Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Perpetual Novena to the North American Martyrs

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord have mercy on us, Christ hear us.
Christ graciously hear us.

Our Lady, Queen of martyrs,
Pray for us.
St. Isaac Jogues,
Pray for us.
St. John de Brebeuf,
Pray for us.
St. Gabriel Lalemant,
Pray for us.
St. Charles Garnier,
Pray for us.
St. Anthony Daniel,
Pray for us.
St. Noel Chabenel,
Pray for us.
St. Rene Goupil,
Pray for us.
St. John Lalande,
Pray for us.

Let us pray.

O God, Who by the preaching and blood of Thy sainted martyrs, Isaac and John and their companions, didst consecrate the first fruits of the Faith in the vast regions of North America, graciously grant that by their intercession, the flourishing harvest of Christians may everywhere be increased. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee, in union with the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end.


O God, who didst inflame the hearts of Thy sainted martyrs with an admirable zeal for the salvation of souls, grant us, we beseech Thee, what we now implore: (Here privately form your petitions.) so that the favors obtained through their intercession may make manifest before men and power and glory of Thy name.



Memorial of Saint John de Brébeuf and Saint Isaac Jogues, priests and martyrs, and their companions, martyrs

Rom 6:12-18

Brothers and sisters:

Sin must not reign over your mortal bodies
so that you obey their desires.
And do not present the parts of your bodies to sin
as weapons for wickedness,
but present yourselves to God as raised from the dead to life
and the parts of your bodies to God
as weapons for righteousness.
For sin is not to have any power over you,
since you are not under the law but under grace.

What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law
but under grace?
Of course not!
Do you not know that if you present yourselves
to someone as obedient slaves,
you are slaves of the one you obey,
either of sin, which leads to death,
or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?
But thanks be to God that, although you were once slaves of sin,
you have become obedient from the heart
to the pattern of teaching to which you were entrusted.
Freed from sin, you have become slaves of righteousness.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 124:1b-3, 4-6, 7-8

R. Our help is in the name of the Lord.

Had not the LORD been with us,
let Israel say, had not the LORD been with us?
When men rose up against us,
then would they have swallowed us alive;
When their fury was inflamed against us.

R. Our help is in the name of the Lord.

Then would the waters have overwhelmed us;
The torrent would have swept over us;
over us then would have swept the raging waters.
Blessed be the LORD, who did not leave us
a prey to their teeth.

R. Our help is in the name of the Lord.

We were rescued like a bird
from the fowlers' snare;
Broken was the snare,
and we were freed.
Our help is in the name of the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.
R. Our help is in the name of the Lord.

Lk 12:39-48

Jesus said to his disciples:

"Be sure of this:
if the master of the house had known the hour
when the thief was coming,
he would not have let his house be broken into.
You also must be prepared,
for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come."

Then Peter said,

"Lord, is this parable meant for us or for everyone?"
And the Lord replied,

"Who, then, is the faithful and prudent steward
whom the master will put in charge of his servants
to distribute the food allowance at the proper time?
Blessed is that servant whom his master on arrival finds doing so.
Truly, I say to you, he will put him
in charge of all his property.
But if that servant says to himself,
"My master is delayed in coming,"
and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants,
to eat and drink and get drunk,
then that servant's master will come
on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour
and will punish the servant severely
and assign him a place with the unfaithful.
That servant who knew his master's will
but did not make preparations nor act in accord with his will
shall be beaten severely;
and the servant who was ignorant of his master's will
but acted in a way deserving of a severe beating
shall be beaten only lightly.
Much will be required of the person entrusted with much,
and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more."


October 19

St. Isaac Jogues, John de Brébeuf and Companions

Isaac Jogues (1607-1646): Isaac Jogues and his companions were the first martyrs of the North American continent officially recognized by the Church. As a young Jesuit, Isaac Jogues, a man of learning and culture, taught literature in France. He gave up that career to work among the Huron Indians in the New World, and in 1636 he and his companions, under the leadership of John de Brébeuf, arrived in Quebec. The Hurons were constantly warred upon by the Iroquois, and in a few years Father Jogues was captured by the Iroquois and imprisoned for 13 months. His letters and journals tell how he and his companions were led from village to village, how they were beaten, tortured and forced to watch as their Huron converts were mangled and killed.

