The First Evangelization of Indigenous Peoples of New France: The Radical Way to Martyrdom of Jesuit Missionaries

Piotr Piasecki
2021 Poznańskie Studia Teologiczne  
The French Jesuits played a significant role in the first evangelization of the indigenous peoples of North America in the early 17th century. They focused on the evangelization of the Huron and Iroquois tribes which remained in constant conflict with each other. In their work they cut themselves off from the commercial interests of colonial countries, especially of France. After a dozen or so years, they were already able to convey evangelical values in tribal languages, being firmly immersed
more » ... n the local culture. Thus, they were precursors of the inculturation of the Gospel. The missionaries were characterized by deep Christological spirituality, founded on contemplation of the cross, and, therefore, able to endure boldly the hardships of evangelization. As the result of the vile strategies of colonial powers stirring up tribal disputes, they faced numerous misfortunes, and, ultimately, many of them suffered martyrdom. Consequently, their missionary effort became a path to personal holiness and an irreplaceable contribution to the strengthening of the newly established Church communities on the American soil.
doi:10.14746/pst.2020.36.10 fatcat:bxph2kokivfjrosfrqjvjmfakm