Marquette Among the Kaskaskia 1674-1675

 

 

The Jolliet-Marquette expedition ended in late September, 1673 at the Mission of Saint François Xavier on the lower Fox River near present-day Green Bay, Wisconsin.  Jolliet apparently departed for Sault Ste. Marie, and most of the paddlers left as well.  Marquette, too, had plans. Speaking with the other priests of the Mission, he announced his intention to return to Illinois and establish a mission among the Kaskaskia Indians at their village on the Illinois River (Utica, Illinois).  He had met the Kaskaskia on his return from the Mississippi as he and Jolliet had paddled up the river on their way to Chicago and Lake Michigan. He wanted to return there in the spring to begin the work of converting them to Christianity.  By now, however, Marquette had begun to feel the effects of years of hardship in the western country.  All during the summer of 1674, he suffered with a variety of Typhoid characterized by fevers and massive diarhea.   Finally setting out at the end of October, he and his two paddlers got only as far as Chicago before winter set in.  Building a hut where Damen Avenue now crosses the Sanitary and Ship Canal, the three waited for the ice and snow to depart.  Over the winter Marquette's health again deteriorated and, by spring,  it was clear that he would not live long.   Nevertheless, he insisted that his men paddle him west to the Kakaskia village where he gave the Catholic mass before an immense crowd.  He gave a second mass on Easter Sunday and, promising to return, the three departed for Saint Ignace.  Marquette never got there.  He died, at age 37, on May 18, 1675 near Ludington Michigan.

 

 

UNFINISHED JOURNAL OF FATHER JACQUES MARQUETTE, ADDRESSED TO THE REVEREND  FATHER CLAUDE DABLON, SUPERIOR OF THE MISSIONS

 

 

My REVEREND FATHER:

 

Pax Christi. Having been compelled to remain at St. François throughout the summer on account of an ailment of which I was cured in the month of September, I waited there the return of our people from down below, in order to learn what I was to do with regard to my wintering. They brought me orders to proceed to the mission of La Conception among the Illinois. After complying with Your Reverence's request for copies of my journal concerning the Mississippi River, I departed with Pierre Porteret and Jacque [blank space in Ms], on the 25th of October, 1674, about noon. The wind compelled us to pass the night at the outlet of the River, where the Poute­watamis were assembling; for the elders would not allow them to go in the direction of the Ilinois, lest the young men, after collecting robes with the goods that they brought from below, and after hunting Beaver, might seek to go down in the spring; because they have reason to fear the nadouessi.

 

October 26th

On passing the village, we found only two cabins of savages, who were going to spend the winter at la gasparde. We learned that 5 canoes of Poutewatamis, and 4 Of Ilinois, had started to go to the Kaskaskia.

 

 

27th

 We were delayed in the morning by rain; in the afternoon, we had fine, calm weather, so that at sturgeon bay we joined the savages, who traveled ahead of us.

 

28th

 We reached the portage. A canoe that had gone ahead prevented us from killing any game. We began our portage and slept on the other shore, where the stormy weather gave us much trouble. Pierre did not arrive until an hour after dark, having lost his way on a path where he had never been. After the rain and thunder, snow fell.

 

29th

Being compelled to change our campingground, we con­tinue to carry our packs. The portage covers nearly a league, and is very difficult in many places. The Illinois assemble in the evening in our cabin, and ask us not to leave them, as we may need them, and they know the lake better than we do. We promise them this.

 

30th

The Illinois women complete our portage in the morning. We are delayed by the wind. There are no animals.

 

31st

We start, with tolerably fair weather, and sleep at a small river. The road by land from sturgeon bay is very difficult.  Last autumn, we were traveling not far from it when we entered the forest.

 

November 1st

After I said holy mass, we came for the night to a river, whence one goes to the Poutewatamis by a good road. Chachagwcssiou, an Ilinois greatly esteemed among his nation, partly because he engages in the fur trade, arrived at night with a deer on his back, of which he gave us a share.  After holy mass, we travel all day in very fine weather.