An unexpected chance for escape came to Isaac Jogues through the Dutch, and he returned to France, bearing the marks of his sufferings. Several fingers had been cut, chewed or burnt off. Pope Urban VIII gave him permission to offer Mass with his mutilated hands: "It would be shameful that a martyr of Christ be not allowed to drink the Blood of Christ." Welcomed home as a hero, Father Jogues might have sat back, thanked God for his safe return and died peacefully in his homeland. But his zeal led him back once more to the fulfillment of his dreams. In a few months he sailed for his missions among the Hurons.

In 1646 he and Jean de Lalande, who had offered his services to the missioners, set out for Iroquois country in the belief that a recently signed peace treaty would be observed. They were captured by a Mohawk war party, and on October 18 Father Jogues was tomahawked and beheaded. Jean de Lalande was killed the next day at Ossernenon, a village near Albany, New York.

The first of the Jesuit missionaries to be martyred was René Goupil who, with Lalande, had offered his services as an oblate. He was tortured along with Isaac Jogues in 1642, and was tomahawked for having made the Sign of the Cross on the brow of some children.

Jean de Brébeuf (1593-1649): Jean de Brébeuf was a French Jesuit who came to Canada at the age of 32 and labored there for 24 years. He went back to France when the English captured Quebec (1629) and expelled the Jesuits, but returned to his missions four years later. Although medicine men blamed the Jesuits for a smallpox epidemic among the Hurons, Jean remained with them.

He composed catechisms and a dictionary in Huron, and saw 7,000 converted before his death. He was captured by the Iroquois and died after four hours of extreme torture at Sainte Marie, near Georgian Bay, Canada.

Father Anthony Daniel, working among Hurons who were gradually becoming Christian, was killed by Iroquois on July 4, 1648. His body was thrown into his chapel, which was set on fire.

Gabriel Lalemant had taken a fourth vow—to sacrifice his life to the Indians. He was horribly tortured to death along with Father Brébeuf.

Father Charles Garnier was shot to death as he baptized children and catechumens during an Iroquois attack.

Father Noel Chabanel was killed before he could answer his recall to France. He had found it exceedingly hard to adapt to mission life. He could not learn the language, the food and life of the Indians revolted him, plus he suffered spiritual dryness during his whole stay in Canada. Yet he made a vow to remain until death in his mission.

These eight Jesuit martyrs of North America were canonized in 1930.


O Lord, open my lips.
And my mouth will proclaim your praise.

Invitatory Psalm

Psalm 94 (95)
Let us worship the Lord, for he made us.

Let us worship the Lord, for he made us.
Come, let us rejoice in the Lord,
let us acclaim God our salvation.
Let us come before him proclaiming our thanks,
let us acclaim him with songs.
Let us worship the Lord, for he made us.
For the Lord is a great God,
a king above all gods.
For he holds the depths of the earth in his hands,
and the peaks of the mountains are his.
For the sea is his: he made it;
and his hands formed the dry land.
Let us worship the Lord, for he made us.
Come, let us worship and bow down,
bend the knee before the Lord who made us;
for he himself is our God and we are his flock,
the sheep that follow his hand.
Let us worship the Lord, for he made us.
If only, today, you would listen to his voice:
“Do not harden your hearts
as you did at Meribah,
on the day of Massah in the desert,
when your fathers tested me –
they put me to the test,
although they had seen my works.”
Let us worship the Lord, for he made us.
“For forty years they wearied me,
that generation.
I said: their hearts are wandering,
they do not know my paths.
I swore in my anger:
they will never enter my place of rest.”
Let us worship the Lord, for he made us.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.
Let us worship the Lord, for he made us.


