Jesuits. Letters from missions (North America).

The Jesuit relations and allied documents : travels and explorations of the Jesuit missionaries in New France, 1610-1791 ; the original French, Latin, and Italian texts online

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fur eux leurs autres cruautez.

Mais Dieu touche fans doute, des prieres ferventes,
que luy adreffoient nos pauvres affligez, rompit les

1664 - 67] RELA TION OF 1664 - 6s 39

\_y6'] but a hatchet-stroke on the head, from which
she died on the spot.

These Barbarians, after sacrificing this poor victim
to their fury, discovered the trail of the people of the
lake, who, entertaining some fear of the Iroquois,
had, to the number of forty-five, ensconced them-
selves with their women and children within a pali-
saded enclosure. A few, however, persisted in
leaving the rest, for the purpose of living by their
hunting; and, of two young men remaining in the
woods, one fell into the enemy's hands.

The latter suspected, after capturing this prisoner,
that he could not be alone. Indeed, the Iroquois'
trail having been discovered by a young Montagnais
who had come out of the fort, he retraced his steps,
and gave the alarm to his countrymen.

[_yj'\ Thereupon, fourteen of the bravest went out
to reconnoiter the enemy, but were soon surrounded
and attacked on all sides. The Iroquois, superior in
numbers, killed four of them at the outset and took
three prisoners, although our men made a gallant
defense, killing two of their foes on the spot and
wounding others.

The seven Montagnais who were left withdrew
into their palisade, and thought only how to
strengthen their position ; while the Iroquois, aston-
ished at our men's courage, concluded to return in
haste with their four captives.

They plied their paddles vigorously for two whole
days; but the nights, which bring rest to all man-
kind, were employed in burning our Captives un-
mercifully. They began by cutting off a thumb of
each, [78] to make them unable to unbind themselves,
and continued their other cruelties upon them.


liens ^ vn, qui s'eftant efcliap6 heureufement de fa
captivity, fut le liberateur des autres, & la caufe de
la vidtoire que les vaincus emporterent fur les

Ce Captif portant fon courage avec foy, fe rendit
dans cette paliffade, d'oti fes compagnons n'ofoient
fortir, crainte de I'ennemi: il leur fait efperer vne
vidtoire glorieufe, les ayant animez ^ le fuivre, ou il
les conduiroit.

lis fe jettent dans leurs canots, avec refolution de
bien combatre. lis arrivent en quatre journ6es, au
lieu ou les Iroquois avoient aborde devant eux, &
par oh ils eftoient [79] rentrez dans le bois. Nos
gens fuivent les piftes, & enfin defcouvrent I'ennemi
dans vne efpece de reduit, ou ils s' eftoient affez forte-
ment cabanez. lis prennent le deffein de faire leur
attaque, des le poindt du jour du lendemain.

Ce fut pour lors que ces bons Chreftiens ayant fait
leur priere, pour commencer par la leur combat, fe
ruerent fur les Iroquois, & forcerent cette paliffade
avec tant de fucc6s, que dix-huit y demeurerent fur la
place, deux f emmes furent faites prifonnieres, & leur
trois compagnons qui eftoient tombez entre les mains
de I'ennemi, furent heureufement delivrez,

Nos Chreftiens Montagnez ne perdirent en cette
rencontre que deux hommes, quoy que les Iroquois
eullent fait deux defcharges de fufil fur eux.

[80] Tous les Iroquois y furent ou tuez, ou blefCez:
a la referve d'vn feul, qui ayant pris la fuite des le
commencement de I'attaque, fembla n'avoir reft6,
que pour aller porter la nouvelle de leur d6faite dans
le pais des Iroquois.

La protedtion de Dieu fur ces trois prifonniers, que

1664-67] RELATION OF i664- 6s 41

But God, doubtless touched by the fervent prayers
offered him by our poor unfortunates, broke the
bonds of one, who, after his happy escape from
captivity, became the liberator of the others and
the cause of the victory achieved by the conquered
over the conquerors.

This Captive, animated with courage, returned to
that palisade which his companions dared not leave,
for fear of the enemy, and inspired them with hopes
of a glorious victory, encouraging them to follow
him whither he should lead them.