 

2nd

 We kill two cats, which are almost nothing but fat.

 

3rd

While I am ashore, walking on fine sandthe whole water's  edge being covered with grass similar to that which is hauled up by the nets at St. Ignace,I come to a river which I am unable to cross. Our people enter it, in order to take me on board; but we are unable to go out, on account of the waves. All the other canoes go on, excepting one, which came with us.

 

4th

We are delayed. There seems to be an Island out in the  lake, for the game go there at night.

 

 

 

5th

We had considerable difficulty in getting out of the River at noon. We found the savages in a river, where I seized the opportunity of instructing the Ilinois, on account of a feast that nawaskingwe had just given to a wolfskin.

 

6th

We performed a good day's journey. While the savages were hunting, they discovered some tracks of men, and this compelled us to stay over on the following day.

 

8th

We landed about 2 o'clock, because there was a good camping ground. We were detained there for 5 days, on account of the great agitation of the lake, although without any wind and afterward of the snow, which was melted on the following day by the sun, and a breeze from the lake.

 

14th

After proceeding a sufficient distance, we camp at a favorable place, where we are detained 3 days. Pierre mends a savage's gun. Snow falls at night, and thaws during the day.

 

18th

We sleep near the bluffs, and are very poorly sheltered. 2 of The savages remain behind while we are delayed 2 days and a half by the wind. Pierre goes into the woods, and finds the prairie 2o leagues from the portage. He also goes through a fine canal which is vaulted, as it were, to the height of a man) in which there is water a foot deep.

 

23rd

After embarking at noon we experience some difficulty in reaching a river. Then the cold began, and more than a foot of snow covered the ground; it has remained ever since. We were delayed for three days, during which Pierre killed a deer, 3 bustards, and 3 Turkeys, which were very good. The others proceeded to the prairies. A savage discovered some cabins, and came to get us. Jacques went there on the fol­lowing day with him; 2 hunters also came to see me. They were maskoutens, to the number of 8 or 9 cabins, who had separated from the others in order to obtain subsistence. With fatigues almost impossible to frenchmen, they travel through­out the winter over very bad roads, the land abounding in streams, small lakes, and swamps. Their cabins are wretched; and they eat or starve, according to the places where they happen to be. Being detained by the wind, we noticed that there were great shoals out in the lake, over which the waves broke continually. Here I had an attack of diarrhea.

 

27rd

We had some trouble in getting out of the river; then, after proceeding about 3 leagues, we found the savages, who had killed some cattle, and 3 ilinois who had come from the village. We were delayed there by a wind from the land, by heavy waves from the lake, and by cold.

 

December 1st

We went ahead of the savages so that I might celebrate holy mass.

 

3rd

After saying holy mass, we embarked, and were compelled to make for a point, so that we could land, on account of float­ing masses of ice.

 

4th

We started with a favoring wind, and reached the river of the portage, which was frozen to the depth of half a foot; there was more snow there than elsewhere, as well as more tracks of animals and Turkeys. Navigation on the lake is fairly good from one portage to the other, for there is no crossing to be made, and one can land anywhere, unless one persist in going on when the waves are high and the wind is strong. The land bordering it is of no value, except on the prairies. There are 8 or 10 quite fine rivers. Deerhunting is very good, as one goes away from the Poutewatamis.

 

12th

As we began yesterday to haul our baggage in order to approach the portage, the Ilinois who had left the Poute­watamis arrived, with great difficulty. We were unable to celebrate holy mass on the day of the Conception, owing to the bad weather and cold. During our stay at the entrance of the river, Pierre and Jacques killed 3'cattle and 4 deer, one of which ran some distance with its heart split in 2. We contented ourselves with killing 3 or 4. turkeys, out of the many that came around our cabin because they were almost dying of hunger. Jacques brought in a partridge that he had killed, exactly like those of France except that it had two ruffs, as it were, Of 3 or 4 feathers as long as a finger, near the head, covering the 2 sides of the neck where there are no feathers.