Thou madest all and dost control,
Lord, with thy touch divine.
Cast out the slumbers of the soul,
The rest that is not thine.
Look down, Eternal Holiness,
And wash the sins away,
Of those, who, rising to confess,
Outstrip the lingering day.
Our hearts and hands by night, O Lord,
We lift them in our need;
As holy Psalmist gives the word,
And holy Paul the deed.
Each sin to thee of years gone by,
Each hidden stain lies bare;
We shrink not from thine awful eye,
But pray that thou wouldst spare.
Grant this, O Father, Only Son
And Spirit, God of grace,
To whom all worship shall be done
In every time and place.

Psalm 17 (18)
Thanksgiving for salvation and victory

I love you, Lord, my strength.

I will love you, Lord, my strength:
Lord, you are my foundation and my refuge,
you set me free.
My God is my help: I will put my hope in him,
my protector, my sign of salvation,
the one who raises me up.
I will call on the Lord – praise be to his name –
and I will be saved from my enemies.
The waves of death flooded round me,
the torrents of Belial tossed me about,
the cords of the underworld wound round me,
death’s traps opened before me.
In my distress I called on the Lord,
I cried out to my God:
from his temple he heard my voice,
my cry to him came to his ears.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.
I love you, Lord, my strength.

Psalm 17 (18)
The Lord saved me because he loved me.

The earth moved and shook,
at the coming of his anger the roots of the mountains rocked
and were shaken.
Smoke rose from his nostrils,
consuming fire came from his mouth,
from it came forth flaming coals.
He bowed down the heavens and descended,
storm clouds were at his feet.
He rode on the cherubim and flew,
he travelled on the wings of the wind.
He made dark clouds his covering;
his dwelling-place, dark waters and clouds of the air.
The cloud-masses were split by his lightnings,
hail fell, hail and coals of fire.
The Lord thundered from the heavens,
the Most High let his voice be heard,
with hail and coals of fire.
He shot his arrows and scattered them,
hurled thunderbolts and threw them into confusion.
The depths of the oceans were laid bare,
the foundations of the globe were revealed,
at the sound of your anger, O Lord,
at the onset of the gale of your wrath.
He reached from on high and took me up,
he lifted me from the many waters.
He snatched me from my powerful enemies,
from those who hate me, for they were too strong for me.
They attacked me in my time of trouble,
but the Lord was my support.
He led me to the open spaces,
he was my deliverance, for he held me in favour.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.
The Lord saved me because he loved me.

Psalm 17 (18)

You, O Lord, are my lamp, my God who lightens my darkness.

The Lord rewards me according to my uprightness,
he repays me according to the purity of my hands,
for I have kept to the paths of the Lord
and have not departed wickedly from my God.
For I keep all his decrees in my sight,
and I will not reject his judgements;
I am stainless before him,
I have kept myself away from evil.
And so the Lord has rewarded me according to my uprightness,
according to the purity of my hands in his sight.
You will be holy with the holy,
kind with the kind,
with the chosen you will be chosen,
but with the crooked you will show your cunning.
For you will bring salvation to a lowly people
but make the proud ashamed.
For you light my lamp, O Lord;
my God brings light to my darkness.
For with you I will attack the enemy’s squadrons;
with my God I will leap over their wall.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.
You, O Lord, are my lamp, my God who lightens my darkness.

All were astonished by the gracious words
that came from his lips.


Esther 4:17
All Israel cried out with all their might, for they were faced with death.

