored during the last 40 years. I received striking proofs of it, after the return from our visits, in that which we made this Spring at Tadoussac, 30 leagues below Quebec. The Savages of that Mission were found in so excellent spiritual condition that I know of nothing which has given me more consolation since it has pleased our Lord to give us the guidance of this Christian church. We recognized there what a blessing is possible for these new Christians when they are removed from all opportunities to get intoxicating liquor, — which by reason of the weakness they have for it, Cases excesses of lawlessness [158] among them that often make us groan before God, and deplore the misfortune of those who are their cause. That Church of Tadoussac, exempt from this evil, is in a state of piety truly substantial and Christian. [Page 45] We gave Confirmation there to a hundred and forty-nine, who were very well prepared to receive the effects of this Sacrament.

If Our Lord give me as good health next year as I had this Spring, I hope to return thither; for I confess to you that, if they showed joy at seeing us there, we felt no less on our side, during that visit.

A month ago I Commissioned two very virtuous and good Workers to go to [159] an Iroquois Nation that has been settled for several years quite near us, on the North side of the great Lake called Ontario, — a Nation with whom communication is not very difficult for us. One of the men is Monsieur de Fennelon, whose name is very well known in Paris, and the other Monsieur Trouvé. We have not yet been able to learn the success of their undertaking, but we have every reason to hope for great results from it.

As the King has notified me that he desired us to attempt to bring up the little Savage children after the French manner of life, in order to civilize them, little by little, I have formed a Seminary, into which I have taken a number of children for this express purpose.[3] In order to succeed the better, I have been obliged to join with them [160] some little French children, from whom, by living with them, the Savages will learn more easily the customs and the language. This enterprise is not without difficulty, on the part of both the children and the parents; the latter have an extraordinary love for their children, and can scarcely make up their minds to be separated from them. Or, if they do Permit this, it is very difficult to effect a separation for any length of time, for the reason that ordinarily the [Page 47] families Of the savages do not have many children, as do those of our French people — in which there are generally, in this Country, 8, 10, 12, and sometimes as many as 15 and 16 children. The Savages, on the contrary, have usually only [161] two or three; and rarely do they exceed the number of four. As a result, they depend on their children, when they are somewhat advanced in years, for the support of their family. This can only be gained by the Chase, and by other labors for which the parents are no longer fit when their children have the years and ability to help them; to do so at that time, the Law of nature seems to constrain the children by necessity. Nevertheless, we shall spare no pains, on our part, to make this blessed undertaking succeed, although its success seems to us very doubtful.

[162] The Priests of our Seminary of Foreign Missions[4] have manifested to us care and vigilance in the education of the children of this Country, whom we gave over to them to fit for the Ecclesiastical life. Like tokens of their zeal they have displayed to us in the labors which are to be undergone in all places where we employ them, throughout the settlements of this Country. We have therefore considered that we could not do anything that would be more for the glory of God and the good of our Church than to entrust to them, besides, the direction of this second Seminary, — and all the more, since we have thought it proper to include it within the enclosure of [l63] our own Seminary, in which we have caused to be provided quarters suitable for this purpose. It made its beginning, thanks to God a month ago.

I implore Our Lord, in the name of the Most Holy Family, in whose honor and under whose protection [Page 49] our Seminary is founded, to grant it the success and blessing that we promise ourselves will flow from it.

This, in brief, is what I have to tell you, for the present, in regard to our Spiritual concerns. Remember, I conjure you, to recommend to Our Lord, at the sacred Altar, the needs of our Flock, and [164] to implore his Divine Mercy for him whom he has been pleased to appoint as its Pastor; and believe me, with sincerity,




Your very humble and obedi-


ent servant, François,


Bishop of Petræa, first

At Quebec, this 8th

Bishop of New France,

of November, 1668.

designated by the King.


[Page 51]




SINCE this Relation was finished, we have received here at Quebec an item of good news, on the eve of the departure of the last Ship, — today, the 10th of November. It is that Ambassadors from Sonnontouan have quite recently arrived at Montreal, having come to ask for two of our Fathers to instruct them; and that they have, for that purpose, sent to Monsieur our Governor a handsome Porcelain Collar.

At the same time, we learn [166] that Father Fremin, who had been for a year at the Mission of Annié, — having been urgently requested by deputies from Sonnontouan to go among them, and begin the Mission there, — had set out from Annié, on the 10th of October, to go to Sonnontouan, — leaving in his place Father Pierron, who had very recently returned from the journey he had made to Quebec.

Thus in the five Iroquois Nations we have, fortunately, five Missions. This last one — that of saint Michel — being alone more populous than all the others, offers a field calling for vigorous assistance. This is all the more necessary, since the prospect for a harvest is very bright there, — not only bccause [167] of the gentler and more tractable nature of the people of that Nation, who are more Husbandmen and Traders than Warriors; but because there are a great many Hurons who have taken refuge there, esPeciallY [Page 53] an entire Village where there were a goodly number of Christians, constituting a considerable Mission. This Mission, in the old Huron Country, at the time when the Iroquois war laid it waste, in the year 1649, we called saint Michel.

Some persons of piety have already begun the foundation of that Mission; we shall, with God’s help, see its fruits next year. [Page 55]

[168] Circular Letter on the death of the Reverend,

Mother Catherine de saint Augustin,

Hospital Mother of Quebec,

deceased May 8, 1668.


Divine providence gives me a matter to communicate to you, this year, in regard to the heaviest of the Crosses that Our Lord has placed upon me since my birth, and the most considerable loss that our Community can suffer, so far as the members composing it are concerned. I mean [169] the death of our much loved Sister de saint Augustin, — who, although only in the thirty-sixth year of her age, and the twentieth of her Profession, was found at the height of her perfection by him who puts a term to our lives solely by his will, and according to our fidelity in loving him. Her Perfect responsiveness to all of God’s designs with regard to her, and the free entrance that she had, from her earliest infancy, given to that adorable spirit, that she might herself become the tyrant over her self-love, gained for her a great facility in the practice of the most substantial virtues. Indeed, one would have said that they had been born with her, so perfectly did grace and nature act in concert in that [170] dear soul. I will tell you nothing, at present, of the details of several extraordinary graces with which Our Lord had endowed her. That will be done when our Superiors shall [Page 57] deem it best for the glory of God. But I will merely Tel you, my very dear Mother, for our common consolation, the things that I cannot suppress without injustice, — having, with all our Community, a thorough knowledge of them. Our dear departed had received very considerable prepossessions to grace, from her very infancy; and they were cultivated by the great care taken of her education by Mademoiselle her grandmother, at whose side she was brought up. You [171] know well enough, My very dear Mother, that the house of that good Lady was, for all her family, a true house of prayer; and, next, the retreat and refuge of the poor. It was a place where our dear Sister received the first impressions of the spirit of hospitality, and of a great independence of the wretched maxims of the world, for which she conceived an admirable disgust, She therefore withdrew from it in her thirteenth year, when she joined our Mothers of Bayeux. She was accompanied by her elder sister, and followed soon after by her good Grandmother, who there finished her life in all the sanctity well known to all our holy Order. Monsieur de Launey Jourdan, her maternal grandfather, — [172] a most virtuous man, given to prayer and the generous bestowal of alms, and esteemed by every one for his virtue, — seeing one day this little innocent, when she was not more than two years old, had a presentiment of her future sanctity. “See,” said he to his domestics, “that little girl will some day belong to a Religious order, and will be a great servant of God, and a saint.” In fact, when she was old enough to assume the garb of Religion, she did so with all possible joy, — not only her own, but that of the Community of our [Page 59] Mothers of Bayeux, who even then saw in her signs of a very saintly disposition. Her Novitiate was spent in all the fervor and zeal that one could have desired at a more advanced age. The [173] strong desires that she had for suffering made her form the resolution to leave everything and sacrifice everything, in order to give herself entirely to her Bridegroom. We had asked for some Nuns from France to assist us; she offered herself with an invincible courage, surmounting the opposition that confronted her on all sides, — with so much fervor that it was easy to see then that grace prevailed entirely over her, while the dictates of nature were unheeded. As she had received an excellent education from her relatives, and as she was of an affectionate disposition and very ardent, she felt for them an extreme gratitude and tenderness. It was like tearing out her own heart, [174] she sometimes said, to separate from them; and harder still to leave the Community of Nuns at Bayeux, where she was loved by every one. She had there her Grandmother and a Sister, and a Superior, — her relative, and the Foundress of that house, — all zealous servants of God, with whom she would have passed her life in holiness and peace. But the love of God obliged her not to listen to herself at this juncture.

Her Father, by whom she had always been fondly cherished, opposed her project with all his strength, and even presented a Petition in the Courts to stop her, showing himself inflexible. But our brave candidate for the sufferings [175] of Canada thought that, in winning Heaven, she would win her cause. She had recourse to God, making a vow to live and die in Canada, if God would open its door to her; [Page 61] and she was even about to sign with her own blood the vow that she had already written, had not the Mistress of the Novices come upon her unexpectedly when she was pricking herself that she might thus offer to God the first-fruits of her own blood. Soon afterward, the heart of Monsieur de Lompre, her father, happily underwent a change. Our Lord permitted this good Gentleman,’ feeling ill at ease and sorrowful, to ask to see a Relation that had recently come from Canada. Upon reading it, his heart felt deeply moved at that generous Sacrifice that [176] his daughter wished to make, and he also conceived so great a dread lest God should call him to account, at his death, for the obstinate opposition he was making to his will and to the purposes that Heaven entertained respecting his daughter, that, touched by this thought, which forcibly urged him, he granted to God what he had refused to men. Nevertheless, his sorrow was so keen that he fell into a dangerous illness therefrom. The manifestations of tenderness on the part of her Mother, for whom this dear daughter had all possible affection, served only to show the strength of her Vocation for Canada, and what power the love of God has over a heart that is already entirely his through its desire to be so. The daughter had not [177] yet reached the age of sixteen years necessary for making her Profession, and yet the time for the voyage was close at hand. This obliged the Superiors to permit her to make her profession on the way, when she should attain the required age, of which she lacked only a few days. Mother de l’Assomption, a Professed nun of Dieppe, who was going to make the voyage with her, had the necessary commissions for this [Page 63] purpose. She set out, accordingly, from Bayeux, regarding Canada as the place whither Jesus Christ called her, and where she was to be the victim of her holy Love. It was at Nantes that our brave Novice made her profession, in the Chapel of Our Lady of All Joy; they were obliged to repair immediately to la Rochelle, where they embarked. [178] She had no sooner embarked than the Cross, love for which had already made so strong an impression upon her heart, was laid upon her body, in the form of a contagious disease that nearly caused her death. It was a continued fever, the most burning and most violent in the world, with a girdle all around her body, composed of eleven pest carbuncles, and the pest itself. On the sea, in a Ship, — where, in spite of whatever care can be given to a sick person, one can say that he is in want of almost everything, — her virtue did not fail her; nor did the most Blessed Virgin, whom she had taken to be her all-benignant Mother. This Protectress appeared to her, touched her, cured her, and gave her her benediction, with the assurance that she [179] would take very special care of her — a promise which that Mother of kindness faithfully kept, up to the last breath of her protégée’s life. Their voyage lasted three months, and God gave her to us at last, with inconceivable joy on both sides. From the very first interview, we esteemed her a precious treasure for this house. Her outward bearing had a charm that was the most attractive and winning in the world: it was impossible to see her and not love her. Her nature was one of the most Perfect that could have been desired: prudent, with simplicity; keen of perception, without curiosity; sweet and gracious, without flattery; [Page 65] invincible in her patience; tireless in her Charity; amiable to [180] all, without undue attachment to any; humble, without being mean-spirited; courageous, without any haughtiness. We know that she spared no pains when an opportunity offered to win a soul to Our Lord, either by her prayers or by her mortifications — even to the point of giving herself up to Divine Justice in the quality of a victim, And, in truth, God did not spare her, but made her feel the weight of his arm, terribly punishing in her the sins of those for whom she made a sacrifice of herself. We were well aware that her bodily weaknesses were great and constant, and we saw that she bore them like a saint — always with a calm countenance, diffusing a joy full of piety in the [181] hearts of those who saw her. But we were surprised, after her death, to learn that for sixteen years God had been trying that brave Soul by periods of aridity and temptation, seasons of spiritual abandonment and extreme destitution. This reached such a point that the demons of hell seemed to arouse all her powers in revolt against God, but without ever obtaining from her the least obedience in any particular, — her heart, armed by God, being stronger than ail hell. We have also learned, on good authority, that besides her saintly practice of all the virtues, which she had acquired in an eminent degree from her very infancy, Heaven was allied with her — for often there appeared to her many saints of Paradise, the Angels, the Blessed Virgin, St. [182] Joseph, and Jesus Christ himself, to strengthen, counsel, and protect her, and fight on her side. Above ail, there appeared to her Father Jean de Brébeuf, a blessed Martyr of the Iroquois in the country of the Hurons: he had [Page 67] been given her from Heaven as her Director, but in entire subordination to her ordinary Director. This Celestial director appeared to her very often; and often, without appearing to her, made himself so present to her that she was conscious of him and received impressions from him, with as much efficacy and certainty as a blind man, when near the fire, is sure that the fire warms him, and that he is not far from it. She often received assurance of her salvation from various Saints, from the Blessed Virgin, [183] and even from Jesus Christ. At different times, too, — in order to give her courage in the sufferings offered her from Heaven, which waited for her acquiescence, — the place that was prepared for her in Heaven was shown to her, ever brighter in light and glory as she drew nearer to her death, and the end of her conflicts. Once she was transported to Hell, whether in body or in spirit she could not say. There she saw three abysses, differing so widely in the cruelty of the torments, and the rage both of the damned and of the Demons against them, that the first abyss seemed to her almost as nothing in comparison with the second, and the second as nothing compared with the third, when she saw them one after the other — although, at the sight [184] that she had of the first, she did not think there could be more terrible sufferings. The place also was shown her that would have been her hell for all eternity, had she not been faithful to the grace of God. Often souls from Purgatory appeared to her in their sufferings, asking her assistance, even some of those who had died in France, before the news of their death had reached this country — the Ships, which come from France only in the Spring, having not yet [Page 69] arrived. Often too she would see those Souls, upon leaving Purgatory, come to thank her for her Charity. But what is truly remarkable is, that her humility was so adroit in concealing itself, even from our eyes, that we knew nothing, [185] until after her death, of all these so extraordinary graces of God in her, — although her sterling virtues, which effect true Sanctity, made us recognize her as a Perfect Nun, filled with the divine spirit, and winning souls to God. Her faithfulness in repressing all the impulses of nature had gained for her such an empire over her senses that one would have said that virtue was born with her. And, although the spirit of the Cross and of Penance accompanied her on all occasions, yet it was for herself alone; only toward her self-love, with which she was in continual strife, was she severe. All her kindnesses were rendered to her neighbor, and she adapted herself in a marvelous [186] way to the different dispositions of each one, — making herself all things to all men, in order to win every one to her Divine Spouse. Her obliging heart made her the refuge of all persons who had need of aid and consolation; not one did she send away without Perfect satisfaction. Her Charity and her good management, in the offices of Mistress of the Novices, Depositary, and Hospitaler, shone to the edification of every one. It was in the last-named capacity that her heart found most opportunity to satisfy her love for her neighbor, and her extinction of self. As the Providence of God often permitted sick patients to be sent her who needed health of Soul no less than of [187] body, she brought them to God so gently and effectually that many have acknowledged their indebtedness to her for their salvation. The general [Page 71] edification that each one received from her is a public testimony that not one can deny. In the house, she was foremost in labors, and one of the most zealous to mortify herself in all that regarded her own person, — choosing always for herself those things that were most disagreeable; bearing all things from others; excusing every one, without excusing herself, —but, rather, desiring her faults to be known to every one. “Good God!” she used often to say, “since we are only what we are before God, why do we seek to appear otherwise in the eyes [188] of men?” In a Word, she fulfilled in a few years the designs of divine providence regarding her dear soul The hour had come when it was necessary to reward her labors and crown her virtue by ending her life, — with all the token that can demonstrate how precious in God’s sight is the death of the saints. On the 20th of April of this present year, 1668, she was attacked with a hemorrhage, that lasted only a very short time, and made us believe that it was of no importance. A fever, however, having seized her, together with severe pains in the chest, the Physicians were of opinion that some artery had burst and was discharging into her vital parts; and an attempt was made, but in vain, to apply some remedy. On the 3rd of May, which [189] was her birthday, at the very hour of her birth, her sufferings increased greatly. It was not merely her bodily pains: we have learned that, at the same time, her spiritual sufferings increased also in proportion. Divine justice was satisfying the desires of this innocent victim, who was constantly offering herself for sinners and for Souls in Purgatory; and for them this justice [Page 73] made her suffer to a surprising extent — inconceivable to those who do not adore and love God’s ways. From the first moment of her illness, she renewed her spirit of sacrifice; and, ever refusing to give way to her own feelings, she begged one of those who were rendering her some services, not to [190] consult her as to her own wants, — and, above ail, not to give her any means of gaining any relief through her own choice. She never refused anything that was offered her, whatever distaste she might have for it. Her submission, her pain, and her humility were put to the proof in every manner; and everything met with her acquiescence, provided it did not come from herself. We were unable to remark the least shade of impatience during her entire illness; and the slight esteem in which she held herself made her receive the little services that each of our sisters tried to render her, with feelings of so deep gratitude that one would have said she deemed herself unworthy that any one should even think of her. [191] Her illness assuming increased severity, it was thought proper to give her the last Sacraments, which she received in a frame of mind altogether saintly. On the evening of Monday, the seventh of May, she was much oppressed with a palpitation of the heart that was quite unprecedented: a clicking sound was heard, going on below the heart, like that of two flints struck together, Toward midnight, she was lifted, and brought near the fire, where she fainted heavily; upon her recovery, Father Chastelin, her Confessor, was sent for. After the prayers for the dying had been finished, — for she was, in truth, at the point of death, having no longer any pulse or movement, — [Page 75] her eyes, for the space of fully a quarter of an hour, gazed [192] fixedly toward Heaven, in the mariner of a person deeply absorbed. All our Community were very attentive to watch her in this state, which we judged to be no ordinary one; and we think, with probability, that she received, in this spiritual ecstasy, a perfect knowledge of her death. For, recovering herself suddenly, and gaining the full use of her senses, she said in a voice free and intelligible, speaking to God: I adore your divine perfections, O my God; I adore your divine justice; I abandon myself to it with all my heart. Then, turning toward our Community, with a very joyful countenance and a renewal of strength that seemed to us quite extraordinary, she asked what time it was. She [193] was told that it was three o’clock in the morning. “That is well,” said she to us; “between five and six o’clock, there will be a change in our affairs. But meanwhile you see me cured; I have just been told that all my troubles are passed, that everything is done, and that there is no more suffering for me.” And, what is remarkable, she really did have no further appearance of pain, nor even the least change in her pulse. Turning toward me, she said to me, smiling brightly: “Really, Mother, I must not be ungrateful for a benefit received; pray, let some one give me our robe, that I may go before the blessed Sacrament in the choir, in order to thank God for his favors.” I told her that she should do so at some other time. “Very well, then, my Mother,” she replied; [194] “since you do not approve of it, I acquiesce. But let us sing, then, if you please, the Te Deum” — which she herself intoned with extraordinary [Page 77] strength. The whole Community followed the Hymn with her, as far as the verse, In te, Domine, speravi; non confundar in æternum, which she repeated twice. The prayer ended, she told us that it was no jesting, and that really she was cured, and did not feel any distress. “To show you that I am speaking the truth,” she added, “give me something to eat; for I have a good appetite.” We had her take some broth, which she did with much relish, telling us that it was not enough. “But, as it is not thought advisable for me to take more,” said she, “I would like to lie down to sleep. [195] Please let me take my rest, for I am worn out with the toil of last night.” All retired, with the exception of the Nurses, who took their places beside the sick-bed, — the patient herself sleeping, apparently like a little Child; her face was suffused with a slight flush, that made one believe that she was recovering her natural condition. In the space of half an hour, during which she was watched very closely, she was not once perceived to draw the slightest breath. As we feared to awake her, we did not speak to her; but the Nurse, putting her hand upon the patient’s mouth, found that she no longer breathed. In such manner did that beautiful Soul take her flight to Heaven. Her face remained like that of a person in contemplation. [196] Although during her life she was very agreeable in her manner, she possessed something incomparably more attractive, when dead. The odor of her virtue was diffused over all this new world; and we are urgently importuned by many persons, who ask for something that she has used. Although we have every sort of reason to be assured of her happiness, I do not omit to ask of you, for her, [Page 79] the suffrages of our holy institute. And I pray you not to deny me your holy prayers, as being,

