Feast of Canadian Jesuit Martyrs – Martyrs’ Shrine, Tay Township

Martyrs’ Shrine

The North American Martyrs, also known as the Canadian Martyrs or the Martyrs of New France, were eight Jesuit missionaries from Sainte-Marie among the Hurons who were brutally tortured and martyred in the mid-17th century in Canada, in what are now southern Ontario and upstate New York, during the warfare between the Iroquois and the Huron.

The Martyrs are St. Jean de Brébeuf (1649),St. Noël Chabanel (1649), St. Antoine Daniel (1648), St. Charles Garnier (1649), St. René Goupil (1642), St. Isaac Jogues (1646), St. Jean de Lalande (1646), and St. Gabriel Lalemant (1649).

Msrtyrs’ Shrine is located on Hwy 12 west of Port McNichol in Tay Township, Ontario, Canada.

text from Wikipedia describing the history of Martyrs’ Shrine:

“The Martyrs’ Shrine is a Roman Catholic church in Tay Township in Ontario, Canada, which is consecrated to the memory of the Canadian Martyrs, six Jesuit Martyrs and two lay persons from the mission of Sainte-Marie among the Hurons.

It is one of nine National Shrines in Canada,[1]including, among others, St. Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal and the Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré.

In 1907, Dennis O’Connor, Archbishop of Toronto, consecrated a small chapel at Waubaushene, near the site where Sts. Jean de Brébeuf and Gabriel Lalemant were martyred.

In 1925, Fr. John M. Filion, provincial superior of Jesuits in Canada, began work for the  construction of a larger church closer to the mission, and purchased the Standin farm to the west in the direction of Midland across the road from the site of Sainte-Marie.

Construction began that year, using some materials from the Waubaushene church and others donated by lumber companies in Northern Ontario. Pews, stained glass windows, Stations of the Cross and an altar were donated by churches in London and Toronto. The interior, shaped like an overturned canoe, was designed and built by Ildège Bourrie. Construction on the shrine was completed by the winter of 1925, and the shrine was formally consecrated on June 25, 1926 by Cardinal William Henry O’Connell of Boston. The Shrine currently houses the bones of St. Jean de Brébeuf, St. Gabriel Lalemant, St. Charles Garnier, and Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha. But due to temperature conditions, the Shrine is closed in Winter and Autumn (because the Shrine was built without any insulation), so the bones, during that time, are taken out from the reliquary.

The martyrs were subsequently canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1930. Pope John Paul II visited the Martyrs’ Shrine in September, 1984, and prayed over the skull of Brébeuf.”

Photos taken on September 22, 2012 by William J. Gibson, graduate of Brebeuf College School class of 1972. The skull in the reliquary shown below is the skull of St. Jean de Brebeuf.

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About William J. Gibson

62 year old - writer/photographer Canadian, survived open heart surgery, received kidney transplant, sometimes dour, sometimes amusing, over six feet in height, severely follicle challemged
This entry was posted in history, Huron - Wendat, Huronia 1600s, rural Tay and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Feast of Canadian Jesuit Martyrs – Martyrs’ Shrine, Tay Township

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