Leaping into their canoes with a determination to
fight bravely, they arrived in four days at the spot
where the Iroquois had landed before them, and
whence they had [79] entered the woods. Our men
followed their trail, and at length discovered the
enemy in a sort of redout where they had intrenched
themselves with considerable strength. They re-
solved to attack them at daybreak.

Then these good Christians — having offered up
their prayer, in order thus to begin their battle —
charged the Iroquois and forced their palisade, with
such success that eighteen men were left dead on the
ground, two women were taken prisoners, and their
own three companions who had fallen into the
enemy's hands were happily set free.

Our Montagnais Christians lost in this engagement
only two men, although the Iroquois fired two
volleys of musketry at them.

[80] All the Iroquois were either killed or wounded,
except a single one, who, fleeing at the very begin-
ning of the attack, seems to have survived for the
sole purpose of bearing the tidings of their defeat to
the country of the Iroquois.


les Iroquois emmenoient, eft bien confiderable.
C'eftoient trois jeunes Chreftiens, de quinze k feize
ans, que les ennemis tenoient liez & garottez d'vne
fagon eftrange.

Lors que le choc commenga, les trois Iroquois qui
avoient la garde particuliere de ces trois prifonniers,
coururent droit a eux, pour leur cafler la tefte : car
c'eft ainfi qu'ils en vfent pour 1' ordinaire.

Le premier, voulant donner le coup de hache fur
la tefte de son [8i] captif, eft tue dans ce mefme
moment, d'vn coup de fulil, qui fauva la vie au
Chreftien, & qui donna la mort a I'lnfidele.

Le fecond captif, voyoit desja rabatre le coup de
hache fur fa tefte, lors qu'vne fleche que la Provi-
dence de Dieu conduifoit pour le delivrer, perga
d' outre en outre celuy qui I'alloit affommer.

Vn autre femblable accident delivra le troifieme ;
& ce ne pouvoit eftre fans vne faveur particuliere
du Ciel, que les balles & les fleches, eurent ce femble
du refpedt pour ces trois jeunes Chreftiens, qui
voyoient de tons coftez les Iroquois tomber roides
morts ^ leurs pieds, fans qu'aucun coup portaft fur eux.

Nous avons tout fujet de croire, que cette aimable
protecilion de Dieu, & fur ces trois captifs Chretiens,
[82] & fur ceux qui les delivrerent fi heureufement,
avec tant de courage, fut vne recompenfe de leur piete :
car jamais ils n'avoient manque tout I'Hyver de faire
leurs prieres, matin & foir, & de garder les jours de
Feftes, qu'ils diftinguoient par le moyen de leur
petit Calendrier, oil ils eftoient tons marquez : lis ne
manquoient pas de s'affembler ces jours-1^, pour dire
devotement leur Chapelet, & chanter leurs Hymnes
& leur Cantiques fpirituels, comme fi quelqu'vn de
nos Peres, qui les avoient inftruits, y eut aflift6.

1664 - 67] RELA TION OF 1664 - 65 43

God's protection of those three prisoners, whom
the Iroquois were leading away, is indeed worthy of
attention. They were three young Christians,
fifteen or sixteen years old, and the enemy kept them
bound and manacled in a peculiar manner.

When the assault began, the three Iroquois who had
special charge of these three prisoners, ran directly
to them to brain them ; for such is the usual custom.

The first one, when about to let his hatchet fall
upon his [81] captive's head, was killed that very in-
stant by a musket-shot, which saved the Christian's
life and brought death to the Infidel.

The second captive saw the hatchet stroke already
descending on his head, when an arrow, guided by
God's Providence for his deliverance, pierced through
and through the one who was about to despatch him.

Another accident, of similar nature, delivered the
third ; and it cannot have been without Heaven's spe-
cial favor that the bullets and arrows paid respect —
as they seemed to — to these three young Christians,
who saw on all sides the Iroquois falling stark dead
at their feet, without a single shot hitting themselves.