 

14th

Having encamped near the portage, 2 leagues up the river, we resolved to winter there, as it was impossible to go farther, since we were too much hindered and my ailment did not permit me to give myself much fatigue. Several Ilinois passed yesterday, on their way to carry furs to nawaskingwe; we gave them one of the cattle and one of the deer that Jacque had killed on the previous day. I do not think that I have ever seen any savages more eager for French tobacco than they. They came and threw beaverskins at our feet, to get some pieces of it; but we returned these, giving them some pipefuls of the tobacco because we had not yet decided whether we would go farther.

 

Chachagwessiou and the other Ilinois left us, to go and is join their people and give them the goods that they had brought, in order to obtain their robes. In this they act like the traders, and give hardly any more than do the French. I instructed them before their departure, deferring the holding of a council until the spring, when I should be in their vil­lage. They traded us 3 fine robes of oxskins for a cubit of tobacco; these were very useful to us during the winter.

 

15th

Being thus rid of them, we said the Mass of the Conception. After the 4th, my disease turned into a bloody flux. Jacque arrived from the Ilinois village, which is only six leagues from here; there they were suffering from hunger, because the cold and snow prevented them from hunting. Some of them notified la Toupine and the surgeon that we were here; and, as they could not leave their cabin, they had so frightened the savages, believing that we would suffer from hunger if we remained here, that Jacque had much difficulty in preventing  young men from coming to carry away all our belongings.

 

 

January 16, 1675

As soon as the 2 frenchmen learned that my illness prevented me from going to them, the surgeon came here with a savage, to bring us some blueberries and corn. They are only 18 leagues from here, in a fine place for hunting cattle, deer, and turkeys, which are excellent there. They had also collected provisions while waiting for us; and had given the savages to understand that their cabin belonged to the black gown; and it may be said that they have done and said all that could be expected from them. After the surgeon had spent some time here, in order to perform his devotions, I sent Jacque with him to tell the Ilinois near that place that my illness prevented me from going to see them and that I would even have some difficulty in going there in the spring, if it continued.

 

24th

Jacque returned with a sack of corn and other delicacies, which the French had given him for me. He had also brought the tongues and flesh of two cattle, which a savage and he had killed near here. But all the animals feel the bad weather.

 

26th

3 Ilinois brought us, on behalf of the elders, 2 sacks of corn, some dried meat, pumpkins, and 12 beaverskins; 1st, to make me a mat; 2nd, to ask me for powder; 3rd, that we might not be hungry; 4th, to obtain a few goods. I replied; 1st that I had come to instruct them) by speaking to them of prayer, etc.; 2nd, that I would give them no powder, because we sought to restore peace everywhere, and I did not wish them to begin war with the miamis; 3rd, that we feared not hunger; 4th, that I would encourage the french to bring them goods, and that they must give satisfaction to those who were among them for the beads which they had taken as soon as the surgeon started to come here. As they had come a distance of 20 leagues I gave them, in order to reward them for their trouble and for what they had brought me, a hatchet, 2 knives, 3 claspknives, 10 brasses of glass beads, and 2 double mirrors, telling them that I would endeavor to go to the village,for a few days only, if my illness continued. They told me to take courage, and to remain and die in their country and that they had been informed that I would remain there for a long time.

 

February 9th

Since we addressed ourselves to the Blessed Virgin Immaculate, and commenced a novena with a mass,at which Pierre and Jacque, who do everything they can to relieve me, received communion~to ask God to restore my health, my bloody flux has left me, and all that remains is a weakness of the stomach. I am beginning to feel much better, and to regain my strength. Out of a cabin of Ilinois, who encamped near us for a month, a portion have again taken the road to the Poutewatamis, and some are still on the lakeshore, where they wait until navigation is open. They bear letters for our Fathers of St. Francois.

 

We have had opportunity to observe the tides coming in 20 from the lake, which rise and fall several times a day; and, although there seems to be no shelter in the lake, we have seen the ice going against the wind. These tides made the Id, water good or bad, because that which flows from above comes from the prairies and small streams. The deer which are plentiful near the lakeshore, are so lean that we had to abandon some of those which we had killed.

