St. Charles Garnier


Also Known as:
The Hurons nicknamed him “Ouracha”, or “rain-giver” Martyr

Feast:
October 19th

Born:
May 25, 1606

Died:
December 7, 1649

Canonized:
June 29th, 1930 by Pope Pius XI

Patronage:
He has no assigned patronages at this time. St. Anthony of Padua is the official patron saint of Native Americans.


The son of a secretary to King Henri III of France, Garnier joined the Jesuit seminary in Clermont in 1624 and was ordained in 1635. His father initially forbade him from travelling to Canada where he would face almost certain death as a missionary, but he was eventually allowed to go and arrived in the colony of New France in 1636. He travelled immediately to the Huron mission with fellow Jesuit, Pierre Chastellain.

He spent the rest of his life as a missionary among the Hurons, never returning to Quebec. The Hurons nicknamed him “Ouracha”, or “rain-giver”, after his arrival was followed by a drought-ending rainfall. He was greatly influenced by fellow missionary Jean de Brébeuf, and was known as the “lamb” to Brebeuf’s “lion”. When Brébeuf was killed in March 1649, Garnier knew he too might soon die.  He was slaughtered by the Iroquois on 7 Dec. 1649 when they attacked the village of Saint-Jean, at the time of the destruction of the Huron missions. His body, lacerated by two bullet wounds and two blows from a hatchet, was found a few steps from the ruins of his chapel.

Holy Martyrs and patrons, protect this land which you have blessed by the shedding of your blood. Renew in these days our Catholic faith which you helped to establish in this new land. Bring all our fellow citizens to a knowledge and love of the truth. Make us zealous in the profession of our faith so that we may continue and perfect the work which you have begun with so much labour and suffering. Pray for our homes, our schools, our missions, for vocations, for the conversion of sinners, the return of those who have wandered from the fold, and the perseverance of all the faithful. And foster a deeper and increasing unity among all Christians. Amen

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