My Reverend Mother,

Your very humble and obedient servant,

Marie De St. Bonnaventure De

Jesus, unworthy Superior.

At Quebec, this 4th of October, 1668.

[197] This Circular Letter was sent for the Convents which are in France, belonging to the Institute of the Hospital Nuns of Dieppe. He who was charged to have it printed, having received many authentic Memoirs on the life and death of that blessed deceased, has deemed it proper to add here the following particulars:


HAT two persons of piety have received, since her death, assurance of her eternal happiness. One of them, appealing to her to obtain from God some favor of which she had need, received from the deceased this reply: “I will do it, but it will be on condition that you thank his divine goodness for the [198] favors that he showed me in the hour of my death.”

2.     She very often had knowledge of the inner life of various persons, both present and absent, and of the unhappy condition of several who were in mortal sin — and especially of sins that were most concealed, even by sacrilegious Confessions. When she gave notice of this to those to whom charity obliged her to reveal it, she was never found to have been deceived.

3.     God often gave her knowledge of things future and distant, which came to pass just as she had foreseen them. [Page 81]

4.     Often Saints from Paradise, who appeared to her, wished to prevail on her to give her consent to some new sufferings, — [199] either for certain hardened sinners, for whom she had great zeal, or for souls in Purgatory, or in order to obtain from God some favors that she asked. She never gave her acquiescence except by the order and permission of those who had the conduct of her soul; but, having given it, these new crosses were immediately laid upon her, with such terrible weight that she often complained of them to God, — with submission, however, and love, and the occasional exclamation, Terribiliter me crucias, — which even happened to her on the eve of her death.

5.     Although it often rested only with her to see herself delivered from these states of crucifixion, through which God’s providence was leading her, she never would consent to it, [200] unless those who were her spiritual guides ordered her to do so. And when, by their order, she sometimes asked to be delivered from her sufferings, God was well pleased to yield to his servant’s wishes.

6.     Those who had charge of the spiritual guidance of this truly noble sister, constantly remarked in her such a humble opinion of herself and such an utter absence of all desire for eminence, that not only did she accuse herself of her faults, with an admirable humility, — penetrating even to the inmost recesses of her heart, and not sparing herself, — but she was also well pleased to be considered guilty, and to have people believe of her, what she believed herself, that she was utterly plunged in sin, and the [201] greatest sinner in the world.

7.     She was very discreet, and an excellent [Page 83] counselor; very clear-sighted, and seeing at once to the bottom of the most important matters. Yet she never depended on herself in her own conduct, and in all things had a judgment as submissive as if she had been the least enlightened person on earth.

8.     Although she had great knowledge and great enlightenment, — through the extraordinary agency of Revelations, and of frequent apparitions of the Saints of Paradise, and of Jesus Christ himself, — yet she never guided herself by such means. The maxims of the Gospel, reason, and the impulse of obedience, [202] were her sole support, and the only way that she always followed, and on which those who had charge of her guidance depended.

9.     The Superior of the Hospital Nuns of Bayeux, for whom she had all possible love and respect, — having heard of her constant infirmities and illness in Canada, and of divers circumstances that were calculated to cause her trouble, — not only made her offers for her return to France, giving her very easy and honorable means to do so; but also prayed her very earnestly to return, judging that she could be of very great service to our Community of Bayeux. But this noble sister refused absolutely, sending word to that dear friend [203] of her heart, that she was nailed to the Cross of Canada by 3 nails, which she would never remove. The first was the will of God; the second, the salvation of souls; and the third, her call to Canada and her vow to die there. She added that, even if all the Nuns should choose to return to France, she would remain alone in Canada, — provided she were permitted to do so, — in order to end her life there in the service of the poor Savages, and of the sick persons of the country. [Page 85]

10.                        When she had been bidden to put into writing what had passed within her from her tenderest youth, she said: “From the age of three and a half years, I had a very great desire to do the will of God, and that he should do his will in me absolutely. I remember that the motive which [204] had most weight with me, to make me shun sin, was that God did not wish it; and that was enough to restrain me. Indeed, when any one wished to obtain any request from me, or to prevent me from doing anything, if God’s will was alleged, with the words, ‘That is God’s will, you must do it;’ or else, ‘That is not God’s will;’ I readily acquiesced, whatever the matter might be. And, some time afterward, when it was said to me by a Jesuit Father, Father Malherbe, that we are most assured of doing God’s will when we are suffering, and especially suffering for others, I felt so vehement a desire to suffer, in order better to do God’s will, that I no longer thought of anything but asking for a great deal [205] of suffering. In order to succeed better in this, I used to pray the Blessed Virgin, with an earnestness beyond belief, to send me diseases; and this petition I made several times every day, while ordinarily my little heart was so touched thereby that my eyes spoke more than my mouth.”

11.                        The feelings of love that she had at this early age for the most Blessed Virgin, and the kindnesses that she received from her and from little Jesus, are inconceivable.

12.                        At the age of eight years, she made her first Communion, with an admirable devotion.

13.            When she was between nine and ten years old, she had in a dream a vision that deserves mention. [Page 87] She saw, while asleep, a tall, frightful man, with a cutlass in his hand, [206] approaching her to maltreat her. It seemed to her then that she fled toward a tower. That wretch, pursuing her, struck her, but not dangerously; and as she was invoking the Blessed Virgin to her succor, a Nun in a surplice presented herself to her in that tower. Upon seeing the Nun, she entreated her aid, and saw herself protected by her; and immediately she awoke. What is most remarkable in this is, that, without ever having seen a Hospital Nun, she recognized, upon entering the Order, at their Convent in Bayeux, that Nun by her face; and the latter was her first Superior.

14.            When she was between ten and twelve years old, she signed with her own blood an admirable deed of gift, which she made of herself [207] to the most Blessed Virgin.

15.            The Holy Ghost, wishing to prepare her for becoming a Nun, caused her to make the three following vows: first, to take the Blessed Virgin for her Mother, rendering her the respect, obedience, and love that a good daughter owes to a Mother better than herself; second, never to commit any mortal sin; third, to live in perpetual continence.

16.            “At the age of twelve and a half years,” said she, “I entered the Convent of the Nuns of Bayeux. But, as I had told the Nuns themselves that I came only to remain, that cost me many good mortifications; for they put me to a double test, fearing that my vocation was founded on human considerations. Notwithstanding [208] all that was said to me and done to me, I remained firm in the purpose that I would certainly become a Nun; and I said to the [Page 89] Mother of the Novices: ’ Do to me whatever you will, you shall not take away from me the dress of the order: I shall be a Nun, and shall not go out from here, except to go to Canada. ’ The Blessed Virgin,” she added, “had given me this hope, in so strong a degree that nothing could make me lose it, or have the least lack of confidence.”

17.            At the age of fourteen and a half years, she assumed the garb of Religion. At sixteen years, she made her profession, and crossed the sea to Canada, at which time God changed his manner of treating her, and made her enter paths of internal sufferings, [209] which constantly increased until her death.

18.            The more these trials of crosses and internal sufferings increased, the more abundantly also the graces of Heaven were bestowed upon her. Our Lord appeared to her very often; and, still oftener, the Blessed Virgin and many Saints, who encouraged her in her sufferings.

19.            St. Michael had promised her his succor and special assistance during the rest of her days, and, above all, at the hour of her death. It was on her Feast-day, May 8, that she died, — having made a vow, several years before, to do all that she should know to be to the greater glory of God, or in accordance with what should be said to her by those who directed her.

20.            [210] Of all the apparitions that presented themselves to her, and that she had received orders to commit to writing, I will report here only a single one, word for Word, as she wrote it. In order to understand it, let it be stated that Monsieur de Bernay, of whom mention is made, was a very virtuous Ecclesiastic, who was Superior of the Hospital Nuns [Page 91] of Bayeux, where he lived and died in the odor of sanctity. She had been visited by him, after his death, and before the news of it had reached Canada, See, then, how she relates a second visit: “On the 28th of January, 1662, while I was reciting Matins with the Community, I felt the presence of Monsieur de Bernay near me; and, although I [211] saw nothing, yet I could not have any doubt of the presence of this good servant of God. He made me remember again the conversation I had had with him three days before my departure from Bayeux; and this remembrance has since aided me. He exhorted me to have great confidence in God, and to expect that he would sustain me in the needs which I felt; to tell Monseigneur our Bishop, or cause him to be told, that he was not to be distressed in my behalf; and that the cause of the present condition was not what he thought it was. He added that there was reason to hope that God would not fail me in my necessities, and that I must not fear, but expect that his protection would be continued over me. He bade me have great confidence in God’s [212] goodness and an entire submission to his holy decrees, saying that one ought not to falter, but offer himself with courage to all that providence should ordain; that the Blessed Virgin would always be my good Mother, that I should surrender myself to her care, and never lose the remembrance of what she had been to me, or the confidence that I had always had in her; and that I must take good heed not to lose this confidence, or let it abate. He said that this was the time of a very great need, and, therefore, that I should feel assured that she would aid me ‘For,’ said he to me, ‘just as a good Mother could [Page 93] not abandon her Child, upon Seeing it at the brink of a precipice, — but would hold it, lest it should fall [213] and would not leave it a moment without being at its side, — so the Blessed Virgin, who loves you a thousand times more than your own mother, will not leave you, provided you have entire confidence in her. Has she ever failed you in your need?’ Saying this, he put me in mind of several rather dangerous situations in which I had thoroughly proved her protection. He also bade me read the 6th Chapter of the 2nd Epistle to the Corinthians, and not to forget the resolution I had formed to surrender myself to all that God should desire of me, upon my arrival in Canada. And, in fact, when I was about to depart, that holy man, who was the Superior of our Monastery of [214] Bayeux, examined me on various points, all of which have had their effect upon me. For he told me that perhaps I would no sooner have set my foot outside the house where I was, than I would change my mind; that that peace and sweetness would perhaps change to bitterness; and that not only on the way, but even upon my arrival in the country, I might find a great change in my feelings. ‘ But, my daughter,’ he used to say, ’ if not only human beings make you suffer, but if that God so good toward you also join their side, that will be much harder. And if, not content with that, he permit the Demons to torment you, what can you say? for that may well happen to you. See whether you are willing to expose yourself to all [215] that I give you warning of it; think about it. There is nothing that absolutely obliges you. ’ It seems to me that I understood sufficiently what he said to me; but God drew me so strongly that I could not resist [Page 95] his call without great unfaithfulness. It was that which obliged me to make him this answer: ‘ My Father, you know what pain is in my heart when I think of making this journey. Yet I feel that God wills it for me; and so, even if all that you tell me will happen to me, if God permits it, I hope his goodness will sustain me: and from this moment I submit to all these sufferings.’ He afterward assured me that he had always been of opinion that I was to be preferred to my elder sister for Canada, and that God certainly wished me there.”

[216] These are the very words of that noble sister, whose life would, without doubt, merit publication; there is much in it for every one to learn, but especially for such as have the guidance of souls, and for those whom God conducts through extraordinary paths, of which her whole life has been but a succession. Nothing of this, however, was apparent to any one, except to those who had the guidance of her soul, and to Monseigneur the Bishop of Quebec, who loved and honored her virtue. This virtue endeared her to all who knew her, and shed everywhere an odor of her true holiness — a holiness that consists only in the practice of the sterling virtues, which alone this faithful votary of Jesus Christ [217] crucified esteemed. Yet she refused with all her power every unusual path, always fearing to be deceived in these, and lest those who guided her should be themselves deceived. She desired in this life only crosses and sufferings, imploring God that he would reserve for her, until she gained Paradise, his gratuitous favors, which do not make holiness. But God, who is the Master, chose to act otherwise. May he be forever blessed for it. [Page 97]


IT is impossible to value sufficiently the good fortune of Canada in having had, for nearly thirty years, the two Religious Houses of the Ursuline and of the Hospital Nuns, which [218] were necessary to it, and are discharging in a worthy and holy mariner whatever God and men could expect of them, — each in its own occupations, to which divine providence had appointed them.