 

 

 

 

March 1st

We killed several partridges, only the males of which had 23 ruffs on the neck, the females not having any. These partridges are very good, but not like those of france.

 

The north wind delayed the thaw until the 25th of March, when it set in with a south wind. On the very next day, game began to make its appearance. We killed 30 Pigeons) which I found better than those down the great river; but they are smaller, both old and young. On the 28th, the ice broke up, and stopped above us. On the 29th, the waters rose so high that we had barely time to decamp as fast as possible, putting our goods in the trees, and trying to sleep on a hillock. The water gained on us nearly all night, but there was a slight freeze, and the water fell a little, while we were near our packages. The barrier has just broken, the ice has drifted away; and, because the water is already rising, we are about to embark to continue our journey.

 

The blessed Virgin Immaculate has taken such care of us during our wintering that we have not lacked provisions, and have still remaining a large sack of corn, with some meat and fat. We also lived very pleasantly, for my illness did not prevent me from saying holy mass every day. We were unable to keep Lent, except on Fridays and Saturdays.

 

31st

We started yesterday and traveled 3 leagues up the river without finding any portage. We hauled our goods probably about half an arpent. Besides this discharge, the river has another one by which we are to go down. The very high lands alone are not flooded. At the place where we are, the water has risen more than 12 feet. This is where we began our portage 18 months Ago. Bustards and ducks pass con­tinually; we contented ourselves with 7. The ice, which is drifting down, keeps us here, as we do not know in what condition the lower part of the river is.

 

April 1st

As I do not yet know whether I shall remain next summer in the village, on account of my diarrhea, we leave here part of our goods, those with which we can dispense, and especially a sack of corn. While a strong south wind delays us, we hope to go tomorrow to the place where the French are, at a distance of 15 leagues from here.

 

9th

Strong winds and the cold prevent us from proceeding. The two lakes over which we passed are full of bustards, geese, ducks, cranes, and other game unknown to us. The rapids are quite dangerous in some places. We have just met the surgeon, with a savage who was going up with a canoeload of furs but, as the cold is too great for persons who are obliged to drag their canoes in the water, he has made a cache of his beaverskins, and returns to the village tomorrow with us. If the French procure robes in this country, they do not disrobe the savages, so great are the hardships that must be endured to obtain them.

 

[Addressed: "To My Reverend Father, Father Claude Dablon, Superior of the Missions of the Society of Jesus in new francc. Quebec."]

[Endorsed: "Letter and Journal of the late Father Marquette."]

Endorsed: ["Everything concerning Father Marquette's voyage. " ]

 

 

 

 

ACCOUNT OF THE SECOND VOYAGE AND THE DEATH OF FATHER JACQUES MARQUETTE.

BY FATHER CLAUDE DABLON

 

The mission of the Ilinois was founded in the year 1674, after the first voyage which father Jacques marquette made to discover new territories and new peoples who are on the great and famous river missisipi. The year following he made a second voyage in order to establish there the mission: it is that one which we are about to relate.

 

 

SECTION 1ST. NARRATIVE OF THE 2ND VOYAGE THAT FATHER MARQUET MADE To THE ILINOIS. HE REACHES THEM, NOTWITHSTAND­ING HIS ILLNESS. AND BEGINS THE MISSION OF LA CONCEPTION.

 

Father Jacques marquette having promised the Ilinois on his first voyage to them, in 1673) that he would return to them the following year, to teach them the mysteries of our religion, had much difficulty in keeping his word. The great hardships of his first voyage had Brought upon him a bloody flux, and had so weakened him that he was giving up the hope of undertaking a second. However, his sickness decreased; and, as it had almost entirely Abated by the close of the summer in the following year, He obtained the per­mission of his superiors to return to the Ilinois and there begin that fair mission.

