Catholic Culture Overview
Catholic Culture Overview

Catholic Dictionary




Shrine of the North American Martyrs, near Albany, New York, on the Mohawk River. In 1642 Father Isaac Jogues (1607-47) and a Jesuit lay brother, René Goupil (1606-42), newly arrived from France and trying to run supplies to the famished Huron Indians, were captured by the Iroquois tribe and cruelly tortured at Ossernenon, present Auriesville. René Goupil died as a result. Jogues recovered and was persuaded to return to France, but 1646 saw him back again in the same place with John La Lande, a nineteen-year old French boy. Both received the crown of martyrdom in 1647. Auriesville, as the original Ossernenon, has been verified by documentary evidence and excavations on the six hundred acres of rolling land. The first pilgrimage was made in 1885. The small oratory soon became too small to care for the crowds. The second church seated five hundred, to be replaced in 1931 by a vast amphitheater built to accommodate sixteen thousand. Four altars facing the points of the compass are in the center of this buff-colored brick building, and during the summer and fall the rising tiers of seats are often filled to capacity for Mass and benediction. Auriesville is a year-round retreat center. A museum adjacent to the church houses some important relics of the missionaries and their Indian converts. Jogues, Goupil, and La Lande were canonized in 1930 together with Brébeuf (1593-1649), Lallemant (1610-49), and Daniel (1601-48), their companions who died as martyrs trying to convert the Canadian Indians. Their composite feast day is commemorated on October 19.