Queen Esther also took refuge with the Lord in the mortal peril which had overtaken her. She took off her sumptuous robes and put on sorrowful mourning. Instead of expensive perfumes she covered her head with ashes. She humbled her body severely with fasting. She threw herself on the ground, together with her servants from morning to night and she said:
‘God of Abraham and God of Isaac and God of Jacob, blessed are you.
I am alone and have no helper but you
and am about to take my life in my hands.
‘I have heard, Lord, from the books of my ancestors
that you saved Noah from the waters of the flood.
I have heard, Lord, from the books of my ancestors
that to Abraham with his three hundred and eighteen men,
you gave victory over nine kings.
‘I have heard, Lord, from the books of my ancestors
that you freed Jonah from the belly of the whale.
I have heard, Lord, from the books of my ancestors
that you freed Ananiah, Azariah and Mishael from the fiery furnace.
‘I have heard, Lord, from the books of my ancestors
that you saved Daniel from the lions’ den.
I have heard, Lord, from the books of my ancestors
that you took pity on Hezekiah, king of the Jews,
when he was condemned to death and prayed to you for his life.
‘I have heard, Lord, from the books of my ancestors
that when Anna begged you from the depths of her heart,
you gave her a child.
I have heard, Lord, from the books of my ancestors
that you rescue all who are pleasing in your sight,
for ever.
‘Lord, my God, come to my help, for I am alone,
I have no-one but you.
You know that your servant loathes the bed of the uncircumcised.
You know I have not eaten at the table of the abominations
nor drunk the wine of libations.
‘You know I have not found pleasure
from the day of my promotion until now
except in you, Lord.
‘You know, God, that I loathe the symbol of my high position
that is bound round my brow.
I loathe it as if it were a filthy rag
and do not wear it on my days of leisure.
‘And now support me, for I am an orphan.
Put persuasive words into my mouth when I face the lion.
Let me find favour in his eyes:
change his feeling into hatred for our enemy,
that the latter and all like him may be brought to their end.
‘But free us from the power of our enemies;
turn our mourning into rejoicing
and bring our sufferings to an end.
Make an example of those who attack us.
‘Come, Lord, appear!’

King of gods, almighty Lord, give me courage: put the right words into my mouth.
Lord, give us time for repentance and do not shut the mouths of those who praise you; put the right words into my mouth.


St Augustine's letter to Proba
You will find no prayer that is not already contained in the Lord's Prayer

Here are some examples.

When one prays: Be glorified among all nations as thou art glorified among us, and Let your prophets be proved true, what else is one asking than Hallowed be thy name?

When the psalmist says: Bring us back, O God of hosts, let your face shine on us and we shall be saved what else is he saying than Thy kingdom come?

When he says: Direct my steps according to your word, so that iniquity has no dominion over me what else is he saying than Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven?

When the book of Proverbs it is said: give me neither poverty nor riches, grant me only my share of food what else is this than Give us this day our daily bread?

When the psalmist says Lord, remember David and how he served you or O Lord, if I have done this, if there is iniquity in my hands, if I have rewarded with evil those that did evil to me what else is this than Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us?

When he says: Deliver me from my enemies, O my God, and defend me from those that rise up against me what else is this than Deliver us from evil?

And if you go over all the words of holy prayers, I think you will find nothing which cannot be comprised and summed up in the petitions of the Lord’s Prayer. So when we pray we are free to use different words to any extent, but we must ask the same things: in this we have no choice.

It is our duty to ask these things without hesitation for ourselves and for our friends, for strangers and even for our enemies; although of course our emotions may differ according to the persons being prayed for and their closeness or their distance from us.

Now you have the answers to two questions: what sort of person you should be when you pray, and what sort of things you should pray for. These answers have not come from my teaching but from the teaching of him who has condescended to teach us all.

We must seek a blessed life and we must ask God to grant it to us. What a blessed life might mean is something that many people have had many arguments about; but why should we go to many people or listen to many arguments? God’s own Scriptures have summed it up exactly: Blessed is the people whose God is the Lord. How are we to be part of that people, to look on God and live with him for ever? As St Paul says, The only purpose of this instruction is that there should be love coming out of a pure heart, a clear conscience, and a sincere faith.

For “a clear conscience” we may read “hope.” Faith, hope, and charity, therefore, lead to God the man who prays, the man, that is, who believes, hopes, and desires, and is guided as to what he should ask from the Lord by studying the Lord’s Prayer.

Lord, listen to my prayers and let my cry for help reach you, for you, O God, do not despise the prayers of the helpless.
Listen attentively to the voice of my pleading, for you, O God, do not despise the prayers of the helpless.

Let us pray.

Almighty, ever-living God,
make us ever obey you willingly and promptly.
Teach us how to serve you
with sincere and upright hearts
in every sphere of life.
We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever.


Let us bless the Lord.
– Thanks be to God.