We have every reason to believe that this adorable
protection of God, both over these three Christian
captives, [82] and over those who delivered them
with such good fortune and courage, was a reward of
their piety ; for never during the whole Winter had
they failed to say their prayers, morning and even-
ing, and to keep the Holy days, which they distin-
guished by means of their little Calendars, wherein
these were all marked. On such days they failed
not to assemble for the purpose of saying their
Rosaries, and singing their Hymns and spiritual
Songs, with as much devotion as if some one of our
Fathers who had instructed them were present.




VN jeune gar9on, ag6 de vingt-deux ^ vingt-trois
ans, noinm^ lean Adam, eftoit avec fon maiftre
dans les bois, le jour de I'Annonciation de la
Sainte Vierge. II fe fentit tout d'vn coup frape
d'vne grande douleur aux yeux: en fuite de laquelle,
comme la veue luy diminuoit de jour en jour, il prit
les remedes ordinaires. Mais le mal empirant
toujours, il eut recours a Dieu, & fit vne neuvaine h.
Sainte Anne, avec promelle d'aller en pelerinage k
fon Eglife, qui efl k fix lieues de Quebec, celebre
pour les graces, que la divine Majefl6 y [84] a voulu
operer en faveur de cette grande Sainte.

Ce jeune homme ne fentit toutefois aucun foulage-
ment: au contraire I'aveuglement fe formoit toujours
davantage. Ce qui I'obligea de faire vne feconde
neuvaine, en Thonneur de Noftre-Dame de Laurette,
s'engageant par voeu d'y faire quelque jour vn pele-
rinage de devotion. II pria vn de nos Peres, fon
Confefl!eur, de fe joindre k luy, pour obtenir de Dieu
la guerifon de fon aveuglement.

Son maiftre le mena en canot, pour accomplir fon
premier voeu, dans 1' Eglife de Sainte Anne; Ce bon
jeune homme ne pouvant fe conduire luy-mefme, car
fon aveuglement eftoit entierement forrn^.

Vn bon Preftre, qui a le foin de cette Parroiffe, fe

1664 - 67] RELA TION OF 1664 - 65 45



A YOUNG man twenty-two or twenty-three years
old, Jean Adam by name, was with his master
in the woods on the day of the Annunciation
of the Blessed Virgin, when he suddenly felt himself
seized with a violent pain in the eyes ; and as his
sight failed him more and more every day after this,
he took the ordinary remedies. But when his ail-
ment grew constantly worse, he had recourse to God,
and performed a novena to Saint Anne, promising
to go on a pilgrimage to her Church, which is six
leagues distant from Quebec, and celebrated for the
favors which the divine Majesty has [84] there been
pleased to bestow through the intercession of this
great Saint. ^

No relief, however, was experienced by the young
man, his blindness, on the contrary, becoming con-
stantly greater. Hence he was obliged to perform a
second novena, this time in honor of Our Lady of
Laurette,^ binding himself by a vow to make a
pilgrimage of devotion to her church some day. He
begged one of our Fathers, his Confessor, to cooper-
ate with him for the purpose of obtaining from God
the cure of his blindness.

His master took him in a canoe to fulfill his first
vow in the Church of Saint Anne, this good young


fentit infpire de reciter fur c6t aveugle, I'Evangile,
[85] avec I'eftole, felon la couflume de I'Eglife.
Pendant le pen de temps qu'il dit cet Evangile;
r aveugle vit par trois diverfes fois, comme trois
Eclairs, h. la faveur def quels il recouvra la veue; mais
par trois momens f eulement : pendant lef quels il vit
tres-clairement toute I'Eglife, & tout ce qui y eftoit.
Apres quoy il retomba dans fon aveuglement. Mais
il concent par vne lumiere interieure, que ces trois
Eclairs paflagers, par lefquels il avoit veil tout ce qui
eftoit dans I'Eglife, luy marquoient qu'au bout de
trois jours, il recouvreroit entierement la veue, &
qu'il feroit parfaitement gueri. En effet, il en concent
deflors vne ferme efperance, & affeura ceux qui
eftoient avec luy, qu'il ne luy reftoit plus que trois
jours, pour achever la feconde neuvaine, qu'il faifoit
en I'honneur de Noftre-Dame [86] de Laurette, qui
obtiendroit fa guerifon.

