St. Isaac Jogues, one of the North American Martyrs, went through a great ordeal in his missionary ministry, yet even when he escaped he chose to return out of love of Christ. Fr. Michael Rossmann, SJ, reflects on the life of Isaac Jogues and how he might be an inspiration to us when we’ve been knocked down.
Isaac Jogues is a saint for those who have been knocked down by life.
Hi, I’m Fr. Michael Rossmann of The Jesuit Post.
In 1636, Jogues arrived as a missionary in what is today Canada. He experienced starvation, illness, and torture. He was forced to watch the killing of Christian converts. He spent thirteen months as a slave before escaping to France.
He could have remained there as a living hero. Instead, he went back as a missionary.
Before returning, the Jesuits requested a dispensation from the pope. According to Church law, a priest needs “canonical digits” to celebrate Mass, and several of his fingers had been cut, chewed, or burnt off.
The pope granted the request, saying, “It would be shameful that a martyr of Christ not be allowed to drink the Blood of Christ.”
Isaac Jogues was able to face unimaginable difficulty and martyrdom because he allowed Christ to fill him.
Even when our challenges seem minor in comparison, we can do the same.
So, St. Isaac Jogues, pray for us.