The Ursuline Mothers have had so great success in the instruction of the girls who have been confided to them — whether Boarders, or the day-scholars who frequent their Classes — that in visiting the households of Canada, and each house in particular, it is very easy to distinguish, by the Christian education of the children, the mothers who have come out of Ursuline houses from those who have not had that advantage.

The Hospital Mothers exercise such charitable care for the sick, who are always at their house in great number, [219] that all those who die there are prepared in holy manner for Heaven; while the greater number of those who recover health do not leave the place without great edification.

Strict Observance of rules is as exact in these two Religious Houses as it is in any of the best-disciplined Monasteries of France. Girls born in this country so happily receive in these houses impressions of piety and of a truly Religious life, that it is a consolation, in the midst of Barbarism, to see in this place examples of holiness that are no whit inferior to the most admirable instances of this kind that Europe could see. The foregoing Circular Letter is an illustrious proof of this. [Page 99]

Letter from the Reverend Mother

Superior of the Hospital Nuns

of Kebec in New France.

October 20, 1668.

[3] Letter from the Reverend Mother Superior of

the Hospital Nuns of Kebec in New

France. October 20, 1668.

To Monsieur * *, Citizen of Paris,


Jesus and his Holy Love be forever the reward for all your Charities. That is the desire of a heart that cherishes and honors you truly, and that will not cease to solicit Heaven for [4] your preservation. We received all that you were pleased to have the kindness to procure for us, and send to us. All our sick patients thank you for it, and our little Community, rendering you very humble acknowledgments therefor, offers you its most obedient respects, with an ample participation in its prayers and good deeds; and it implores Divine Goodness to preserve you for the relief of the pour, and to crown you with blessings. I will inform you, by way of news, that God has taken from us one of our best Members, — a woman of thirty-six years, brave and skillful in all things, and of an intellect, virtue, and prudence that were more than common. Her fervor and her love for God so heated her [5] blood that one of her veins burst, causing her a Considerable hemorrhage. Then a continued fever and a severe inflammation reduced her strength, at the end of seventeen days, to the lowest ebb. She died at last, on the eighth of last May, leaving us in inconceivable grief and regret for such a loss, — at a time [Page 103] and in a place in which there is so great need for persons of that mould, who are so rare in Canada that I do not expect to see in my lifetime her equal. But God who knows all things, orders these matters for the best, according to his Divine wisdom; therefore we adore his decrees with a humble submission, hoping that his goodness will make provision for this loss in ways that are [6] unknown to us. Nevertheless, that causes us meanwhile much inconvenience, owing to our small number, which has obliged us to take, in addition, two convert sisters, in default of finding dowry for sisters of the choir; so that we have now only 12 sisters of the choir and six converts. When it shall please Our Lord, he will increase the number of our Nuns, since he increases every day the number and the wants of our sick patients. We hope that Jesus Christ, by his Holy grace, will give us strength to meet this need, although several of our number are beginning to grow feeble, by reason of their age, and of their labors during the 29 years that we have spent in this country. If God [7] should inspire some good sisters to come and aid us in relieving Jesus Christ in the poor sick, of whom we always have a great number, they would assuredly find an ample harvest of merits for this life and of blessings for the other. Meanwhile, Monsieur, I send you a short list of our most pressing wants. We do not doubt that you will, with all your usual zeal and fervor, procure us what is therein set down, and that you will even redouble your Charity; for you know, on good authority, that our revenue is much diminished, and that, without what you have sent us, we would not be able to receive and aid [8] the sick. As for ourselves, we shall get along as we can, — well content to experience the effects of Holy poverty, the [Page 105] bride of Our Savior, which we willingly embraced when we took that vow. But Divine Providence is so great, and so certain to those who yield themselves entirely to it, that it has always assisted us and will assist us still, if we are faithful to it in our Calling. 1 say all this to you, Monsieur, as to our good father and protector, to whom I speak in all confidence, and whom we devotedly love and often remember before Our Lord, — to whom we do not fail [g] to commend you every day, and in whom I am ever,


Your very humble and very obedient

servant in Our Lord, Sister Marie

de St. Bonaventure de Jesus, most

unworthy Superior.

From our Monastery of the

Mercy of JESUS, at Kebec,

October 20, 1668.

[10] Gentlemen and Ladies who shall have the kindness to give, as alms in the cause of charity, Drugs and other articles specified in the Memorandum appended hereto, are asked to send them to the house of Monsieur Cramoisy, Printer in ordinary to the King, a Citizen of Paris, dwelling in ruë St. Jacques; or to have him notified thereof, and he will not fail to send for them.





FOUR livres of Senna.

Four livres of Manna.

Two livres of fine Theriac. [Page 107]

Eight livres of Tamarinds.

One livre of Cloves.

Three livres of pepper.

One livre of Nutmeg.


Brown Sugar for Mixtures and Syrups.

Linen to make Sheets, shirts, and napkins, or

Linen all made up.

White linen.

A piece of linen for burying the dead.

Thread for sewing.

Six good white Blankets.

Pins and needles.

Combs for the sick.

Ten livres of candles for the Altar. [12]

Two Pictures with gilt Borders.

Gilded candlesticks.


Small books of devotion.

White paper.


Spanish wax.

Black serge.

White fustian for linings.

And, above all, linen, because the Hospital lacks it. [Page 109]


Relation Of 1668—69



Source: We follow a copy of the original Cramoisy, in Lenox Library.

The entire Relation is given in the present volume. [Page 111]





of the Society of Jesus,



in the years 1668 and 1669.

Sent to the Rev. Father Éstienne Dechamps,

Provincial of the Province of France.

P A R I S.


Printer to the King, ruë st. Jacques,

at the Sign of the Storks.



By Royal License.

[Page 115]



[1] Relation of what occurred in New France

in the years 1668 and 1669.





HE People of Agnié were formerly one of the most flourishing Iroquois Nations, and have always, up to the present time, passed for one of the [a] most valiant, and one of the proudest. That martial spirit, which occupied them in war, separated them so effectually from the Faith that it was thought that the Agnez would be the last to submit to the Gospel. But God employed the arms of France to give their conversion a beginning; their courage weakened after their defeat; and they are now, of all the Iroquois tribes, the one that gives the greatest hopes of its conversion to the Christian Faith.

Father Jean Pierron, after making a journey to Quebec, arrived safely at Tinniontoguen, the principal Village of that nation, on the 7th day of October, in the year 1668, and took the entire charge of that new Church, — which Father Fremin left him, after himself fostering it with incredible exertions. [3] The living is so meager there that hardly any meat or fish is eaten; but God, by his grace, causes the Missionaries to live very contentedly in [Page 117] this deprivation of all things. “No one could be poorer than are our Agniez,” said the Father in one of his Letters; “but, in spite of that, I love them more than myself, seeing how well disposed they are toward Christianity.

“I know enough of the Iroquois language,” continues this Father, “to explain all that I wish in matters of religion, and to hear the Confessions of the new Christians; and, without the occupation given me by the Pictures that I Paint with my own hand, I would be better versed in the language than I am. But I find the effect of these paintings so great, that I deem a part of [4] my time well spent in this exercise; for by these Pictures I bring it about, in the first place, that our Savages see a graphic representation of what I teach them, by which they are more powerfully moved.

“Moreover, I reap this advantage, that they act as Preachers to themselves; and that those who would not come to pray from devotion, do come at least from curiosity, and thus suffer themselves to be insensibly influenced by that attraction. Finally, I have myself discovered the secret of teaching myself; for, in hearing them describe our Mysteries, I learn much of the language through the medium of these Pictures.

“Among the pictures that I have made, there is one which represents the deaths of the pious and the wicked. What obliged me to make it was, that I saw that the [5] old men and women used to stop their ears with their fingers, the moment I tried to speak to them of God, and would say to me, ‘I do not hear.’ Accordingly, I put in one part of my Picture a Christian who is dying a holy death, with [Page 119] hands so joined that he holds the cross and his Rosary; then his soul is borne upward to Heaven by an Angel, and the Spirits of the Blessed appear, awaiting him. In the other part, and in a lower position, I placed a woman, bent with age and dying, who, being unwilling to listen to a Missionary Father who is showing her Paradise, is stopping bath her ears with her fingers. But there issues from Hell a Demon, who seizes her arms and hands, and puts his own fingers in the ears of this dying woman, whose soul [6] is carried away by three Demons; while an Angel coming out of a cloud, sword in hand, hurls them down into the depths.

“This sketch gave me an excellent theme for discoursing on the immortality of our souls, and on the pleasures and pains of the other life; and no sooner was the meaning of my Picture perceived than not another person was found who dared to say, ‘ I do not hear.’ Now, if that Picture had such an effect, I hope that the representation of Hell, on which I am working, will have a still greater one in the future.”

The invention of these Pictures is not altogether new: it had already been put to a holy use by a celebrated Missionary of our France; and there is no one who has read the life of Monsieur le Noblez[5] who does not admit that this was [7] one of the most admirable devices which he employed to instruct the various peoples in our sacred Mysteries. Father Pierron has been able to imitate that great man, and to introduce in the depths of our forests a practice that has been of so great use in a nation already civilized. It was known that this holy method had been infinitely useful; but it would serve for [Page 121] very little if the Father did not add to these sanctified industries the great labors that he has necessarily to undergo, in order to visit constantly each week seven large Villages, covering seven and a half leagues of distance, that he may prevent any Child or any sick adult from dying without receiving Baptism. And, if occasionally some one escapes his diligence, it is the [8] keenest affliction that he suffers, and makes him ask that assistance be sent to him immediately. What he desired has been granted him: Father Boniface[6] was chosen, immediately after his arrival from France at Quebec, to go this year and second his zeal.

It is difficult to say whether the war which the Iroquois are waging with the nine nations of the Loups, who are scattered all the way from Manhate to the environs of Quebec, is more advantageous than peace to the Christian faith. War humbles them by diminishing their numbers; but it also, by preventing them from remaining in one place, opposes obstacles to the conversion of the warriors, who separate into a number of bands, for the purpose of proceeding in detachments against the enemy. The Agniez and the Loups make war on each other, as far as [9] the vicinity of new Orange; and, having taken captives on both sides, they burn and eat them. But the Loups have this advantage, that, having a great number of men, and being wandering tribes, they cannot be easily destroyed by the Iroquois, while the Iroquois can be more easily destroyed by the Loups.

Nevertheless, we do not cease to win over some souls to Jesus Christ amid this tumult of arms. Two old men seemed to be only waiting for Baptism, [Page 123] in order that they might die; and they received it with all possible consolation. But a third, — who, in perfect possession of his facilities, saw death approaching, — in order to justify his obduracy, took as pretext, that he forgot all the instructions that the Father gave him, the moment he [10] was out of his cabin. At last, being urged to become converted, he said that he had committed too many crimes in his lifetime to be converted in the hour of death. Indeed, as the Divine Providence never permits a man, Savage though he may be, to die without Baptism, if he has tried his best to keep the natural law; so, by a just punishment, God often suffers those who have lived wickedly to be deprived of Baptism.

Another Old man, more than a hundred years old, — a man of excellent judgment, and formerly the head of the country, — was also baptized. He had prepared himself for this grace by his constancy in coming to pray to God, in the presence of all the people, in spite of the continua raillery of [11] some of his nation who were still infidels.

One thing which acts as the greatest obstacle to the conversion of these barbarians is what is called among them “jugglery,” or the art of healing the sick by criminal superstitions. Nevertheless, the Father, by his address, has rendered this art so ridiculous that no one dares to operate on a sick person in his presence, — the Jugglers pretending that they have already executed their manipulations, when he enters the Cabin. What gains him credit in this matter is, that he, much better than those pretended Physicians, procures for the sick health of body, as well as that of the soul. [Page 125]

Another care of the Missionaries has to do with the Captives, whom they teach how to die like true Christians in the midst of the flames, after [12] Baptizing them; and sometimes it has happened that the Iroquois themselves have acted as interpreters to teach these victims our mysteries. It can be shown, by a number of examples, that God works in the souls of these infidels, by striking them with fear of him; here is one, that is quite remarkable. A war-Captain, belonging to the nation of the Agnez, intending to set out on the following day to proceed against their enemies, the Loups, went to the Chapel, built by the Savages themselves, and asked the Father what he should do and what he should say, in order to go to Heaven, if it should happen that he were taken in war and were to be burned. This demand touched the Father’s heart, and constrained him to teach the man the method of performing an act of contrition. This the Savage rehearsed [13] to himself for an hour, in order to learn it thoroughly; and then repeated it often to the Father — which is a sign that these Barbarians are beginning to apprehend another life; and it may be reasonably believed that that fear which is the beginning of true wisdom will be salutary for them.

While the fear of death makes itself felt in those who are not yet baptized, the contempt for life is admirable in those who have received Baptism. “Those who believe in God,” said an Iroquois woman who had lain two nights all alone in the fields, in danger of being carried off by some one of the nation of the Loups, “need not fear death, since it serves them as a passage to Heaven.”

[14] Although there are among the Agniez those [Page 127] who have not the Faith, nevertheless many among them have a veritable hunger and thirst after Righteousness; and it comes to pass that God causes some of them to learn their prayers in a way that seems to border on the miraculous. There are Savage women so fervent in prayer that they pass whole nights in it; and so devout toward the blessed Virgin that they say their Rosary several times every day.

The first thing that they do, when they go to work in their fields, is to invite those who are of their company to unite in offering to the Mother of God a prayer, — to which they add, all together, a great many jaculatory Orisons, which they address to God. [15] Does not that show that they are capable of receiving Christianity?

True piety is beginning to take form in the hearts of the Agniez, in such a manner that the Father who has charge of them writes that he celebrated the last Easter Festival with much solemnity; that he has given holy Communion to his new Christians; and that the ceremony of Good Friday was performed as in France, all adoring our Lord on the Cross.

The Catechism is taught twice a day, — once for the men, and again for the women, — and the fervor there displayed is so great that married persons are not ashamed to be publicly catechized. One woman has been found sufficiently qualified to learn the form [161 of Baptism, and all that is necessary for administering this first Sacrament of the Church, which is the door to all the others, — although she has not yet been allowed the use and practice of it.

This woman came near being included in a massacre inflicted by the Loups on a number of Agniez, almost within a hundred paces of the palisade of one [Page 129] of their Villages, where the enemy had stationed themselves in ambuscade. It happened that this woman, having to go with the others to work in her field, sent them on ahead of her with the assurance that she would follow them immediately afterward. Thereupon she suddenly fell asleep; and, at the same moment, the cry of the persons being massacred was heard. “Ah!” said that good Christian, “I recognize clearly that it was God’s will to preserve me, [17] and I do not cease to thank him for that favor.”

Here is an occurrence that is not less remarkable. One of those women wounded by their enemies, the Loups, relates that she was attacked by one of the latter, who gave her three blows on the head with a hatchet, while she defended herself courageously against him. But another blow, which was given her near her right eye, threw her to the ground, and left her faint and bleeding. Then — as she reported the event to the Father — she uttered this prayer: “Jesus, you are the master of my life; take pity on me, for if I die in the condition in which I am, without being baptized, I shall be eternally burned in the fires that are never extinguished.” Scarcely had she finished these words, when she felt a strength diffused through [18] her whole body. She straightway arose, and as she was about to seize the hatchet of her enemy, who was easily able to kill her, he at the same instant fled. That constrained the woman to ask for Baptism, and to say, “I will believe in and honor, for the rest of my days, Jesus my liberator.”

Certainly those are very propitious beginnings: and, although there are not a great many adults in [Page 131] the new Church of the Agniez, because they are baptized only with great precaution, it does not fail to have heroic souls among the women Catechumens, — who make a great impression on their husbands’ minds, and gain illustrious victories every day over those who wish to involve them in crime. [19] When one of these new Christians was being urged, even to the point of threats, to give up prayer, she was spirited enough to answer her husband on this occasion: “I am my own mistress, I do what I choose; and do thou what thou choosest.” Others mock at insults, and boldly exclaim: “No matter, let them kill us; for this life is a small matter, and we hope God will have mercy on us.”