 

He set out for that purpose, in the month of november of the year 1674, from the bay des puants, with two men, one of whom had made the former voyage with him. During a month of navigation on the lake of the Ilinois, he was tol­erably well; but, as soon as the snow Began to fall, he was again seized with his bloody flux, which compelled him to halt in the river which Leads to the Ilinois. It was there that they constructed a Cabin in which to pass the winter, amid such inconveniences that, his malady increasing more and more, he saw clearly that God was granting to him the favor which he had so many times besought from him 3 and he even told his two Companions very plainly that he would certainly die of that malady, and during that voyage. Duly to prepare his soul, despite the severe disposition of his Body, he began this

so severe winter sojourn by the retreat of st. ignatius, which he performed with every feeling of devotion, and many Celestial Consolations; and then he passed the whole of the remaining time in holding communion with all Heaven,­having, in these deserts, no intercourse with the earth except, with his two Companions. He Confessed them and administered Communion to them twice in the week, and exhorted them as much as his strength permitted him. A short time after christmas, that he might obtain the favor of not dying without having taken possession of his Dear mission, he invited his Com­panions to make a novena in honor of the immadilate con­ception of the blessed virgin. His prayer was answered, against all human probability; and his health improving, he prepared himself to go to the village of the Ilinois as soon as navigation should open,which he did with much joy, set­ting out for that place on the 29th of march. He spent eleven Days on the Way, during which time he had occasion to suffer much, both from his own Illness, from which he had not en­tirely recovered, and from the very severe and unfavorable weather.

 

On at last arriving at the village, he was received as an angel from Heaven. After he had assembled at various times the Chiefs of the nation, with all the old men, that he might sow in their minds the first seeds of the gospel, and after having given Instruction in the Cabins, which were always filled with a great crowd of people, he resolved to address all in public, in a general assembly which he called together in the open Air, the Cabins being too small to con­tain all the people. It was a beautiful prairie, close to a village, which was Selected for the great Councili this was adorned, after the fashion of the country, by Covering it with mats and bearskins. Then the father, having directed them to stretch out upon Lines several pieces of chinese taffeta, at­tached to these four large Pictures of the blessed Virgin, which were visible on all sides. The audience was Com­posed of 500 chiefs and elders, seated in a circle around the father, and of all the Young men, who remained standing. They numbered more than 1,500 men, without counting the women and children, who are always numerous,the village being Composed of 5 or 6oo fires. The father addressed the whole body of people, and conveyed to them io messages, by means of ten presents which he gave them. He explained to them the principal mysteries of our Religion, and the purpose that had brought him to their country. Above all, he preached to them Jesus Christ, on the very eve (of that great day) on which he had died upon the Cross for them, as well as for all the rest of mankind; then he said holy mass. On the third Day after, which was easter sunday, things being prepared in the same manner as on Thursday, he celebrated the holy mysteries for the 2nd time; And by these two, the only sacrifices ever offered there to God, he took possession of that land in the name of Jesus Christ, and gave to that mission the name of the Immaculate Conception of the blessed virgin.

 

He was listened to by all these peoples with universal joy; and they prayed him with most earnest Entreaty to come back to them as soon as possible, since his sickness obliged him to return. The father, on his Side, expressed to them the affection which he felt for them, and the sat­isfaction that they had given him; and pledged them his word that he, or some other of our fathers would return to Carry on that mission so happily Inaugurated. This promise he repeated several times, while parting with them to go upon his Wayi and he set out with so many tokens of regard on the part of Those good peoples that, as a mark of honor they chose to escort him for more than 30 leagues on the Road, vying with each other in taking Charge of his slender baggage.

 

SECTION 2ND. THE FATHER IS COMPELLED TO LEAVE HIS ILINOIS MISSION. HIS LAST ILLNESS. HIS PRECIOUS DEATH IN THE HEART OF THE FOREST.

 

After the Ilinois, filled with great esteem for the gospel, had taken Leave of the father, he Continued his journey, and shortly after reached the lake of the Ihnois, upon whose waters he had to journey nearly a hundred leagues, by an unknown route whereon he had Never before traveled; for he was obliged to coast along the southern Shore of the lake, having come by the northern. But his strength was so rapidly diminishing that his two men despaired of being able to bring him alive To the end of their journey. Indeed, he became so feeble and exhausted that he was unable to assist or even to move himself, and had to be handled and carried about like a child.

