Saint Marie Among the Hurons

Hail Brave hearts

It is with great courage that we settle this country, filled with new adventures and difficult times.  It is with bravery that we meet these new people in their own homeland and on their own terms.  It is with faith and prayer that we negotiate a peaceful settlement, and with determination and recognition of the mission, that is required, proceed to our duty.  To the new land, and to the people of it, we meet.

Such is the sturdy vow of the missionary, the Jesuits who landed to fulfill their duty.  Bring the people religion.  Bring them to Christianity.  It is the solemn vow of the faith, these people must be saved.  Saved in the eyes of God, save their everlasting soul.  Save the people, even in death.

The mission was built in Huron (Wendake) territory, 1200 kilometers from Quebec.  Started in 1639 and lasting only 10  years, it was the first settlement in New France, in the province that is now Ontario.   It was set on a large tract of land between Lake Simcoe and Georgian Bay, in  Huron territory.  The the mission itself was on the Wye River.

Only a small group of men made the long journey from Quebec City to this remote place.  All martyred for their faith.  The Huron themselves, were curious and peaceful.  They allowed the mission on their land and allowed the Jesuits to preach to them.  Some converted, some did not, but pursue the faith is a must.  Fulfill the mission of their lives, they must.  Bring religion to the people.  Serve God.  No matter what the price is , it is not too high.  Serve God.  Bring Christianity to the people with the intention of everlasting peace.  Peace on Earth, goodwill to your fellow human.

Canada’s first Christmas Carol, the Huron Carol, written in 1642 probably by Jean de Brebeuf.

Saint Marie among the Huron is a historical place of hope, dreams, hardship and abandonment.  The security of the Jesuits, lost to the increasing hostility of the Iroquois in the insistent war with the Huron.  Iroquois with guns, Huron with bow and arrow, missionaries with prayer.  Peace among us, oh mighty human.  This territory belongs to the Huron, the land of the Wendake.

http://www.saintemarieamongthehurons.on.ca/sm/en/HistoricalInformation/TheSainteMarieStory/index.htm

But the dreadful incessant war proved the Iroquois to be a stronger and more aggressive people.  Intent on murder, they continued their assault on the Huron and would not leave.  Some of the Huron  who survived  fled to neighboring tribes, and to Quebec to re-establish themselves, on Ile de Orleans , just east of Quebec city in 1650.  By 1649 the mission was in ruin, burned by the Jesuits so that the Iroquois couldn’t inhabit it.  The Huron had departed, the Jesuits were gone.  Gone, but saved.  Other peace remained.  The fur trade was still active, with trade and negotiation still intact.  With the loss of this mission is an uncanny coincidence.  The city of Montreal, founded in 1649.

 

written by Dr. Louise Hayes

March 10, 2020

St. Christopher

Hail Brave hearts

The seas are rising and the crossing is dangerous. The water swells and ripples. The current is too strong and the rapids are too long, the danger of the crossing is too great for our skills. Save us! Or we shall perish. Be the strong and be the mighty, be the back that we can cling to, be our arms that plow the water, be our legs that withstand the current. Be our strength, be our courage, be our transport across the torrent. Hail to you, oh great Saint Christopher, patron saint of the traveler.

We are weary, tired and weak, you are the strong, give us your hand. You are strong, powerful and mighty, we are small, weak and puny. Help us with your bravery and the powerful strength of your body. Lucky are we to meet your acquaintance, the sight of such an enormous man. Courage and kindness to help these strangers, who are so desolate that they need his hand.

The crossing is difficult, the child is too heavy, all of the weight of the world on his back. This is the Christ Child the Redeemer of history, the merciful, the wondrous child. A small load, but so heavy, he carries our weighty sins. I am small but you are mighty, St Christopher, carry me.

Carry me across the turbulent oceans, carry me across the perilous land, carry me across the arid desert, deliver me home, by your strong hands. St Christopher we plead to you, save us, by your mighty strength. We are the travelers who need your company, your support, your superiority. we are the travelers who will perish without your generosity. Hail, St, Christopher save us! We know you can.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Christopher

For centuries you have saved us, with your mighty, muscular build. Save us always, oh great and mighty one, our adventures are still perilous. Take us across the swelling ocean, take us to our home in this brave new land. Save us in our journey, as we cross the turbulent sea, save us in our travel to this new country. You are the mighty, you are the strong, we are the week who depend upon you. Support us in the grand adventure, carry us across the seas. Stay with us while we explore this wild, untamed new land.

Hail to you oh St, Christopher, we raise your medal high. You have been so much to us, and to you, we are meerly passersby.

written by Dr. Louise Hayes