Le neufieme jour eftant venu, lors que fon Con-
felleur difoit la Meffe, a fon intention, au temps de
la confecration de la tres-Sainte Hoftie, il fe fentit
frape dans les yeux, comme de deux pointes de fer;
qui luy firent porter auffi-toft les mains aux yeux ;
& en les retirant, il apperceut le Preftre qui elevoit
r Hoftie, pour la faire adorer au peuple: de forte que
les miracles invifibles, qui fe font au moment de la
confecration, furent accompagnez en cette Meffe, de
ce miracle villble & fenfible. Car deflors cet aveugle
recouvra la veue, dans fa perfedtion: & la Meffe
achev^e, ou il n'avoit pu venir, qu'avec le fecours
d'vn guide & d'vn bafton, il s'en retourna fans aide
de perfonne, & fans bafton, & voit depuis ce [87]
temps-Ik, plus clair qu'il n'avoit jamais veu.

1664 - 67] RELA TION OF 1664 - 65 47

man being unable to make his way unaided, as his
blindness was now complete.

A good Priest, who has charge of that Parish, felt
inspired to recite the Gospel over this blind man,
[85] wearing the stole the while, according to the
custom of the Church. During the short time of his
saying this Gospel, the blind man saw at three
different times what seemed like three flashes of
lightning, by the aid of which he recovered his sight,
but for three instants only, during which he saw very
clearly the whole Church and everything in it. After
this he relapsed into his former blindness ; but he
apprehended by an inner illumination that these
three transient flashes of lightning, by which he had
seen everything in the Church, were a sign to him
that at the end of three days he should recover
his sight entirely and be wholly cured. Indeed, from
that moment he conceived a firm hope of this, and
declared to those who were with him that there were
only three days wanting for the completion of his
second novena, which he was performing in honor
of Our Lady [86] of Laurette, who would obtain his

The ninth day arriving, while his Confessor was
saying Mass for him, at the moment of the consecra-
tion of the most Holy Host, he felt himself struck
in the eyes as if by two iron points — which made
him immediately raise his hands to his eyes; and,
on withdrawing them, he saw the Priest elevating
the Host for the people's adoration, so that the un-
seen miracles which are wrought at the moment of
the consecration were accompanied, at this Mass, by
this visible and sensible miracle. For, from that
instant, this blind man recovered his sight in its


A roccalion de ce miracle, je ne f9aurois omettre
ce qui s'eft paffe au fort de Richelieu, par vne
protedtion particuliere de la Sainte Famille, Iesvs,
Marie, & lofeph.

Lors qu'on travailloit ^ ce fort, vn des Lieutenans
faifant la ronde, & eftant all6 viliter vn corps-de-
garde, qui efloit avanc6 environ la portee de deux
fufils, fe fouvint qu'il n'avoit pas alTift^ le foir aux
prieres ordinaires, oti Ton a couftume de reciter de
compagnie, vn petit Chapelet, en I'honneur de la
Sainte Famille, Iesvs, Marie & lofeph. Pour
s'aquiter de ce petit devoir de devotion envers cette
Sainte Famille, il fe retira k I'efcart dans le bois, ^
huit ou dix pas de la fentinelle ; ou s'eftant mis 'k
genoux parmy quelques arbriffeaux qui le cachoient,
[88] il commen5a ce petit Chapelet, le plus devote-
ment qu'il luy efloit poffible: lors que le foldat qui
efloit en fadtion, s'eftant apperceu de quelque chofe
dans ces broffailles, & s'eftant figure que c'eftoit vn
Iroquois, tire deffus a brule-pourpoint, & ne doutoit
point qu'il n'euft tue fon homme. Mais comme fi la
balle eufl refpedl6 ce ferviteur de Dieu, au lieu de
luy percer la tefle d' outre en outre, elle ne fit que le
bleller legerement, Dieu ayant voulu que Ton connut
le danger manifefte oii il avoit efte, afin de faire
connoiftre en mefme temps la puiffante protedtion
qu'il avoit receue de la Sainte Famille, & le fecours
que nous en devons tons attendre, en de pareilles

I'adjoufteray vne chofe prefque femblable k ce qui
arrivoit fouvent k Saint Ifidore Laboureur, qui [89]
voyoit mener par les Anges la charue qu'il avoit
laiff^e pour faire fa priere. Ces Efprits bien-heu-

1664 - 67] RELA TION OF 1664 - 65 49

perfection ; and at the close of the Mass, to which he
had only been able to come with the aid of a guide
and a staff, he returned without help from any one
and without a staff, and has seen since [87] then more
clearly than ever before.