Not less estimable is the constancy of some new Christians in one of their Villages called Gandaouaguen, under the direction of a fervent Catechist; and, although these tribes are infinitely sensitive to raillery, they do not fail to bear it nobly for the love of Jesus Christ. [20] “We bend our heads to these insults,” they say to the Father; “and, when we are assembled, we pray God to open the eyes of those scoffers, in order that they may see what we sec.” In a Word, experience shows every day more than ever that the Savages (as well as the French) are capable of everything in matters that concern piety and the service of God. They know all that is most difficult in the Mystery of the holy Trinity; they distinguish the two natures in Jesus Christ; they are familiar with what the Church teaches about the immortality of our souls, the judgment, mortal sin, venial sin, and original sin; and as particular attention is being given to teaching them the ordinary prayers, and the Commandments [21] of God and of [Page 133] the Church, — which they sing, every Sunday, in Iroquois verses — in this, too, the knowledge of which is absolutely necessary when they are admitted to Baptism, they are not ignorant any more than in the rest.

Even the little children appear susceptible to the most beautiful impressions of the faith. One example, among others, will show this. An Iroquois woman had bestowed especial care on the instruction of one of her children, who was about three years old. Upon her falling ill, he asked her, at the height of her illness, what was the matter with her, that she complained so.” I am ill, my son,” his mother answered him. Then this little Child, addressing himself to our Lord, said to him: “Lord, who art the master of our lives, take pity [22] on my mother and restore her health.” This Child is the same to whom was given a picture in which our mysteries are illustrated; he knows them perfectly, and shows an intelligence capable of all things. The Embassy of the principal warriors of Agnie — who came in the spring to Monsieur de Courcelle, our Governor, with presents, asking for some of our Fathers, in order to assist him who has charge of their Church — is a sign that they are well disposed toward the Faith, and that there is reason to conceive great hopes for their conversion. Moreover, the peace, which they themselves took the initiative in coming to ratify with new presents, will contribute greatly to the advancement of Religion, through the just fear inspired in them by the arms of the King, under the command [13] of Monsieur de Courcelle. They fear his courage; and, at the same time that he treats them in a manner best fitted to hold them to their allegiance, [Page 135] he inspires in them, by his words, the respect that they owe to the Christian Faith and to the Preachers of the Gospel.

These Barbarians have now so high an idea of the valor of the French, that they think there is nothing but the King’s protection that can defend them from their enemies. That is why they came to ask help of Monsieur our Governor against the nation of the Loups, as for the defense of a country which already belongs to the King by force of arms, and which they hold only because he is pleased to let them have it. It is thus that the Ambassadors from Agnié explained themselves [24] in their harangue.

All these things, joined to the courage that is natural to the nation of the Agniez, confirm more than ever the belief that a flourishing Church can be formed among them: very illustrious are the victories of modesty there. “I admired the virtue of a Young woman, newly converted, and solicited to sin with the assurance that the Mission Father would not know about it. ‘ If he does not know, ’ replied she, ‘ God will know it, from whom nothing is hidden, and who alone is more to be feared than all the men in the world.’ This answer curbed the insolence of the one who was urging her to do wrong. She is the same woman who has since imitated saint Thomas, holding a glowing firebrand in her hand, as he did, to guard her chastity.” It is self-deception to think that Savages are incapable [25] of Christian strength. When an old man, ninety years of age, was being exhorted to bear suffering in this world, considering that he would no longer suffer in Paradise, he replied: “I do not need to be encouraged; Paradise, with its joys, encourages me enough.” This man, who had [Page 137] governed the whole country, was baptized on all Saints’ day, the name of which he bears. The Agniez have of their own accord considered the fact that a single thing was capable of destroying these fair beginnings of Christian piety; and that there was in their midst a foreign Demon, more to be feared than those that they worshipped in their dreams. This Demon is the intoxicating liquor that was coming to them from new Orange. They sought means, in a public Council, [26] to put a stop to those disorders, that were utterly ruining both the Faith and the bodies of their youth. Having learned from Father Pierron that the most efficacious means was to present, personally, a petition to this end to the Governor-general of Manhate, the most influential men among them went thither, and presented to him a memorial that had been drawn up for them. Following is the reply made by the Governor of Manhate, both to the petition of the Agniez, and to the letter of the Father which he had added to it. These are the very terms, taken word by word from the original:[7]



By your last letter, I learn your complaint, which is seconded by that of the Iroquois Captains, [27] the Sachems, and the Indians, as appears more clearly in their petition, enclosed in yours, touching the great quantity of liquors that some men in Albanie take the liberty to sell to the Indians, thereby causing them to commit great disorders, more of which are still to be feared unless measures be taken to prevent them. In reply, you will learn that I have taken all possible care, and will continue to do [Page 139] so, to restrain and prevent, under very severe penalties, the furnishing of any excess to the Indians. And I am very glad to hear that such virtuous thoughts proceed from the Infidels, to the shame of some Christians. But that is to be ascribed to your pious teachings — you who, being well versed in a strict discipline, [28] have shown them the path of mortification, not only by your precepts, but by your practice.


Your very humble,

From Fort James,

affectionate servant,

November 18, 1668.

Francis Lovelace.

We will finish this Chapter with the number of those who have been baptized at Agnié, either by Father Fremin or by Father Pierron, during these two years, 1668 and 1669. The list of baptized amounts to a hundred and fifty-one, more than half .of whom were children or old people who died very soon after their Baptism. That harvest may be regarded as tolerably abundant in a land not under cultivation, and we ought to hope for much after such prosperous beginnings.

[29] The birth of this flourishing Church is due, next to God, to the death and the blood of the Reverend Father Jogues. He poured out his blood on the same spot where this new Christianity is beginning to be born; and we seem to be able in our day to verify, in his person, those beautiful words of Tertullian, — that “the blood of the Martyrs is the seed of the Christians.” And, if the death of the Martyrs is, as a Father of the Church well says, the science of eternity, scientia æternitatis, we can affirm that the death of Father Jogues has earned for those Infidels, [Page 141] who murdered him in time Past, that God should give them, by means of his successors, the science of the Gospel. This is the true science of the blessed eternity that he had proclaimed to them, at three different times when he went [3o] into their country, without fearing the cruelty of those Barbarians. [Page 143]






HE Onneiouts[8] — distant from the nation of the Agniez about thirty leagues toward the South, and from Quebec about a hundred and forty leagues — are the least tractable of all the Iroquois; and as the arms of the French have not yet penetrated to them, they do not fear us, except from the experience of their neighbors the Agniez. This tribe of Onneiout, despising the others since their defeat, is of a temper greatly opposed to the Christian Faith; and, by its pride, gives much exercise [31] to a Missionary’s patience. It was necessary that Divine providence should give them a man entirely fitted for cultivating them; and that it should choose for them a spirit that could, by its gentleness, tame those fierce natures.

Father Jacques Bruyas was the one whom Divine providence assigned them; but his pains are rewarded ordinarily only by rebuffs and scorn. Yet he does not think his time ill spent; he makes his sufferings his delight; and he writes in one of his letters that he esteems all his labors well repaid when he is able to baptize some dying infant, whose salvation be assures by this means.

The Apostasy of some adult Christians is his severest punishment, as he himself writes; [Page 145] God has been wont to make him gain some soul in return for the one that he has just lest. In the midst of the continual alarms that the Loups and the peoples of Andastrogué cause the Onneiouts, the Father ceases not to enable some old persons — who die soon after Baptism — to find peace for their souls, and Paradise.

The great obstacle to the conversion of these people, and the cause of their inconstancy, is the great love they have for life. This love makes them revert to their ordinary superstitions, in order to give health to the sick. A woman who, from the time she had received Baptism at Quebec, seemed very fervent in the observance of prayer, returned miserably to her idolatry, through the desire to [33] save her daughter’s life.’ But if this mother has lost her crown, it has been given to another woman; and there are those in this nation who have admirable sentiments of devotion.

We give an example which shows that God is pleased to make himself recognized, especially in places where the voice of the Gospel has not yet made itself heard. A man seventy years old has merited the grace of Baptism, by the good use that he has always made of the knowledge which he has had, all his life, of the master of our lives — as he himself says. This light, natural and divine at the same time, has acted in an excellent way upon his soul, causing him always to offer his Beavers, his Stags, and all the fruits of his chase to God. Signatum [34] est super nos lumen vultus tui. O God! your light and the knowledge of your sovereign Being is a seal graven on the most Savage Souls.

This mixture of good and ill, of hope and fear for [Page 147] the salvation of those souls redeemed by the blood of a Man-God, causes the Father to have continual recourse to prayer, and makes him watch without ceasing. He is occupied every day in visiting the Cabins, and in taking precautions that the sick shall not die without receiving Baptism; and to that end, he has to suffer the threats of the insolent, and, above all, of the drunken, — who have several times almost demolished his new Church with their hatchets, and have then made an attempt on his life.

Add to this the poverty of his [35] living. During the greater part of the year he has only dried frogs, and yet, in that country, to have these is considered good living. It is, however, this kind of life that gives the vocation to Missionaries, and makes them enviously ask for these places, — the most deserted, and the most destitute of human comforts, — because they are most filled with sufferings, yet always accompanied by divine consolations. Since the holy life of a fervent Christian woman, named Aouguenhaon, constitutes the greatest consolation of the Father having charge of that new Church, the reader will be very glad to know what he himself writes about the innocence of this woman.

“She is,” he says, “the most fervent of all, and the most steadfastly Christian. [36] No, I have never seen a better example of innocence than she; or any one who, for a Savage, had a tenderer conscience. She came to find me, some time ago, in the fear of having committed a great sin, — because, when a woman of her cabin told her that she wished to relate her dream to her, she had answered the woman, in the first involuntary impulse, ‘ I am listening to you.’ My pleasure is to see her so faithful [Page 149] and so fervent amid So many loose persons, and t. know that she speaks openly of the Faith in the cabins. She is not listened to, but God will not fail to reward her zeal, and already she is assured of having four of her children in Heaven, < ~y joy,’ she often says, ‘ is the hope of going to sec them; [37] and I will die sooner than quit the Faith that I have embraced.’”

The number of the Baptized amounts to nearly thirty, the greater part of whom already rejoice in glory. Such is the condition of that Mission, to which the Father has given the name of St. Francis Xavier, who is the protector of this new world. He is honored here in that character, every year, by a solemn festival, instituted by Monseigneur of Petræa in all New France. [Page 151]






FTER the nation of the Agniez and that of the Onneiouts, going [38] in a Southwesterly direction, one comes to Onnontagué, — a large Village, the center of all the Iroquois tribes, and the place of the general assemblies that they hold each year.[9]

This Mission was formerly the most flourishing of all those that our Fathers had begun to establish among those peoples; and, as it is still today one of the principal ones, there have been assigned to it two Workers who are cultivating it, — namely, Father Jullien Garnier and Father Pierre Millet. But it is not without much difficulty that they cause the rebirth of the spirit of the Faith, which had already lain for several years, as if dead, in the souls of those Barbarians.

One of the great obstacles encountered is found in dreams, which seem [39] to constitute this country’s sole Divinity, to which they defer in all things. As they do not disturb our prayers, and as even the most superstitious attend them, so they cannot suffer any opposition to their ceremonies; and they think their ruin is desired, if any one tries to do away with this divinity, which they regard as the thing that makes them live. [Page 153]

One day there was held a notable council on the dream of â sick old Man. He had said that he had Seen in his Sleep a man, of only a cubit in height; and that this being had shown him first some drops of blood that were falling from the Sky. He added, moreover, that there was even some that had fallen from men, — but that the latter were in a pitiful condition, for their [40] fingers and noses had been cut off; in a Word, they had been treated as Captives. Finally, this old man asserted that one of those little men had told him that people were treated in that way in Heaven; and that all those who should go there would fall into the hands of the Andastoguez, their enemies.

But immediately an Elder told his dream, to counterbalance this sick man’s dream. “I, too,” he said; “I dreamed that I was in Heaven, and that as soon as I wished for anything, I had it at my side.” so by one dream he disproved another, — and that for the sake of pleasing the Missionaries, but with sufficient aptness to refute the impertinence and imposture of that dreamer. The more enlightened among them see clearly that the greater part of these dreams are invented; yet they do not cease [41] to act, upon occasion, as if they believed them true.

That does not prevent the Onnontaguez from respecting the Faith and God’s Commandments. Some of those who have been at Quebec have been touched by the example of the Christian Hurons, and by the exhortations that the latter made them in favor of the Christian Religion. The man with whom Father Garnier lives repeated at Onnontagué the speech that a Huron had made to him at Quebec, in order to persuade him to embrace the Faith; and [Page 155] it is impossible to frame a better speech than that one was, either for Religion or for the Missionaries. Then each one began also to say something good on the subject, and to point out the advantages of the Laws of Christianity over their old customs.

[42] These excellent sentiments, added to the Missionaries’ care, have been accompanied by good results. For, while an old man who had been blind for a long time, and willfully deaf to the word of God, made sport of our most sacred Mysteries up to the time of his death, a captive woman, who was burned at Onnontagué, received the grace of the Gospel at the very first time when it was offered her. Divine providence ordered all things marvelously for her instruction and Baptism. She was sent, before her torture, into the Cabin where Father Garnier was, — who immediately drew her aside from the crowd, and, leading her into the Chapel, had sufficient leisure to instruct and then to baptize her. Her death-sentence was pronounced before her, after which she listened [43] to the Father with an admirable gentleness and presence of mind. Oh, how worthy of our love is God in the conduct of his Predestined ones; and how much comfort there is in being his instrument in saving those abandoned souls 1 This woman came out of the Chapel, where she was all filled with courage; and made the people admire her firmness in the midst of the fires they had lighted, where her son had just died a blessed death, having been cast into the flames on coming out from Baptism.

This act of providence was followed by another not less remarkable. A captive woman was already mounting the scaffold to be burned, when the Father [Page 157] came up, very opportunely for the salvation of her soul; he had time enough to instruct and baptize her, and then they began that tragic execution [44] which is the delight of those peoples.

The children who die after Baptism being the surest fruit of Evangelical labors, especial pains are taken not to let a single one die without conferring upon it this first Sacrament of the Church. The grace of heaven aids this assiduity of the Missionaries by special inspirations. The Father mentioned above had just visited a sick Child, three years of age, and had left it without baptizing it, believing that it was not yet in danger of death; but in the evening, while he was saying his Office, all at once the thought came to him that the Child might die when one least expected it. This thought oppressed him; he could not finish his Office in peace, and went immediately [45] to administer the Baptism. The Child died a few hours later, on the same night after its Baptism.

The following is an instance of very special Divine favor. A Young man had been ill for a long time, and he never failed to pray to God every day, when the Father visited him; and if sometimes the press of his duties prevented the Father from going to render him this good office, he himself, in a quite extraordinary spirit of fervor, would send for him. In this way a considerable time passed, until the evening before his death, when he himself asked whether he lacked anything further, in order to go to Paradise. Then, although there appeared to be nothing very unusual in his condition, he was baptized without delay; and it happened that he died on the next day, [46] before the usual time for going to him and having him say his prayers. [Page 159]

The grace of heaven is marvelous in taking its own time, and still more so in making use of certain per. sons to accomplish its designs. This is seen in the case of an Iroquois woman, who had a love for prayer from the very first time when it was mentioned to her in her illness; but she was indebted therefor to a Young Iroquois of her own cabin, who had been baptized when in danger of death; and who, since then, had conveyed to this woman the same impressions which he had himself received.

All these souls won over to God cost the Missionaries very dear: they are the fruits of their tears, and of the dangers to life itself in which they often find themselves. An Iroquois began to sing, according to [47] the custom of those peoples, that he was coming to kill Father Garnier, because the latter had, in a public ceremony, refused a thing that he could not grant; but as the Father was in the safe-keeping of the man with whom he was lodging, his host made a present to this murderer, in order to divert him from his project.

