• 18 Oct 21

Oct 18 - “St. René Goupil” © artwork by Brenda Nippert.

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René Goupil was a French lay missionary who was killed by the Mohawk in what would later be New York.  Born in Anjou France, he studied to become a surgeon.  He wanted to become a Jesuit priest, but deafness stopped him.  Still determined to give his life to God, he volunteered to become a donne or priest’s assistant, knowing his skill as a surgeon would be useful.  René traveled to New France (now Canada), where he cared for the sick and wounded for two years. 

He then bravely volunteered to assist Father Isaac Jogues who was setting off into the wilderness with a group of missionaries.  The group was captured and tortured, and those who survived were taken as slaves to the village of Ossernenon (later Auriesville, NY.)  They did their best to continue their mission to tell the villagers about God.  Knowing the end was near, Father Jogues accepted René's vows as a Jesuit lay Brother.  When René blessed a native child with the sign of the cross, they thought it was a magical curse and René was killed.  He gave his life to bring the faith to the New World and later it would thrive here because of the sacrifice of these brave men.

His feast day is October 19.

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