On March 7, 2008 we videotaped Fr Mersereau speaking about
the Canadian Martyrs. Here is that video:
Below is a history of the Canadian Martyrs as written by Fr Mersereau:
THE CANADIAN MARTYRS
By: Fr. Charles Mersereau
The Jesuit "Canadian Martyrs" include three Priests
1) St. John Brebeuf
2) St. Isaac Jogues
3) St. Gabriel Lalemant
and five laymen (Religious brothers)
1) St. John de la Lande
2) St. Anthony Daniel
3) St. Charles Garnier
4) St. Noel Chabanel
5) St. Rene Goupil
All were martyred between 1642 & 1649 while laboring among the Iroquois Indians in
Quebec. They tried to follow Christ to spread the Catholic faith
By their blood and their preaching God did consecrate the first fruits of the Faith
in the vast regions of North America. They were hideously tortured & martyred while ministering to
the Indian tribes. May the example of their lives be ever our inspiration to follow Christ.
Forty years before this incident, in 1604, Champlain and De Monts
arrived in Nova Scotia at port Royal. They were the first Christians to stablish the Christian faith among
the native Indians.
In 1611, the two priests, Fr. Ennemond Masse & Fr. Pierre Biard
arrived. They were the first clergy to learn the Mi'kmaq language. They were financed by a French lady
named Madame Guerchevillle.
The first two converts to the Christian faith were the two Indian
chiefs, father & son Henry Membertou & Louis Membertou. Conversions began at the top and flourished soon in
New Brunswick and Acadia.
The first missionary activities among the Indians occured in New
Brunswick at Navy Island at the mouth of the St. John River, where the river flows into the Bay of Fundy and the
The two priests accompianed the Indians on their forays up & down
the Saint John River as it traverses the complete length of the Province.
The Mi'kmaq Indians embraced the Catholic religion, following the
example of their chiefs. The Priests had a five year sojourn in Acadia.
In 1615, the New Englanders arrived from Massachusetts and were determined to expel
from Acadia these two priests who had now gone to Maine within the precincts of the present Acadia National
Park. They were expelled from Maine and they were set adrift at sea, and were rescued.
The two priests eventually reached France, where Fr. Pierre Biard
died. Fr. Ennemond Masse returned to Quebec with the French, where he continued his apostolate of spreading
the Christian faith and catechizing the Indians. He died in Quebec and is buried there.
We must be forever cognizant of the fact that the Catholic religion had
its first beginnings in Saint John, New Brunswick, in all of North America. This New Brunswick origin is too
often ignored. This was the birth-place of Christianity, its first location on the continent.