The aid that Father Millet went to render to Father Garnier at Onnontagué, was absolutely necessary. He arrived there toward the end of the month of October, in the year 1668. Since then he has instituted both public and private prayers, and he very soon acquired sufficient acquaintance with the Iroquois Language to teach the Catechism every Sunday. Upon arriving at the seat of his Mission with Father de Carheil, who has since been sent to the Oiogouens, his joy [48] was greatly moderated by the sad spectacle of the captives from Andastogué, who arrived at the same time, — a part of whom were destined for the flames. “I know not,” he says in [Page 161] one of his letters, “what augury I am to take from this event. Would to God it might signify that I am to make of these tribes Prisoners of Jesus Christ, and prevent them from burning through all Eternity I HOW happy I would be, if it meant that I myself am to be a captive and be burned for Jesus Christ. But 1 am unworthy of that favor; and I dare not ask it, for it is too great.”

The letter of commendation from Monsieur Tallon, our Intendant, to Garakontié, that famous Captain of Onnontagué, has been of much [49] service in this Father’s performance of his duties; and the chieftain’s favor has not only been useful in this country in the establishment of his Majesty’s interests, but it has also greatly facilitated the advancement of Christianity. So he has always labored equally for the interests of God and for the public welfare, which he uses all his power to secure.

It is not at all doubted, moreover, that this submissive spirit of the Iroquois, who offer their children for Baptism, is due to the reputation of the King’s arms, and the respect that Monsieur de Courcelle, our Governor, takes care to inspire in the minds of all our Savages, — both by words to the Embassies which they send him, and by the intrepid courage that he shows them.

A very special providence [50] of God was shown in the victory that the Iroquois gained, about twenty years ago, over the Hurons. For the Faith bas been published in this manner, in all places, by the captives; and even to this day the Mission Fathers of Onnontagué sec the effect of the pious instructions received by the Hurons in their own country, through the instrumentality of our Fathers. [Page 163]

A particular proof of this is seen in the conduct of a Huron woman, named Jeanne Ascerraguehaon. This woman came all Winter long, a quarter-league's distance, to hear the two Masses of the Mission Fathers, however bad the weather might be; and often remained in the Chapel to pray to God, after Mass. She had prevailed on all those of her own cabin to say their prayers [51] together every evening, as they were unable to come to the Chapel on account of the distance.

Another example is not less beautiful, and shows an extraordinary charity. Genevieve Gannennhetion, also a Huron Christian, has been very constant in prayer, and last spring performed a deed of charity that deserves to be known. One of the Mission Fathers found, by chance, a cabin standing a considerable distance apart in the woods; and he went into it, finding an old woman there, with a little girl attending her. She told him that she had been baptized formerly at Sainte Marie, and that both of them were now in extreme poverty. The Father relieved them in their immediate necessity, both having fallen [52] ill. But, in order to do this better, he applied to this Huron woman named Genevieve, and she sent to those two sick persons every day, by her daughter, wood to warm them and food to nourish them. She herself continued to visit them frequently; and, — a still more beautiful act on her part, — seeing that the woman was troubled because she *as not able either to sow or to cultivate her fields she had the kindness to do it herself. The sick woman *as not ungrateful for this; for when her son returned from his hunting and his trading, she gave a suitable recompense to the daughter of her benefactress. [Page 165]

I will finish this Chapter with the Baptism of a Captive brought from Andastogué. He was about fifty years old, and appeared to be a very considerable personage among his own people. He was kept for several days in uncertainty [53] whether he would be put to death; and, during that time, he thought rather about procuring his ransom than about assuring his salvation. Finally, upon learning from Father Garnier that his captors were not inclined to receive any gift for his deliverance, he thanked the Father with as much affection as if he had been given assurance of his life; and began then, in good earnest, to listen to the instructions given to him in the Chapel.

Father Millet, after having him elicit the necessary acts [of faith, hope, etc.], baptized him. The captive was then led back into the same cabin, where, during the rest of the day, he served as a diversion for those who came to see him, and who made him sing, according to their custom. It was a piece of good fortune for him that the Father met this man [54) on his way, in the evening, while they were leading him into another cabin, to burn him. “I approached him,” says the Father in one of his letters, “and, after comforting him, and encouraging him to suffer with firmness, I was in doubt whether 1 might proceed farther; but, a Savage telling me to go with him boldly, in order to instruct him, that determined me to do so. I entered the cabin as soon as the Captive did, and seated myself at his side.

“Already the fires and the irons that were to serve for his torture were being made ready; then, seeing this melancholy preparation, he turned to me and asked if he were going to Heaven. That question [Page 167] touched me deeply, and I told him that he would go to Heaven if he only took courage; that he would suffer only a short time; [55] that he would be eternally happy; and that he must say with me: ‘ Lord, have mercy upon me. ’ I repeated these words to him from time to time, until I was told that the time for his instruction was past, and that I must retire. 1 went away accordingly, with regret, and resolved to return on the next day. In fact, I went back to the cabin on the next morning as soon as day dawned, and, approaching the Captive, told him that 1 felt pity for him at seeing him in that condition. He showed me that I gave him pleasure by speaking to him in that way; and, when an Iroquois was on the point of applying a red-hot iron to his foot, I saw him raise it himself, and hold it up in that position until the glowing iron had lost the intensity of its heat and its power to burn.

[56] “As yet, they had burned him only as far up as the knees; but scarcely had the Sun risen when the cry was raised, throughout the whole Village, to assemble the people; and then he was led out of doors, where two fires had been lighted, and a stake driven down, to which his hands and feet were to be bound. When this wretched Captive saw himself thus bound between those two fires, he began to tremble all over; and I have never seen anything that better represented to me our Lord at the Pillar, and the dread that made him sweat blood in the garden of Olives. The more distressed I saw him, the more I tried to comfort him, and give him courage to die. During the whole time of his torture, I remained near him, — now kneeling and praying for the salvation of his soul, [57] now giving him some [Page 169] helpful Word, when he was allowed a little respite, and exhorting him to turn his eyes toward Heaven and pray, himself, for his eternal salvation.

“He suffered with such fortitude that he was admired by every one; and there are those who believed that the rains, which continued a very long time after his death, came as a result of his execution. Our Savages were much edified at seeing the mariner in which I helped him in his torture; and they asked me afterward a great many questions, that gave me an opportunity to instruct them in our religious belief.”

This occupation of helping the Captives that are burned alive and eaten, in the Missionaries’ presence, is an exercise demanding great courage; and as one [SS] naturally has a horror of seeing people burned and eaten, it is, for a new Missionary, a strange spectacle, and one in which he has great need of being fortified by grace. Among these races, the victorious find their diversion in the custom; but this cruelty can but cause much pain to persons brought up in the Christian religion.

Besides this Captive, there have been more than thirty persons baptized, in the past year, at the Mission of Onnontagué. The greater part are dead, and they pray to God in Heaven for the salvation of their brethren. [Page 171]





HIS people, which constitutes the fourth Iroquois nation, is situated about a hundred and sixty- five leagues from Quebec, and about twenty leagues from Onnontagué, continuing always in a Southwesterly direction.

Father Estienne de Carheil arrived there on the sixth day of November in the year 1668; and offered to Heaven, as first-fruits of his labors, a slave woman from Andastogué. He had come in her company from Onnontagué; and this journey that they made together was put to use by him in making her enter on the road to Paradise. For, having been instructed and baptized [60] during this journey of two days, she was, as soon as she arrived at Oiogouen, burned and eaten by those barbarians, on the sixth of November.

Father Garnier, who had escorted Father de Carheil, made his presents upon his arrival in the Village. One of these was to ask for a Chapel, and another to invite to the Christian Faith. Answer was made to him, through the same number of presents, that they promised him to embrace the Faith, and to build him a Chapel. The latter was completed on the ninth day of November, three days after his arrive, and was dedicated to saint Joseph by father de Carheil. [Page 173]

He writes that, on saint Catherine’s day, he had evidence that that great Saint was working in Heaven, both for him and for those poor Barbarians: there came on that day a considerable number [61] of persons, who asked to pray and to be instructed; he asserts, therefore, that he can call it the birthday of his Mission and of his Church. “That was also the day,” he adds, “on which I asked this Saint, to whom 1 had formerly consecrated myself, that she would teach me to speak, as she herself had spoken of old to convince the minds of the idolatrous Philosophers. Since that time, the Chapel has been enlarged, and has never lacked persons who came to pray.”

When he first arrived, there were few people who could come and receive instruction, most of them being engaged in either fishing or hunting; but the report of the army from Andastogué brought them together very soon, and gave the Father an opportunity to preach the Gospel to a great multitude.

[62] The rumor that was spread abroad, that the enemy, to the number of three hundred men, were coming to lay siege to Oiogouen, turned out to be false; but it was of much service to the Mission father in enabling him to show the Iroquois that he loved them, and to gain credit for himself by the contempt for death that he exhibited in remaining every night with those who were doing sentry duty. Those were disabused who had thought that, in the general flight of all the people, he had been afraid, like the rest. Even the warriors, the Captains, and the Elders testified to him in a public feast the esteem that they bore him.

The Father knew how to profit by this opportunity, going from Cabin to Cabin and saying: [Page 175] “know, my brethren, that people like us do not [63] fear death. Why should they fear it? They believe in God; they honor, love, and obey him; and they are assured of eternal happiness in Heaven after their death. It is You, my brethren, who have to fear death; for, up to the present time, you have neither known nor loved God. You have not obeyed him; he will punish you eternally, if you die without believing in him, without loving him, without observing his Commandments, and without being baptized.” Then, being invited by a Child to enter a Cabin where there were about twenty warriors, he addressed them as follows: “I am delighted, my brethren, to see myself in the same danger with you. Be assured that I do not fear death, and that I would prefer [64] to lose my life rather than see you die without having been baptized.” And he added that, on the next day, — the day of the fight, as was expected, — he would be seen going fearlessly among the wounded, in order to baptize those who should have prepared themselves therefor by a firm belief in our religious faith, and by a genuine sorrow for their faults.

Those warlike spirits showed that they heard this harangue with pleasure; and, although there was a panic of terror, as is usual with the Savages, it did not fail to have its entire effect to the advantage of the Faith, as if the enemy had actually been at their doors. Thus a wise Missionary neglects no opportunity, and knows how to take his time to make souls which cost, and which are worth, the blood of a Man-God, earn the life everlasting.

[65] This Church is already beginning to increase: it counts, among its Believers, not only children and [Page 177] women, but also warriors, two of whom are among the most influential — one by reason of the name of the Village of Oiogouen, which he bears as an honor; and the 0th on account of his riches and his bravery. Prayer is not held in contempt in Oiogouen, as it is in some other places. If some have declared themselves against it, they are in very small numbers; nevertheless, no haste is shown in giving Baptism to these tribes, as it is desired to prove their constancy, for fear of making Apostates instead of true Believers.

The Father used at first in his instructions only the Huron language, which the [66] Iroquois all understand, when it is well spoken. He has since composed a discourse on Baptism in the Oiogouen language, using in its composition only simple roots and the study of the Iroquois tongue that he had made during his journey; for he felt assured by experience that if, by means of roots and the various speeches he heard, he could collect a number of words sufficient to express the different actions, he would know the language.

Besides the Village of Oiogouen, which is the Seat of his Mission, he has two others — one four leagues from there, and the other almost six leagues away. These last two are situated on a river which, coming from the direction of Andastogué, flows down, at the distance of four leagues from Onnontagué, and empties into the Ontario. The great [67] quantity of rushes in this river has given the name of Thiohero to the Village that is next to Oiogouen.[10] The peoples that compose the bulk of these three great Villages are partly Oiogouens, partly Hurons, and partly Andastogué prisoners of war. It is in these [Page 179] places that the Father is exercising his zeal, and asking for companions in his Apostolic labors.

Although he has reason to be satisfied with the docility of the Oiogouens, still he is not without his crosses. His host, who is Captain of his nation, and who took him under his care, treated him badly for a long time; for, desiring some Mission Father whom he might bring to his house for his own family, and his right to whom no one would be able to dispute, he reluctantly permits Father Carheil to be [68] given to Oiogouen by Garakontié, the famous Captain. He declares openly that he does not belong to them, but to Onnontagué, or else to Onneiout, — where, he pretends, the Father ought to have gone. Besides, Garakontié also would like to have Father de Carheil, as having been committed to his charge at Quebec for Onnontagué, where he is Captain; but the exigencies of present affairs made it necessary, under the circumstances, to make this assignment. This dispute about rights, and this rivalry as to who shall have the Missionaries, is a good sign, on which may be based good hopes; and shows that, in order to establish the Faith in these regions, nothing can be wanting but Evangelistic Workers.

That famous Garakontié, the most renowned of all the Savage Captains, and the best disposed of all [69] toward the French, longs for Baptism in good earnest. He no longer sees in dreams the master of man’s life; and he promises that he will not, in the future, tell what he dreams without making, to those who ask him, a declaration that shall make them understand that it is not in virtue of the thing having been dreamed that he relates it to them. Finally, he has consented to have only one wife. But as all [Page 181] this needs to be well looked into, in the case of a Captain of his reputation, his Baptism is still deferred.

He has given Father de Carheil’s host a present of a porcelain collar, to confirm the peace and establish our Fathers securely in their country. Also every one in the Iroquois Nations continues to value more than ever the fruits of peace, after [70] having seen our conquering arms enter their neighbor’s territory. Still, nothing is so secure among these Barbarians that one does not need always to be on his guard.

Father de Carheil, perceiving that, — since the Savages regard some created thing, something despicable, as the master of their lives, — to make them say a ridiculous prayer to it had a very good effect, has had some of them pray in that wise, on certain occasions.

“We must,” he says, “pray to the master of our lives; and since this beaver is the master of thy life, let us say a prayer to it. ‘ Thou beaver, who speakest not, thou art the master of me, who speak; thou who hast no sense, thou art the master of me, who have a mind.” ’ Such a prayer makes them recover [71] their senses, and acknowledge that they have been without sense, hitherto, in recognizing these animals as the masters of their lives. so, little by little, he introduces the knowledge of the true God, and teaches them his Commandments, which they find very reasonable.

But alas! these fine beginnings have since been unhappily thwarted, all Hell offering its opposition to them. Superstitions have taken a new life there, and the Father has become conscious that in an infidel [Page 183] and barbarous country, a Missionary must always carry his soul in his hands, The Father, having gone to Tiohero, was invited to an eat-all feast, for the recovery of a sick woman — whom he was going to visit, with the intention of baptizing her, after having given her instruction. He was told, when it was seen that he did not [72] eat all that had been served to him, that it was necessary to eat everything, in order to cure the patient. The Father answered them: “I do not see, my brethren, that I can cure her by doing myself an injury in eating too much; and by a remedy which the master of our lives forbids, and which is liable to make two sick persons instead of one — the first continuing to be sick, and the one who eats too much becoming so.” All were surprised at this answer; the sick woman, ’ above ail, approved of what had just been said, and declared that since that course was not proper, she was resolved to use that kind of superstitious remedies no more, — or their dances, that served only to split a sick person’s head. After that, she did not allow anything in which the Father thought there was any harm; and being conducted, after her [73] Baptism, from Tiohero to Oiogouen, she made confession of whatever sins she might have committed since she had received the grace of Baptism. Finally she died, full of profound consolation at learning that she would be happy after her death; but her death, added to the report that had just been spread abroad, that Baptism made people die, confirmed still more that falsehood, — which the Evil One has persuaded these peoples to believe, in order to prevent their being saved.

Since that time the Father has written us that he [Page 185] has been often repulsed, and even driven from the Cabins, where he was going to visit the sick. But, in order to understand fully the condition in which he is placed at present, and the danger of losing their lives, to which Missionaries are at all times exposed in these [74] infidel countries, we must hear him himself relate the ill treatment that he has received, chiefly on one or two occasions.

“When,” says he, “I had gone into a cabin to instruct and baptize a Young woman there, the daughter of a Huron captive, and the time for baptizing her was pressing, she did not listen to me, as she was wont to do in the beginning of her illness. Her Father, taking the Word, said to me: ‘ Thou speakest as formerly Father de Brébeuf used to speak in our country; thou teachest what he used to teach; and as he used to make people die by pouring water on their heads, thou wishest also to make us die in the same manner.’ I then recognized fully that there was nothing to hope for, and a moment later I saw a Juggler from our own Cabin come in. [75] In other respects, he likes me; he comes to pray to God, and he even knows the prayers by heart. He remained a long time without making known his purpose; but seeing that I did not withdraw, he began, in my presence, first to apply some remedies in which I saw nothing wrong; then, not wishing me to be present at the application of his other remedies that he was going to make, he forced me to go out of the Cabin.

