“Do not be afraid.
You are worth more than many sparrows.”
In the Acts of the Apostles Luke tells of the beginning of the spreading of the New Testament throughout the ancient world. While spreading this gospel message had its difficulties, the Apostles were familiar with the variety of cultures and thoughts and languages of that day.It was the world they knew, even though it was about to undergo the miraculous transformation that is the New Testament. In the light of these Acts of the Apostles, view the acts of Father Isaac Jogues, Father John de Brébeuf and their companions. They were Jesuit Priests from the Old World of France, bringing the New Testament to a new continent, a New World of which they had no experience. North America of the1600’s was in no way similar to their world. It was a vast wilderness sparsely colonised by small groups of Europeans and its indigenous peoples were so different from the Europeans. The Iroquois and Huron Indians of New York and New England had a culture different from anything in Europe, their language was totally unrelated from the languages of the Jesuits their clothing like nothing they had ever seen. In the Acts of the Apostles, the Apostles could present Christ to the pagans in their own language, and explain Christ to people with cultures and beliefs they knew. Saint Isaac Jogues did not have this luxury, yet they knew these people were children of God and worthy of the gospel message of Jesus Christ. Knowing that they were determined to use every resource to deliver that message. In delivering that message they were tortured, and imprisoned.Isaac Jogues wrote of his torture: “These tortures are very great, but God is still greater, and immense.” To prevent Fr. Jogues from consecrating the host his captors cut off several fingers. Escaping torture and being sent back to France, St. Jogues still had the need to deliver the gospel of Christ to these Indian people despite the differences in language and culture. In the return trip to the New World Fathers Isaac Jogues, John de Brébeuf and their companions were eventually martyred.They were martyred, yet they were not defeated. Ten years later, Kateri Tekakwitha was born in the same village where Isaac was martyred. She is Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha,soon to be declared Saint; born of the same Indian heritage that was also ridiculed for desiring to follow that gospel message Isaac Jogues and his companions had delivered.Many of the Indian tribes, especially in eastern Maine, embrased that Gospel of Jesus delivered by Saints. Isaac Jogues,John de Brébeuf ,and their companions and they continue to follow that gospel today. These Saints knew these people were children of God and worthy of the gospel message of Jesus Christ.