 

Meanwhile, he Preserved in that condition ail admirable equanimity, resignation, joy, and gentleness, consoling his dear Companions and encouraging them to suffer patiently all the hardships of that voyage, in the assurance that God would not abandon them after his death. It was during this voyage that he began to make more special preparation for death. He held Communion., sometimes with our Lord, sometimes with his holy mother, or with his guardian angel, or with all paradise. He was often heard repeating These words: Credo quod re­demptor mems vivit; or, maria., mater gratiae, mater dei, me­mento mei. In addition to the spiritual exercise, which was read to him every Day, he requested toward the close that they would read to him his meditation preparatory for death, which he carried about with him. He recited every Day his breviary; and although he was so low that his sight and strength were greatly enfeebled, He continued to do so to the last day of his life, despite the remonstrance of his companions.

 

Eight Days before his death, he was thoughtful enough to prepare the holy water for use during the rest of his illness, in his agony, and at his burial; and he Instructed his Com­panions how it should be used.

 

The evening before his death, which was a friday, he told them, very joyously that it would take place on the morrow. He conversed with them during the whole Day as to what would need to be done for his burial; about the manner in which they should inter himi of the spot that should be chosen for his grave; how his feet, his hands, and his face should be arrangedi how they should erect a Cross over his grave. He even went so Far as to counsel them, 3 hours before he expired, that as soon as he was dead they should take the little Handbell of his Chapel, and sound it while he was being put under ground. He spoke of all these things with so great tranquility and presence of mind that one might have supposed that he was concerned with the death and funeral of some other person, and not with his own.

 

Thus did he converse with them as they made their way upon the lake,until, having perceived a river, on the shore of which stood an eminence that he deemed well suited to be the place of his interment, he told them that That was the place of his last repose. They wished, however, to proceed farther, as the weather was favorable, and the day was not far ad­vanced; but God raised a Contrary wind, which compelled them to return, and enter the river which the father had pointed out. They accordingly brought him to the land, lighted a little fire for him, and prepared for him a wretched Cabin of bark. They laid him down therein, in the least uncomfortable way that they could; but they were so stricken with sorrow that, as they have since said, they hardly knew what they were doing. The father, being thus Stretched on the ground in much the same way as was st. francis xavier, as he had always so passionately desired, and finding himself alone in the midst of These forests, for his companions were occupied with the disembarkation, he had leisure to repeat all the last acts in which he had continued during these last Days.

 

His dear companions having afterward joined him, all dis­consolate, he Comforted them, and inspired them with the confidence that God would take care of them after his death, in these new and unknown countries. He gave them the last Instructions, thanked them for all the charities which they had exercised in his behalf during the whole journey, and entreated pardon for the trouble that he had given them. He charged them to ask pardon for him also, from all our fathers and brethren who live in the country of the outaouacs. Then he undertook to prepare them for the sacrament of penance, which he administered to them for the last time. He gave them also a paper on which he had written all his faults since his own last Confession) that they might place it in the hands of the father superior that the latter might

be enabled to pray to God for him in a more special manner. Finally, he promised not to forget them in Paradisei and, as he was very Considerate, knowing that they were much fa­tigued with the hardships of the preceeding Days, he bade them go and take a little repose. He assured them that his hour was not yet so very near, and that he would awaken them when the time should comeas, in fact, 2 or 3 hours afterward he did summon them, being ready to enter into the agony.

 

They drew near to him, and he embraced them once again, while they burst into tears at his feet. Then he asked for holy water and his reliquary; and having himself removed his Crucifix, which he carried always suspended round his neck, he placed it in the hands of one of his Companions, begging him to hold it before his eyes. Then, feeling that he had but a short time to live, he made a last effort, Clasped his hands, and, with a steady and fond look upon his Crucifix, he ut­tered aloud his profession of faith, and gave thanks to the divine majesty for the great favor which he accorded him of dying in the Society, of dying in it as a missionary of Jesus Christ,and, above all, of dying in it, as he had always prayed, in a Wretched cabin in the midst of the forests and bereft of all human succor.