“I had much difficulty in making up my mind to leave, and I could not do so without tears, and without gazing on that poor dying girl with all the compassion of which my eyes are capable.

“As I saw the whole Cabinful of people astonished [Page 187] at my tears, and the sick girl looking at me — she had, before that, been wont to turn her eyes away from me — [76] I spoke to them as follows: ‘ Why do you wonder, my brethren, at seeing me thus in tears? I love the salvation of that soul; and I see that she is going to fall into everlasting fires, because she will not listen to my words. I weep for her misfortune, which you do not understand as I do.’

“After that, I went out, and went away into a field, near there, to console myself by uttering my plaint to God, and asking him still for the salvation of that person. But the time for that had passed; for, some moments after they had driven me out, and had driven out, in my person, all of God’s mercy, that unhappy soul was itself driven out of its own body by divine justice and banished from Heaven for all eternity.

“During the whole evening I felt my heart [77] filled with a bitterness that took away from me all inclination to sleep. Continually calling up before my mind’s eye the loss of that soul, which I loved and wished to save, but which had just been lest, I conceived then, much better than ever, the strange sorrow in the heart of Jesus, — who loved all men and wished to save them all; but knew, nevertheless, the prodigious multitude of those who were to be damned in the course of the ages. His regret was proportioned to the greatness of his love. That which I felt at the loss of this single soul overwhelmed my heart, whose love approaches not the love of Jesus, but has only some spark thereof. O God, what was the Savior’s state of heart, seeing himself filled with a universal regret [78] for the loss of all the damned! Oh, how small is the grief that [Page 189] men feel for temporal losses, in comparison with that which one feels for the loss of souls, when one is not entirely ignorant of their worth! The language of saint Paul, who describes his own grief, came to my mind then; and it seemed to me that the words which expressed the greatest of his sufferings were these, Sollicitudo Ecclesiarum, ‘the care of the Churches.’ While I was in these thoughts, I was surprised at my host’s coming to find me, with a frightened countenance: he came up to me and said in my ear that I must not go out the nest day, — or, indeed, the next three days, — in the direction of the Cabin of that woman, who had just died on that very day. I apprehended [79] at once that a plot had been formed to kill me; then all the bitterness of my heart was dissipated, and changed into an intense joy at seeing myself in danger of death for the salvation of souls. I failed not to ask him what reason there was to compel me not to go in that direction; and although he did not wish me to think that any one entertained the thought of killing me, he told me enough to make me think so. I did what prudence demanded of me, and answered him that I would content myself, during those three days, with going to give my instructions in the other part of the Village.

Meanwhile the Eiders were almost constantly in Council, to arrest, by means of presents, the course of that furious man, who had resolved on my death. The report of this affair was soon carried as far [80] as Onnontagué, and gave anxiety to our Fathers and all the neighboring nations, — even to the extent of making them send Messengers, to learn the truth of the matter.” That affair had no further [Page 191] consequences: all is quiet now, and Father de Carheil continues in his ordinary occupations without any fear.

This first affront that he received was only a trial of his courage, and as if to prepare him to suffer another one, — offered him by a Young warrior, who drove him from his Cabin because the Father would not allow him to say that, in roasting Indian corn in the ashes, he would roast the master of his life. These two are the only ill-treatments that were offered him in the Village of Oiogouen, which is composed of more than two thousand souls, and in which are counted [81] more than three hundred warriors.

Prayer does not inspire the same fear of death as Baptism. Several warriors and a great many women come to pray to God; and even the children already know their prayers by heart. The knowledge of God’s Commandments has become common in the families, and there is such an inclination to learn them that people ask to pray to God on the open street.

Drunkenness, which has penetrated as far as the Oiogouens, has wrought great havoc among them, and has greatly hindered the progress of the Gospel. The Father writes us from there that he is certain that some drink only to intoxicate themselves; that they say so openly, and sing their intention to do so, before executing it, and that they are heard to shout: “I am going to lose my head; I am going to drink [82] of the water that takes away one’s wits.”

The number of persons baptized is twenty-eight, of whom one-half have already died in a disposition thought to be such as to ensure their going to Heaven. [Page 193]





TSONNONTOUAN[11] is, of all the Iroquois nations where we have been, that farthest from us; and its inhabitants being most remote as far as we are concerned, we call them “the upper Iroquois.” From us to them, one reckons about a hundred and eighty leagues. That country is the one, of ail, that gives the fairest hopes, — [53] which has obliged Father Jacques Fremin, Superior of all the Iroquois Missions, to go there and start a new Church. We have learned, through letters from the other Missionaries, that, setting out from Agnié on the 10th of the month of October, 1668, he visited the other Missions on his way, and arrived, on the first day of November, at Sonnontouan; and that he was received there with all the honors that those peoples render to Envoys extraordinary. We have also learned that the Captains have built him a Chapel, and that there is no one who does not show some inclination for Christianity; but it is added that, of them all, the old Huron captives have a special affection for the Faith. Moreover, it has been written to us that there were baptized, [84] in the space of four months, sixty dying persons, of whom thirty- three, as is believed, died a holy death and went to Heaven; but that the course of these happy successes [Page 195] was soon arrested. The Jugglers have taken such action that very few people go to pray to God without speaking of the war, for which preparation is being made, against the Algonquin Outaouacs, — which will seriously disarrange matters, and will infallibly retard the progress of the Faith among those peoples. Nevertheless, it has been learned that, at the Father’s solicitation, the most influential men of the country have stopped three detachments of their warriors who were making ready to go to war. Three prisoners whom Father Aloez has brought hither with him, this year, and given over to the Iroquois from Monsieur de Courcelle, [SS] our Governor, will undoubtedly strengthen the peace that has been made between the Iroquois and the Outaouacs, — and the more so at a time when the former have the nation of the Loups and that of the Andastogués on their hands, and fear more than ever the arms of France.

These are, in general, the things that we have, without having received any letter from Father Fremin, learned this year about that Mission. A Frenchman, returning a little while ago from that country, informed us that the Father had started to come to Quebec, with the Ambassadors from Sonnontouan; but he was unable to state the reason of their Embassy. It is believed that these Ambassadors are coming to ratify the peace, and ask the protection of Monsieur our Governor, who [86] has now become, by his courage and by his good management, the general arbiter and umpire in all the differences and all the wars of these Savages. [Page 197]





HE Mission of the Outaouacs is now one of the finest in new France. The scarcity of all things, the brutal disposition of those Savages, the remote situation, — three or four hundred leagues away, — the number of the tribes, and the promise that an entire nation has just made to Father Aloez, [87] after a general council, to embrace the Christian. Faith, — all these are things that make all our Missionaries wish for that Mission with a very ardent zeal.

When Father Aloez went down this year to Quebec, to deliver to Monsieur de Courcelle the Iroquois Captives that he had ransomed in his name from the Outaouacs, and to ask for some aid from our Fathers, the lot happily fell on Father Claude Dablon. He has been sent to be the Superior of those upper Missions, notwithstanding the abundant fruits he was reaping here, and the pressing necessity felt for his presence here.

The first place where one meets those Upper nations, who are almost all Algonquin, [88] is the Sault, more than two hundred leagues distant from Quebec. It is there that the Missionaries have stationed themselves, as the place best suited for their Apostolic labors, — the other tribes having been accustomed for some years to betake themselves [Page 199] thither, in order to go down to Montreal or Quebec to trade. A location has been chosen at the foot of the rapids in the River, on the South side, nearly under the 46th degree of Latitude; and the cold is much less severe there than it is here, although we are in nearly the same latitude.

Another Place, distant a hundred and fifty leagues from the Sault which has been chosen with the special design of preaching the Gospel there, is called Pointe du saint Esprit. The occasion [89] of this settlement was the Iroquois war, which had driven out from their country the greater part of the Upper Savages and had gathered them together in that place. Father Aloez, having found that great number of nations all in one Village, made a happy use of their flight, — which had brought together so many people, and had been ordered for him by divine Providence, — to proclaim our Mysteries to that assemblage of tribes, and thus to justify the Divine Justice. There is no place in this New world so remote that this Father has not striven to make the Gospel heard there.

God found some of his Elect in each nation, during the time while the fear of the Iroquois kept them thus together. But at length the danger has passed away, and each tribe has [91] retired to its own country, — some returning to Baye des Puants; others going to the Sault, where the Missionaries have decided to make henceforth their principal abiding place; and the rest remaining at Pointe du St. Esprit. It is planned to build three Churches, in these three principal places of this end of the world. There are two already established, — one at Pointe du St. Esprit, and another at the Sault. Father Aloez is Preparing [Page 201] to go to Baye des Puants, on his return from Quebec, to found the third Church there.

Never did the Gospel have a more auspicious opening in this country, and the only thing lacking in that direction at present is Workers; for the harvest is as abundant as it can be. The Iroquois, to whom three of their captives have been restored, and to whom [91] the others are still to be given back, will be delighted to continue the peace with the Outaouacs, having on their hands the war with the nation of the Loups and that with the Andastogués. We have even received word from Mont-real that the Onnontagueronnons are going on an Embassy next spring to the Sault, to confirm the peace by presents; so far are we from having any war to fear. Thus the roads will be free for the commerce of the French, and open to the Gospel Laborers, Still, the temper of these tribes, being very fickle, always leaves us some ground for fearing that the peace may not be of very long duration.

As Pointe du saint Esprit has been hitherto the seat of all those Upper Missions, I am going to begin to relate [92] the progress of the Gospel, and the establishment of the Kingdom of God, in that place: but at the same time I must not fail to mention the great obstacles that are encountered there. Dissimulation, which is natural to those Savages, and a certain spirit of acquiescence, in which the children in that country are brought up, make them assent to all that is told them; and prevent them from ever showing any opposition to the sentiments of others, even though they may know that what is said to them is not true. To this dissimulation must be added stubbornness and obstinacy in following [Page 203] entirely their own thoughts and wishes; this has obliged our Fathers not to admit adults so easily to Baptism, — they being, moreover, brought up in idolatry and licentiousness.

[93] “But finally,” says Father Aloez in his Journal, and in one of his letters written at the Sault on the 6th of June, 1669, “God caused me to know, after several trials, that it pleased his Divine Majesty to show pity to one nation in particular that desires, every member of it, to embrace the Christian Faith. It is one of the most populous; it is peaceful, and an enemy to warfare, and it is called the Queuës coupées;[12] but it is, besides, so addicted to raillery that it had, up to that time, made child’s play of our Faith.” This people gained their first acquaintance with the Gospel in their own country, by the great Lake Huron, at the time when our Fathers were there; and they afterward received instruction from the late Father Ménard, in the place where they are now. Finally, during the two or three years [94] that Father Aloez spent with them, they continued to receive instruction constantly, without embracing the Faith, — until last Summer, when the Elders made speeches in its favor in their Cabins, in their Councils, and at their feasts.

“That was what obliged me,” says Father Aloez, “to pass the Winter with them at Pointe du saint Esprit, for the purpose of instructing them.[13] In the beginning of the season, having been called to one of their Councils, I let them know the news that two Frenchmen had just brought me; and told them that at length I felt myself obliged to leave them, in order to go to the Sault, because, after my three years among them, they were unwilling to embrace [Page 205] our holy Faith, — there being only children, and some women, who prayed to God. I added [95] that I should leave that place immediately, and that I was going to shake the dust from my shoes; indeed, I took my shoes off in their presence, in proof that I was leaving them altogether, and did not wish to take anything from them away with me, not even the dust that clung to my shoes. I informed them that the Savages at the Sault, wishing to become Christians, had called me, and that I would go to them and instruct them; but that if, after some years, they did not become Christians, I would do the same thing to those at the Sault that I was doing to these now.

“During all this address I read, on their faces, the fear that I had inspired in their hearts; leaving them then to deliberate, I immediately withdrew, with the intention of [96] going away to the Sault. But an accident having detained me, by a special providence of God, I was soon a witness to a change on their part that can only be attributed to an extraordinary stroke of grace. By common consent, they abolished Polygamy entirely; they did away with the sacrifices that they had been accustomed to offer to their genii; they refused to be present at any of the superstitious ceremonies observed by the other nations in the vicinity; in a Word, they showed a fervor like that of the Christians of the primitive Church, and a very great assiduity in all the duties of true Believers. They all took up their abode near the Chapel, in order to facilitate for their wives and children, during the Winter, the instruction that is given them, [97] and in order not to let slip a single day without coming to pray to God in the Church.” [Page 207] Such, in general, is the state of the Mission at Pointe du saint Esprit, I am going now to describe in detail some of the most remarkable conversions. An old man who died on Christmas Day, after preparing himself for death, shall head the list.

The Savages told Father Aloez, that, after his Baptism, he had had a vision of two roads, one of which led upward, and the other downward; and that, according to his own account of the matter, he had taken the former, but that he had had much trouble in following it, as it was very narrow and difficult. They added that he had seen the downward road as very wide, and well-trodden, like that which leads from one Village [98] to another. I cannot pass in silence the Baptism of the first adult of that nation. As he was their Captain, and a man of excellent understanding, well fitted for Christianity, he was the first to make a speech in favor of the Christian Religion, and to say publicly that the doctrines that were preached to them were true, and that, for his part, he was resolved to obey the Father. his name was Kekakoung. That holy freedom in speaking for the Faith gave the impulse, as it were, to all their minds, and inclined them to submit to the Gospel.

One man sixty years of age did not have very much trouble in becoming a Christian: he assured the Father that all his life long he had acknowledged a great Spirit who included in himself Heaven and Earth; [99] that he had always invoked him in his sacrifices; and that he had received help from him in pressing need. The man was given the name of Joseph at his Baptism.

The example of another old man confirms the [Page 209] same thing. He relates, with deep feelings of gratitude toward this sovereign Spirit who saved his life, that, when they left their own country, they were obliged to take flight on the ice of the great Lake of the Hurons, in order to escape the Iroquois and the famine that pursued them everywhere. They had no provisions, and maintained their families only on the fish that they harpooned each day under the ice. Now it happened that sixty of their men, who had gone out to seek the means of subsistence, were carried away by a [100] great field of ice that was detached by the violence of the wind. More than half died, either from cold or from hunger. This old man was preserved on that floating ice for the space of thirty days, and at length leaped upon another piece of ice, and thence to the land, — being unable to render sufficient thanks to that Spirit, more powerful than hunger, cold, ice, winds, and tempests, to whom he had directed his prayer.

When he heard about God for the first time, he recognized at once that he was that mighty Spirit who had saved him, and he resolved from that moment to obey him in all things.

Finally, Father Aloez observes, in his Journal, of another man of the same age, that he could not marvel enough that he had lived so long [101] with no knowledge of the true God; and that he had often said to him during his instruction: “Is it possible that we old men, who have a little sense, have been so long blind; and that we have taken for divinities things that serve every day for our use?” A hundred persons of that nation, partly adults, partly Children, have already received Baptism. AS to the Hurons who took refuge in that country, thirty-eight [Page 211] have been baptized. In the other nations are counted over a hundred persons more, to whom Baptism has been given.

An unmarried woman, forty-four years of age, who had shown constancy and a singular affection toward our holy Faith, was at length baptized. The continual temptations [102] to which she was exposed, and the persecutions that she suffered on account of her beauty, made one fear at first to give her Baptism; but her noble spirit gained the day, and she declares openly that she will never marry.

She was confirmed in this resolution by what she had once heard Father Aloez say in regard to the Virginity of the blessed Virgin, and the vow of chastity taken by Nuns; and she went back to her own country with this holy purpose, in which she will have the Holy Ghost as her sole director until it shall please God to send some Missionary thither.