In connection with this miracle I cannot omit what
occurred, under the special protection of the Holy
Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, at fort Riche-

While work was in progress upon this fort, one of
the Lieutenants was making the rounds, and had
gone to visit a guard-house posted about two musket-
shots distant, when he remembered that he had not
on that evening attended the usual prayers, at which
it was customary to recite in concert a short Office
in honor of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary,
and Joseph. To discharge this little office of devo-
tion toward that Holy Family, he withdrew aside
in the woods, eight or ten steps from the sentinel,
knelt among some shrubbery which concealed him,
[88] and began this little Rosary with the utmost
possible devotion. At that point, the soldier who
was standing sentinel, seeing something in those
bushes and fancying it was an Iroquois, fired at it at
close range, and doubted not that he had killed his
man. But as if the bullet had respected this servant
of God, instead of piercing his head through and
through, it did nothing but wound him slightly — it
being God's will that the evident danger in which he
had been should become known, in order to convey
a realization of the powerful protection he had
received from the Holy Family and, at the same
time, of the succor which we all may expect on like


reux voulant bien faire fon office, tandis qu'il faifoit
le leur.

Vne femme fort vertueufe, fe voyant charg^e de
trois enfans, dont le plus ag6 n'a que quatre ans, &
d'ailleurs fort 61oignee de I'Eglife, eftoit fort en
peine les jours de Fefhes, pour faire fes devotions.
Elle ne lailloit pas neantmoins de venir k la Chapelle
de Saint lean; & d'aflifter fort exadlement a raffem-
bl6e de la Sainte Famille, quoy que ce fuft toujours
avec beaucoup d' inquietude, & de crainte pour fes
enfans. Vn jour qu'elle les avoit lailTez endormis ^
la maifon, elle fut bien furprife ^ fon retour, de les
voir habillez fort proprement fur leurs lits, qui
avoient k desjeuner, de la maniere qu'elle avoit
accoutum6 [90] de leur donner. Elle demanda k fa
fille aifn^e, qui les avoit ainfi habillez dans fon
abfence. Cet enfant, qui a bien de I'efprit, pour fon
age, ne put luy dire autre chofe, finon que c'eftoit
vne Dame veftue de blanc, qu'elle ne connoiffoit
point, quoy qu'elle connuft fort bien toutes celles du
voifmage: qu'au refte qu'elle ne faifoit que de fortir,
qu'elle avoit deu la rencontrer en entrant.

Plufieurs perfonnes ont cru pieufement que la
Sainte Vierge avoit voulu guerir elle-mefme les
inquietudes de cette bonne femme ; & luy faire con-
noiftre qu'elle devoit, apr6s avoir pris de fa part les
precautions ordinaires pour fes enfans, abandonner
le refte k la protec5lion de la Sainte Famille.

Ce qui rend cette opinion probable, eft que la mere
trouva la porte [91] du logis ferm^e de la mefme
maniere, qu'elle I'avoit lailf^ en fortant; qu'elle ne
vit point cette femme veftue de blanc, qui ne faifoit
que de fortir quand elle entroit ; que toutes les chof es

1 664 - 67] RELA TION OF 1664 - 6s 51

I will add a circumstance very similar to what
often befell Saint Isidore the Husbandman, who [89]
was wont to see the Angels guiding his plow which
he had left in order to pray — those blessed Spirits
choosing, without doubt, to perform his duty while
he performed theirs.

