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Memorial of Saints John de Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues, priests and martyrs, and their companions


The Eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them. When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted. Then Jesus approached and said to them, "All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age."


Reflection

As I read the Gospel, the line that really made an impression on me is, "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you." The last line in the Gospel is the most comforting to me. "And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age." I researched who Saint Jean de Brébeuf and Saint Isaac Jorgues were, and found that they were Jesuit priests. They gave up everything to do exactly as Jesus commanded, "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you." They were both from France, and arrived in the Quebec area of North America around the year 1636. Each of these priests and their companions have their own stories. They were evangelizing to the Huron Native Americans. The Iroquois would bring war on the Hurons and eventually they would capture Father Jean Brébeuf and after four hours of extreme torture, was killed. Before his death he had seen up to 7,000 converted.


Father Isaac Jorgues Baptized hundreds of the people and children. He was captured by the Iroquois and kept in prison for 13 months where they tortured him daily. He was able to escape and was sent back to France where he was able to regain his strength. The marks of his sufferings were very visible as several of his fingers were either cut off, chewed off or burnt off. Because of his mutilated hands there was question as to whether he should be allowed to offer Mass. Pope Urban VIII gave him permission to offer Mass. He said, "It would be shameful that a martyr of Christ not be allowed to drink the Blood of Christ.”

Father Isaac Jorgues could have stayed in France, but zeal for evangelizing to those who do not know Christ had him take the trip back to Iroquois territory. Before making it there, they were captured by the Mohawks and beheaded.


How did the Catholic faith get spread through out the world? What courage these priests had and what love for the people of God that they continued to go and help them. Did they truly know that Jesus was with them as He said in the words of this Gospel?


I am a PAPA missionary, and our Mission states these words: "Go and make disciples of all nations; behold I am with you always, until the end of the age". The sole purpose of PAPA is to pray for priests and recruit all to pray for priests. As I go out and talk with people about PAPA I get the opportunity to evangelize and talk about Jesus. I also have the opportunity to share on this platform by reflecting on the words of Jesus and sharing with all that will take the time to read. If you would like to know more about PAPA, please send us an email to PAPA@PAPAMio.org.



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