Father Marquette writes us from the Sault that the harvest there is very abundant, and that it only rests with the Missionaries to baptize the entire population, [103] to the number of two thousand. Thus far, however, our Fathers have not dared to trust those people, who are too acquiescent, and fearing lest they will, after their Baptism, cling to their customary superstitions. Especial attention is given to instructing them, and to baptizing the dying, who are a surer harvest. [Page 213]




FATHER Henry Nouvel had cultivated that Mission for some years before; but, Father de Beaulieu having in a very short time acquired sufficient acquaintance with the Montagnais language to perform [104) all his Apostolic functions, the entire charge of it was given over to him. This facility in understanding and speaking the language of the Savages down there seemed so extraordinary to the Captains of that nation, that they gave him, by unanimous consent, at a public feast, the name of “he who understands and speaks our language.” As they are wandering tribes, accustomed to live by the chase, the Father has been obliged to follow them through all the forests, in order to maintain that New Church in the fervor in which Father Nouvel had left it. It is inevitable that one should suffer much more in that kind of wandering Mission than in the stationary. After five or six weeks, during which he was obliged to sleep on the snow, he was attacked with a hemorrhage, from which he has been [105] ill eight months already, and which has exhausted the better part of his strength. Yet he is only waiting for the recovery of his health to give himself again entirely to his Savages, who rendered him all kinds of services during his illness, and who, [Page 215] seeing themselves beloved by him, long for him with an incredible passion.

During the time that he was well, he gave his whole attention to the instruction of those Barbarians; he prepared them especially for a general Communion, by a solemn fast and a strict Confession of their sins. And, a Chapel having been erected in those vast forests, the solemnity was performed there with such holiness that a like fervor had not been seen among Savages for a long time.

[106] While Father de Beaulieu was at the Mission of Ance de l’Assomption, far away in the Saguenay, Father Nouvel was appointed to go and give some help to the Savages of Gaspé, who are situated a hundred and twenty leagues from Quebec, and of whom the greater part understand the Montagnais language. He prepared to go and seek them toward the South; but having gone straight to Tadoussac, which is toward the North, he luckily met the Guaspesiens, who are now without a pastor, but still retain the good impressions formerly made upon them by the Missionaries. Ail, to the number of sixty, confessed and received Communion with great devotion, A woman of that nation, well instructed in our Mysteries, made them pray [107] to God every morning and every evening; and as she was a very good singer, she sang them some spiritual Songs. Thus God takes care to preserve his children who have received Baptism, And, in spite of their having been so long deprived of Gospel Laborers, they have not lost the Faith, which is as dear to them now as ever.

But, as their hunting — ground called them in the direction where Father de Beaulieu was, Father [Page 217] Nouvel deemed it more fitting to leave them in his charge, and to return to Tadoussac, after he had already advanced about twelve leagues into the Saguenay to give aid, in matters of piety, to the French who pass the Winter there for the purpose of trading. And thus Savages and French alike could be [108] aided by the indefatigable care of those two Missionaries.

To the Mission at Tadoussac must be added that of the Papinachois, as one of its dependencies. These tribes are always wandering in the forests, and betake themselves every year to a place on the great saint Lawrence river, — fifty leagues, more or less, below Tadoussac, toward the North, — for their trading.

A great many people of that nation, who all speak the Montagnais language, were formerly instructed and baptized by our Fathers, and still retain the principles of the Gospel; but as it is impossible to gather them together for a continuance of this instruction, there are few of them who have not some superstitions. Nevertheless, an attempt is made in their general assemblies to do [109] what one can to enlighten them with the torch of our holy Faith. The Christian Savages bring thither their children, to have them baptized by the Missionaries, or, in their absence, by some well-instructed Frenchmen who come there to trade.

Twenty children and fifteen adults have been baptized there this year. Two hundred and fifty-six persons, besides the Savages from Sillery and Tadoussac that had gone down to the Papinachois to trade, have received there all the aid possible, with very notable profit to their souls. [Page 219]

Monseigneur of Petræa, our Prelate, was on the point of going to see this new Church, after he had, visited Mont-real and all the rest of the country, for the purpose of conferring on these new Christians the Sacrament [110] of Confirmation, and of having the pleasure of visiting this new-born Church which may be called the daughter of his care, his prayers, and his tears. But he was obliged to postpone that journey until next year, not being assured that there would be a general assembly of the Papinachois in the usual places this year.

You will ask how it is possible for Christianity to subsist in the woods, among wandering tribes who find themselves obliged, in order not to die of hunger, to separate into small bands and make themselves Cabins very far apart, during the little time that they sojourn in any place. It is in that very thing that is admirably manifested Divine providence, and the care that he takes of his [111] Elect. The Savages who dwell far inland toward the North, who have gained a knowledge of God and of his Gospel through the ministry of our Fathers, take it upon themselves to communicate this knowledge that they have received to the other Savages of their nation, and thus become themselves Apostles. It can be said that they are souls chosen for Heaven in a ’ special manner. They love prayer, and even those who are still infidels do not fail to come and present their children for Baptism; and when some adult Papinachois has been baptized, it is comparatively rare for him to fall into Apostasy. The example of one Christian in these waste forests is admirable.

This Savage, whom Father Gabriel [112] Drouilletes had formerly baptized at Chikotimi, — thirty leagues [Page 221] from Tadoussac, along the Saguenay, — in the year of the great earthquake, was a source of infinite comfort to Father Nouvel in his last Mission among the Papinachois. “When I had him give an account of the state of his soul and of his Faith,” says this Father in one of his letters, “he answered me as follows: < I have seen the French only once since my Baptism; and after having been instructed and baptized by Father Drouilletes, I have since abstained from having recourse to the Demon. I have always prayed as he taught me, and I repeat every morning ten times, keeping Count on my fingers: “You who have made all things, take pity on me.” And in the evening I repeat the same prayer five times.’”

It may be said in general that (113] this nation, which takes its name from its almost continual smiling, is one of the most flexible; and that it gives today, more than ever, fair hopes for the North; while the other Missionaries work tirelessly in the country of the Upper and lower Iroquois, and among the most distant tribes toward the South and the West.

After Father Nouvel had returned from his Mission among the Papinachois, it was at length decided to fill the place of the famous Captain Noel Tekouerimat, — which, out of honor rendered to his virtue and courage, had been left without a successor for several years, according to the custom of the Savages.

The relatives of the deceased, whose [114] duty it is to name the one who is to succeed him who has died, cast their eyes on Negaskaouat, a Tadoussac war Captain. They presented him to all the Nations, assembled to receive him at Sillery, where the leading Captain is appointed, and where he is [Page 223] accustomed to dwell. Meanwhile a great feast had been prepared, to regale all these Nations, at the expense of the relatives who were to adopt Negaskaouat and give him, with his charge, the name of Tekouerimat — a process which, among them, is called “resuscitating a Captain.”

To begin the ceremony, the new Captain’s shoes were taken off and the clothes he had been wearing were removed; whereupon the relatives of the deceased gave him new garments. But here there was introduced something different [115] from the ordinary solemnities; for the new Teycorimat was clothed entirely in French dress, and, instead of the tall head-dress that the wife of the deceased had been wont to place on the head of him who resuscitated her late Husband, the wife of the old Teykorimat put on Negaskaouat’s head a cap adorned with a very handsome tuft of feathers. The affection that the old and the new Teykorimat always showed for the French was one of the reasons for the variation in that ceremony.

The feast being ready, the customary speeches were delivered, with the presents accompanying them. Father Nouvel spoke first, and brought three things to the new Captain’s attention. First, he exhorted him to maintain the same piety that his [1161 Predecessor had always manifested. Secondly, he urged him to continue to have for the French the same affection as his Father, whom he was restoring to life as much by his example as by his name of Teykorimat. In the third place, he again pointed out to him the obligation that he was under to keep his people true to the Faith, and the obedience they owed to our invincible Monarch. [Page 225]

After the speech, the relatives of the former Captain made the customary presents to all the Nations present. There were assembled the French, the Algonquins, the Montagnais, the Gaspesiens, the Abnaquiois, the Etechemins, the Poissons blancs, the Nipissiriniens, and the Hurons. The first present was for Monsieur de Courcelle, [117] our Governor; and it was put into Father de Beaulieu’s hands, to be presented to him at the first opportunity. The second was given to Father Charles Albanel, an old Missionary in charge of the Mission at Sillery, which is the first and the principal one of them all. They then proceeded to give a present to each Nation, to make them remember that he who had formerly been called Negaskaouat was now called Teykorimat.

The presents of Porcelain Collars being made, Father Albanel made a speech, in his turn, and congratulated the new Captain upon their having in his person another Teykorimat, with his virtues and his affection for the French. Then, turning toward all the Nations [118] that were present, he exhorted them to love the Faith which all had embraced, and to shun vice, which would infallibly cause them to perish if they did not renounce it, The ceremony of the day ended with the feast.

On the next day, all the Savage Captains, with Teykorimat at their head-dressed like a Frenchman, cane in hand, — went to salute Monsieur de Courcelle, our Governor, and to acknowledge him. They asked from him the protection of the King, whose subjects they are; and his especial assistance to check the disorders of vice among them. Then they all withdrew. [Page 227]




THE Mission of the Hurons is now reduced to a small number of persons, but they are chosen people, who love the Christian Religion, and can serve as examples for all the rest. Since they have seen peace established with the Iroquois, their enemies, they have abandoned the fort which they occupied in a large square in Quebec, and have withdrawn into the woods, a league and a half from that City, in order there to cultivate fields which may furnish them [120] the means of subsistence; and they have made a new Village there, and, as it were, a new Colony.

That Huron Mission has been especially rich, these last two years, in illustrious deaths. A Young girl of that nation, named Jeanne Ouendité, died last year on the 14th day of April, at the age of fourteen years. Her virtue had shown itself during her life in a greater measure than could have been expected in a girl of her age; but it seems to have been more strikingly manifested ‘after her death, by the incorruption of her body. This can be regarded as a recompense for the great aversion she had to impurity, and a certain horror that she felt in the presence of immodest persons.

The precious death of her little brother, named Augustin, who followed her, [121] nine months later, [Page 229] and was interred in the same grave at Quebec, where. they both died, was the occasion of finding this hidden Treasure of innocence itself. But as the brother and sister are placed together, I will not separate their history.

This Child, only five years of age, and called Andehouakiri, was a very comely boy, and had intelligence and judgment much in advance of his years. He never saw the Mission Fathers passing before his cabin, without obliging them to enter; and observing that, when they did so, they made every one pray to God, he imitated them. Making his visits, after their example, he would ask if the people had prayed to God on that day; and if they answered that they [122] had not yet done so, he would say, “Let us pray to God;” and then he would begin first to say the prayers, — after reciting which he would ask the Catechism of those who, in his judgment, ought to answer him.

Nine months after his sister’s death, he fell ill; and, a few days later he said to his mother, with tears in his eyes, that his sister was coming for him, but that he feared death. This fear was at once taken away from him by the assurance that was given him that he would soon go and find his sister in Paradise; and ever after that, he consoled his mother by saying to her, “I beg you, mother, not to weep.” These words had an extraordinary effect on the soul of that savage mother; for she did not weep even on the day of his death.

[123] It was on the ninth day of December, 1.668, that they buried this Child in the same grave with his sister, whose body was found intact, nine months after her interment, without the loss of even a hair [Page 231] from her head. The thing has been so well verified that one cannot reasonably doubt it. Yet I do not wish to give it as a miracle; I leave the judgment of the case to those who shall consider its circumstances. The great purity of the girl, and her extraordinary desire to preserve her virginity, might well have given God occasion to work this marvel.

A Huron woman named Helene, on being questioned in regard to the incorruption of this body, found nothing extraordinary therein, but thought that [124] it was a thing that was wont to happen always to persons of virgin purity, according to what she had heard the Father who instructed them say, — namely, that God often preserves from corruption the bodies of those that had kept their souls in purity, and had freed them from the defilements of the flesh. This it was that made her extend to all Virgins the grace she had heard ascribed to saint Theresa, saint Clara, saint Magdelaine de Pazzi, and some other Virgins.

The Brother and Sister owe this death to the good examples and holy instructions of their mother. This woman is so touched with the spirit of penitence that she is continually offering to God the death of her children, in satisfaction for her sins; and, seeking divers means to satisfy [125] the divine Justice, she rejoices in all the ill that befalls her, and is accustomed to say, in the time of her affliction, “That is all right, that will help me pay my debts “ — which is their way of expressing in Huron the pleasure they take in a thing. She joins to this spirit of penitence that of the most Perfect indifference to the things of earth; and wishes to find herself, on the day of her death, in a state of utter destitution, for fear that the care she would have to [Page 233] take then in dividing her possessions would rob her of the time she ought to use in preparing for death, Her charity to the poor is not less estimable; for she helps them with her corn and with all that she has, without desiring any return for it — which is a fine trait, but rare [126] in Savages. Finally, she has a holy passion for advancing herself in the path of virtue, and she never hears an exhortation without forming a good resolution, on the spot, to rise to a higher degree of perfection, — always thinking that she has never accomplished anything up to the present time. Her great pleasure is to talk about God; and, after the Sermons that she has heard, she often comes to thank the Father for having said things that seem to be addressed solely to her. “Oh, how much pleasure you give me, my Father,” she exclaims, “in making me appear to myself as I am and as I have been!”

It must not be imagined that all the devotion is confined to that single soul. I know well that she is a great treasure in an infidel country, and that she can [127] draw down upon the people of her Nation the favors that God bestows upon them; nevertheless, that spirit of fervor extends almost universally to all the Hurons of that new Colony. The following is a special instance of it.

Ignace, their Captain, seeing that the French offered a blessed loaf of bread in their new Chapel, every Sunday and Feast-day, the thought suddenly came to him that the Hurons were, in this respect, failing in the duty of good Christians. Holding a porcelain collar in his hand, he called the Eiders to Council and addressed them as follows: “My brothers, I have today noticed that the French surpass [Page 235] us in devotion: I am ashamed to see that they make offerings to God, and that [128] we have not yet done anything of the kind. That is why I beg you to consent to imitate the example of the French in future, by making some present to the Church. As for myself, I am going to begin first by making my offering of this Collar; meanwhile, let each one of you specially consider what present he is willing to give.” “In truth,” all those in the Assembly replied, “we have no sense; and, without your forethought, we would not even have taken heed of this holy custom.” It was resolved that when the Young men should have returned from the chase, all should contribute, according to their power, to this act of piety.

The Father who has had charge of that Huron Church for a long time is the one who keeps them in that holy simplicity and admirable fervor. [129] He has appointed in his place, to conduct prayers in the Village in his absence, a man named Louys Thaondechoren. It is incredible how zealous this man is in all matters of piety, and with what vigilance he sets himself to prevent all excesses, in order to keep the people in innocence. He delivers addresses in the Chapel of the Hurons, and makes speeches that have nothing of the Savage about them. Following is, almost word for Word, the one that Father Chaumonot heard him make one day, with thoughts altogether devout and in keeping with their Character.

“My Brothers, God who created us is our true father; he has a right to punish us when we sin, and, just as we send out of the cabin our disobedient children, [130] God drove our first parents out of the Earthly Paradise, to punish their disobedience. But, [Page 237] as it sometimes happens that a friend of the family, meeting at the door the Child that has just been sent out all bathed in its tears, has the door opened for him again, so the Son of God, in taking our flesh upon himself, has done the same: he has taken pity on those who wept for their sins, he has atoned for their faults and he has then opened for us the door of Paradise. If now any one of us has just committed some new crime, he deserves to be driven out of Heaven again; and so, my brothers, let not one of you flatter himself that he has been received by Baptism do the house of God; for if he do not observe the Commandments, [131] he will be driven out of Heaven, and the door will be shut against him, until the Savior of the World sees him weeping for his sins at the feet of a Confessor. But if it is in good earnest that he weeps, he will open the door of Paradise to him again, which had been closed against him. My brothers, take good care, then, not to disobey the Creator; but if by ill luck you chance to sin, do not longer delay to repent of it. For we have a good friend, — we have Jesus, who will make our peace as soon as he sees our sincere sorrow.” That was the sermon of this Savage Catechist.

I will finish this Chapter with the holy death of a Huron girl named Therese. She died on Christmas day, in the year 1668, at 14 years of age. Her grandfather, on the [132] evening before that great Festival, sent for Father Chaumonot to hear her confession, as he is the one who has the entire charge of that Huron Mission. He hastened thither immediately, and had no sooner entered the sick girl’s cabin than that good old man said to him: 6‘ Father, there is my granddaughter dying; I beg [Page 239] you to give her all the Sacraments that the Church is accustomed to give the sick. For, if she should die before receiving them, we would all be inconsolable; but if she dies after receiving them, we shall find no difficulty in consoling ourselves with the hope that she will go to Heaven, and that we shall soon go and see her.”