A very virtuous woman, who saw herself burdened
with three children, the eldest of whom was but four
years old, and who, moreover, lived at a great dis-
tance from the Church, was extremely hindered on
Holy days in the discharge of her devotions. Yet
she did not cease to come to the Chapel of Saint
John and to attend the assembly of the Holy Family,
with great punctuality, although always with much
disquiet and fear for her children. One day when
she had left them asleep in her house, she was greatly
surprised, on her return, to see them upon their
beds, very carefully dressed, and provided with
breakfast, just as she was wont [90] to give it to
them. Upon asking her eldest girl who had thus
dressed them in her absence, the child, who is very
intelligent for her age, could tell her nothing about
it except that it was a Lady clothed in white whom
she did not know — although she knew very well all
the women of the neighborhood ; and that, besides,
she had but just gone out, and her mother must have
met her on entering.

Many have piously believed that the Blessed Virgin
herself was pleased to calm this good woman's
anxieties, and let her know that, after taking the
usual precautions for her children, she was to leave
the rest to the protection of the Holy Family.

What renders such an opinion plausible is that the
mother found the door [91] of the house closed, just


fe font faites dans I'ordre, qu'elle avoit accouftnm^
de les faire elle-mefme ; que cela ne pent eflre attri-
bti6 k nnlle perfonne du voifmage, ni du pais, que
Ton f5ache; que I'enfant eft dans vn age peu capable
d'vn menfonge de cette nature; & qu'apr^s tout,
Dieu fait quelquefois en faveur des pauvres, de fem-
blables merveilles. Enfin les informations en ont
eft^ faites tres-exadlement, par vn Ecclefiaftique
tres-vertueux ; Cette bonne perfonne fe nomme Marie
Hafl6, femme de loachim Girard: «& cela arriva le 8.
de luillet 1665.

1664 - 67] RELA TION OF 1664 -65 68

as she had left it on going out ; that she did not see
this woman dressed in white, who had but just made
her exit when she entered; that everything was
performed exactly as she was wont to do it herself ;
that this cannot be ascribed to any one known in the
neighborhood or in the country ; that the child is of
an age little capable of a fabrication of this nature ;
and that, after all, God does sometimes perform such
marvels on behalf of the poor. Finally, inquiries in
the matter were prosecuted with great exactness by
a very virtuous Ecclesiastic. That good woman is
named Marie Hasl6, wife of Joachim Girard,^ and
this occurrence was on the 8th of July, 1665.




VOICY vne lettre qui nous eft tomb6e entre
les mains, touchant le cruel traitement, que
quelques Frangois ont receu des Iroquois,
depuis deux ans, & dent nous n'avions pas encore de

le ne change rien, ni aux paroles, ni au ftile de la
lettre ; parce que fa limplicite trouvera plus de creance
dans les efprits.

Le 25. du mois d'Aouft de I'ann^e 1662. quatorze
Frangois ayant efte inopinement attaquez par les
Iroquois, en vne petite Ille prociie de [93] Montreal,
s'enfuirent en defordre, fans grande refiftance.

II n'y eut que Monfieur Brignac, avec deux autres
Frangois, qui ne prenans pas garde k la fuite de leurs
compagnons, fe mirent en d^fenfe; & Monfieur
Brignac tua d'abord le Capitaine des Iroquois.

Auffi-toft I'efpouvante les faifit, & voyant leur
Capitaine mort, ils prenoient desja la fuite, lors que
I'vn d'eux fe mit k haranguer les autres, leur difant:
Ou eft done le coeur & la gloire de noftre Nation?
quelle honte que trente-cinq guerriers s'enfuyent
devant quatre Frangois?

Cependant, les autres Frangois, qui eftoient dans
vn bateau, fe lailloient emporter au courant de I'eau;

1664-67] RELATION OF ibb4- 65 55



I GIVE below a letter that has fallen into our hands
concerning the cruel treatment which some
Frenchmen received from the Iroquois two years
ago, and of which we had not before learned.

I make no change either in the wording or in

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Online LibraryJesuits. Letters from missions (North America)The Jesuit relations and allied documents : travels and explorations of the Jesuit missionaries in New France, 1610-1791 ; the original French, Latin, and Italian texts → online text (page 3 of 19)