The Father began with her confession, which, out of respect, she was unwilling to make lying down, but [133] desired to be raised a little and supported behind. Meanwhile her mother exhorted her not to leave any sin unconfessed, saying to her, “Courage, Therese; cleanse thy soul well from ail its stains,” All the occupants of the cabin where she was, urged upon her the same thing.

After that sick girl’s confession, her grandfather begged Father Chaumonot not to delay longer the administration of the other Sacraments of the Church, because the hour of her death was approaching. He did so without waiting longer, although the sick girl did not yet seem to him to be in a critical condition. Yet the result showed that it was time, for she died on the next day. During her illness, she often asked her mother, “When is it that [134] Jesus will be born? At length being told, on Christmas eve, that he would be born that night, she began to sing, “Jesus is going to be born” — which is an air sung by the Hurons on Christmas Festivals.

It is reasonable to think that her good Angel made her sing thus, as if to celebrate the day of her birth in Heaven. Christmas having been the day of her death, her parents, after their daughter’s funeral, gave presents to the Church, and a feast to the whole Village of the Hurons. They did so, to ask the [Page 241] guests to say their Rosaries that night for obtaining the deliverance of their daughter’s soul from the tires of Purgatory, in case it were still there. Thus the love of parents for their children extends, among these Barbarians, beyond this life, — plainly showing that they, as well [1351 as the French, are capable of receiving all our Mysteries.

There has also been impressed so deeply on the minds of our Savages the respect that they owe to the holy sacrifice of Mass, and the general obligation that they are under to be present thereat, that there has been found this year, at prairie de la Madelaine, — near Mont-real, sixty leagues above Quebec, — a Savage who has never failed to repair on Saturday to our settlement, however far away in the woods he might be, that he might hear Mass. He thus left the hunting in which he was engaged, six or seven leagues around Montreal — doing so in order to satisfy his devotion, as if it had been a definite obligation resting upon him. [Page 243]





N the sixth day of February, in the year 1669, Cecile Gannendâris died in the Quebec Hospital, after eight months, of various diseases. In the beginning, she was attacked with a paralysis, that deprived her of the use of half of her body; then finally she lost the use of almost all her other members. In addition, she experienced a very severe pain in her head, caused by the intense cold that was making itself felt in that region; but, at the same time, she had so strong an aversion to fire that she could not bear either to see it or [137] to feel it, even during the most intolerable rigors of Winter. There came, in addition to all these afflictions, a hemorrhage, that carried her off.

It was hard to tell which was the more admirable, the patience of that sick Savage or the charity of the Hospital Nuns, who rendered her, in that condition, all the services possible. Monseigneur of Petræa, our Bishop, visited her, and supplied her with food while she was in her cabin; and, when she was in the Hospital, he continued his usual charity without intermission, furnishing her with food of all kinds. Several persons of quality also went to visit her, and had refreshments carried to her, all having tenderness for so virtuous a person. It was Our Lord’s will in this to reward the charity [138] which that [Page 245] woman had shown, while she was in health, to all the sick of her nation; for she never failed to assist them with all her power, for the good of their souls or for their temporal needs.

It was observed that she had a special gift for preparing people for death. As a reward for this, it was God’s will that she should not herself die until after being prepared therefor with all possible care. Her first husband died the death of a Saint, but is indebted to her for a part of that beautiful death. She it was who made him go through all the ceremonies which it is customary to have the sick observe under those circumstances. For fear of increasing his illness, or of diverting his thoughts during his holy exercises of piety, [139] she had strength to restrain her tears throughout her husband’s entire illness. When one day her sick husband could not help weeping, out of the pity that he felt for his children whom he was leaving fatherless, Cecile said to him with full confidence: “Do not weep, my dear husband; our children will not remain fatherless after your death. The Fathers who instruct us will be fathers to them, so long as our children are good Christians; and I will take all possible care to make them become so.”

This charity toward her first husband was the cause of God’s influencing her second husband to render her, day and night, all the aid that she could expect during her long illness, even to leaving his [140] fields for the sake of staying with her all the time. It appears, besides, that this aid was also a reward for the spiritual assistance which she rendered to four of her children, who all died with special marks of predestination. [Page 247]

One of her children, a girl about twelve years of age, being no longer able to stand or walk, owing to the extreme weakness to which her long illness had reduced her, and her mother wishing, moreover, that she should receive communion at Easter, she was put into a worn-out Moose-skin that had been finely painted after their fashion. Then her mother and another Huron woman, taking the skin each by one end, carried her into the Church while Mass was being celebrated there, — at the conclusion of which [141] holy Communion was administered to the sick girl.

Another of her daughters, dying at the age of seven years, wished to die while telling her beads, notwithstanding the great difficulty she had in speaking. This beautiful devotion toward the Blessed Virgin had been impressed so strongly on her heart by her mother, that it was impossible to make her discontinue it during all the course of her illness.

The Savages of this country are not accustomed to punish their children with the rod, but Cecile did not spare hers this punishment when they deserved it: and if it chanced that they cried on these occasions, she would say to them: “Ah, my Child, how wouldst thou bear the strange tortures of the demons, if thou canst not bear [142] so light a punishment? Take good care not to fall again into this fault for which I have just chastised thee, for fear lest thou be condemned to sufferings that never end.”

But if Cecile took so great care to inspire in her children a horror of sin, she took no less pains to arouse herself to feel an extreme aversion for it. As she was very good-looking before her last illness, she was often incited to wrong-doing. Yet not only [Page 249] was that noble woman faithful to God and to her husband, but she also armed herself with a glowing firebrand, and threw it at the head of him who was tempting her to sin, — making a public laughing — stock of him for all the Savages, who came in a crowd to be spectators of her [143] courage against that insolent man, and of her inviolable fidelity to her husband. In addition to all this, Cecile was so well instructed in matters of our faith, and so eloquent even, that when there came to Quebec some Savage who was a stranger or an infidel, he was sent to her, and in a few days was found qualified for Baptism. When there was any one who was inclined to defend his superstitions obstinately, it was only necessary to put Cecile against him; she very soon broke down his defense. This same zeal made her take particular care to teach her language to the new Missionaries, in order to contribute with all her power to the conversion of the tribes. The salvation of her second husband being infinitely dear to her, she devoted herself especially to reclaiming him from his [144] dissolute conduct, and accomplished so much by her prayers and remonstrances, that he is now a very good man, and one of the best Christians of that Colony.

She was of so exemplary a life and of such recognized ability, that those of her Nation used to come and consult her in their doubts in regard to their conduct, and on matters of Faith; and she would enlighten them with a discernment not at all characteristic of a Savage woman. As a great many persons came to see her during her illness, she took care not to lose the opportunity she thus enjoyed of rewarding these visits of charity with some good [Page 251] word of edification. Following is the discourse she delivered to the Huron women who came to see her and offer her their services: “My Sisters, I was formerly regarded among you as [145] fairly good- looking, and now I am hideous to look at. I used to love cleanliness, and now my body is a mass of corruption. I was not the poorest person in our Village, and today I get no help from my possessions. That is the condition in which you will find yourselves some day. Do many good deeds during your lives, for from them only will you receive any consolation in the hour of death.” She had one of her old Confidants come to her, expressly for the purpose of urging her to abstain from a certain vice to which she was addicted.

Her husband suffered much at her side, but the words of instruction and the good examples he received from Cecile, rewarded him more than enough for all his pains. He himself acknowledges [146] that he never felt himself more clearly convinced of the truth of our Mysteries than during an exhortation that she made him, after a visit with which Monseigneur of Petræa had honored her in her cabin. “My husband,” she said to him, “what room is there to doubt the truth and the goodness of a Religion that teaches and commands those who follow it, although they be noble, rich, and powerful, to humble themselves so far as to come and console a miserable creature like me, in a cabin so poor as ours? Why should that great and holy Prelate take the trouble to bring me, in his own person, the best that he has, if he were not assured of the reward that God promises to those that succor the miserable? No, no, I cannot doubt [1471 what our [Page 253] Fathers tell us of the good reception given to Christians in Heaven, now that I have seen the charity exercised toward me by a person of that quality and of that rank, who had never seen me and to whom I do not belong, and who has done me so much good that I cannot thank him.”

At length Cecile, after thus passing her illness in the practice of the virtues and in the most devout sentiments of a Christian soul, was on the point of dying; but she did not leave this world without God’s having first called her to himself, that she might die more by his Command than by the necessity of nature. A few days before her death, she told her Confessor that during the night some one had called her by her name, [148] Gannendâris, but so sweetly and pleasantly that for a long time she could think of nothing else but the charming sweetness of that voice. “Oh, the beautiful voice!” she kept saying. “Oh, how beautifully uttered my name seems by such a mouth! Oh, why can I not hear myself called once more! Oh, how melodiously that tongue speaks!” “But,” returned the Father, “what else did that voice say?” Cecile replied: “It only said that Word, Gannendâris; and I think it is the voice of my daughter who died last year and who came in this way to call her little brother, some days before he died.” However that may be, this still shows us that this good Christian woman was thinking only of God.

With all these marks of Heaven’s favor [149] and these good sentiments within, Cecile ceased not to fear the fires of Purgatory. She commended herself often to the prayers of the virtuous, in order to gain their aid, after her death, in procuring her release [Page 255] from that prison of flames; to this end she left to the Ladies of the holy family of that City of Quebec, to whose number she belonged, the most beautiful collar she had. It was composed of six thousand beads of almost wholly black porcelain, which is as precious among the Savages as are pearls in France.

That illustrious Christian had no sooner given up her soul to her Creator than, by order of Monseigneur the Bishop, all the bells of the Parish of Quebec were rung — a thing which is not usually done on the death of a Savage — [140 i.e., 150] and on the next day a solemn service was held for her in the Church of the same Parish. On the day of Cecile’s death the Captain of the Hurons exhorted all those of his Nation dwelling within a league and a half of Quebec, to say a Rosary for the soul of the deceased. And one month later her brother gave all the: Hurons a feast, at which he presented the Elders a porcelain collar to put in the place where they keep their common possessions, and thus keep fresh the memory of Gannendâris, his sister, and cause people to pray to God for her soul. This act of piety is beautiful among Savages, and one of the most remarkable they have been seen to perform on behalf of their Dead. [Page 257]




For bibliographical details of the Relation of 1667-68, see Vol. LI.


In reprinting the Relation of 1668-69 (Paris, 1670), we follow a copy of the original Cramoisy edition in the Lenox Library. The volume does not present an author’s name; and the text is unaccompanied by the “Privilege,” “Permission,” “Table des Chapitres,” and prefatory epistle to the provincial — all, or generally all of which appeared in previous annuals. This Relation is no. 129 of Harrisse’s Notes.

Collation: Title, with verso blank, I leaf; text (9 chaps.), pp. 1-150; one blank leaf. Signatures: Title, plus sig. A-I in eights, K in four, of which K, is a blank leaf. Page 150 is misnumbered 140.

Copies have been sold as follows: O’Callaghan (1882), no. 1244, sold for $37.50, and had cost him $15; and Barlow (1890), no. 1320, sold for $77.50. The volume is in the following libraries: Lenox, New York State Library, Harvard, Brown (private), Library of Parliament (Ottawa), Laval University (Quebec), British Museum, and Bibliothèque Nationale (Paris). The copy at Laval has a Latin inscription in manuscript on the title-page, which shows that it belonged to the Jesuit College in 1720. [Page 260]


(Figures in parentheses, following the number of note, refer to pages of English text.)

[1] (p. 33). — Regarding the “diamonds” at Quebec, see vol. v., note 25.

[2] (p. 43). — These Sulpitians were, according to Faillon, Antoine d’Allet (Le Clercq gives his first name as François; vol. xliii., note 15), René de Galinée (vol. I., note 11), and François Lascaris d’Urfé, — the last-named a relative of Colbert, and a descendant of one of the most illustrious families in Greece.

[3] (p. 47). — Louis XIV. repeatedly gave orders that all possible efforts should be made to educate in the French manner (françiser) the children and youth of the Indians, for which purpose the king gave considerable sums of money. The Jesuits and Ursulines at Quebec had always under their care a greater or less number of Young Indians; and Laval’s Petit Séminaire mainly owed its origin to his efforts to educate Huron boys. In this year (1668), the Sulpitians at Montreal also undertook to educate Algonkin boys; and, soon afterward, girls of that nation were placed for this purpose with the Sisters of the Congregation. Liberal donations for this work were made by pious friends in France, notably the Princess de Conti. For full accounts of these various enterprises, see Faillon’s Col. Fran., t. iii., pp. 270-279; Ferland’s Cours d’Histoire, t. ii., pp. 63-65; Parkman’s Old Régime, pp. 162-164; N.Y. Colon. Doc., vol. ix., p. 169.

[4] (p. 49). — The Seminary of Foreign Missions was founded in 1663; in regard to its origin, see vol. xlv., note 1. The Seminary of Quebec, founded at nearly the same time by Laval, was united with the Paris house, becoming only a branch thereof, Jan. 29, 1665. This French organization has carried on its work from that time until this, — chiefly in Oriental lands.

[5] (p. 121). — Michel le Noblets, a native of Brittany, was born in September, 1577. He pursued his studies in the Jesuit colleges at Bordeaux and Agen, — completing them at Paris, where he was ordained a priest. Returning to his home, he conducted missions [Page 261] throughout Brittany, especially along the toast. In many places, the peasantry were living in deplorable ignorance; he introduced among them the catechism, and familiar instructions in religion. In such labors he was active until he reached the ape of sixty-three; his death occurred May 5, 1652.

[6] (p, 123). — François Boniface was bom at Arras, Aug. 1, 1635, and became a Jesuit novice at the age of seventeen. He was a student at La Flèche, and instructor at Moulins, Vannes, Eu, Hesdin, and Arras, successively. Upon receiving ordination (1669), he at once departed for Canada. He spent five years among the Mohawks, until he was compelled, by broken health, to leave that mission. His death took place Dec. 17, 1674.

[7] (p. 139). — Francis Lovelace became (Aug. 28, 1668) the successor of Nicolls as governor of New York; this office he held five years. His letter to Pierron, given in our text, is reproduced in Lafitau’s Mémoire on the brandy-trade with the savages (1718); and an English translation of the letter is given in N.Y. Colon. Doc., vol. ix., p. 883.

[8] (p. 145). — Regarding the Oneidas, “the nation of the stone,” see vol. viii., p. 299. Beauchamp says (Iroq. Trail, p. 56): “The stone, however, is the prominent emblem of the Oneidas, and there have been several Oneida Stones. . . . I think the oldest stationary stone of this kind is at an early site at Nichols’s Pond, in Madison county, thought to be the fort attacked by Champlain in 1615." He also cites the description of another stone, seen in 1796; “some of the remaining Oneidas say that this stone was carried west by those who went to Wisconsin.”

[9] (p. 153). — David Cusick: explains the name Onondaga, “people of the mountain,” as an allusion to the hill on which their chief village was built (Iroq. Trail, pp. 12, 56). Cf. vol. viii. of this series, p. 299.

[10] (p. 179). — Tiohero (Thiohero), “the river of rushes:” now the Seneca River. The name Tiohero was also given to Cayuga Lake, and to one of the Cayuga villages (vol. viii., p. 298; vol. li., p. 293).

[11] (p. 195). — Regarding the Sonnontouans (Senecas), see vol. viii.,  pp. 293, 302.

[12] (p. 205). — Queuës coupées: the Kiskakon clan of Ottawas (vol. xxxiii., note 6).

[13] (p. 205). — Allouez “chose his site on the southwestern shore of Chequamegon Bay, possibly at the mouth of Vanderventer’s Creek, not far from the spot where Radisson’s hut had been built, four years previously. and called his mission and the locality, La Pointe [Page 262] du Saint Esprit, which in time was shortened to La Pointe.“ — Thwaites’s “Story of Chequamegon Bay,” in Wis. Hist. Colls., vol. xiii., p. 404. Cf. Verwyst’s Missionary Labors, pp. 182, 183; and” Historic Sites on Chequamegon Bay,” in Wis. Hist. Colls., vol. xiii., p. 440; he places Allouez’s chapel “near Whittlesey’s Creek or Shore’s Landing.”