 

After that, he was silent, communing within himself with God. Nevertheless he let escape from time to time these words, Sustinuit anima mea in verbo ejus; or these, Mater Dei, memento meiwhich were the last words he uttered before entering his agony, which was, however, very mild and peaceful.

 

He prayed his companions to put him in mind, when they should see him about to expire, to repeat frequently the names of Jesus and mary, if he could not himself do so. They did as they were bidden; and, when they Believed him to be near his end, one of them Called aloud, "Jesus, Mary!" The dying man repeated the words distinctly, several times; and as if, at These sacred names, Something presented itself to him, he Suddenly raised his eyes above his Crucifix, holding them Riveted on that object, which he appeared to regard with pleasure. And so, with a countenance beaming and all aglow, he expired without any Struggle, and so gently that it might have been regarded as a pleasant sleep.

 

His two poor Companions, shedding many tears over him, composed his Body in the manner which he had prescribed to them. Then they carried him devoutly to burial, ringing the while the little Bell as he had bidden them; and Dlanted a large Cross near his grave, as a sign to passersby.

 

When it became a question of embarking, to proceed on their journey, one of the two, who for some Days had been so Heartsick with sorrow, and so greatly prostrated with an internal malady, that he could no longer eat or breathe except with difficulty, bethought himself, while the other was making all preparations for embarking, to visit the grave of his good father, and ask his intercession with the glorious virgin, as he had promised, not doubting in the least that he was in Heaven. He fell, then, upon his knees, made a Short prayer, and having reverently taken some earth from the tomb, he pressed it to his breast. Immediately his sickness Abated, and his sorrow was changed into a joy which did not forsake him during the remainder of his journey.

 

SECTION 3RD. WHAT OCCURRED 47 'THE REMOVAL OF THE BONES OF THE LATE FATHER MAR­QUETTE, WHICH WERE TAKEN FROM HIS GRAVE ON THE 19TH OF JULY 1677, THE SAME DAY AS THAT  ON WHICH HE DIED IN THE YEAR 1675 A BRIEF SUMMARY OF HIS VIRTUES.

 

God did not permit that a deposit so precious should remair in the midst of the forest, unhonored and forgotten. The savages named Kiskakons, who have been making public pro­fession of Christianity for nearly ten years, and who were instructed by father Marquette when he lived at the poini of St. Esprit, at the extreme of lake superior, carried on theii last winter's hunting in the vicinity of the lake of the Ilinois,

 

As they were returning in the spring; they were greatly pleased to pass near the grave of their good father, whom they tenderly loved; and God also put it into their hearts to remove his bones and bring them to our church at the mission of st. Ignace at missilmakinac, where those savages make their abode.

 

They repaired then, to the spot, and resolved among them­selves to act in regard to the father as they are Wont to do toward Those for whom they profess great respect. Ac­cordingly, they opened the grave, and uncovered the Body; and, although the Flesh and Internal organs were all Dried up, they found it entire, so that not even the skin was in any way injured. This did not prevent them from pyoceeding to dissect it, as is their custom. They cleansed the bones and exposed them to the sun to dry; then, carefully laying them in a box of birchbark, they set out to bring them to our mission of st. Ignace.

 

There were nearly 30 Canoes which formed, in excellent order, that funeral procession. There were also a goodly num­ber of iroquois, who United with our algonkin savages to lend more honor to the ceremonial. When they drew near our house, father nouvel, who is its superior, with father piercon, went out to meet them, accompanied by the french­men and savages who were there; and having halted the Pro­cession, he put the usual questions to them, to make sure that It was really the father's body which they were bring­ing. Before conveying it to land, they Intoned the de pro­fundis in the presence of the 30 Canoes, which were still on the water, and of the people who were on the shore. After that, the Body was carried to the church, care being taken to ob­serve all that the ritual appoints in such ceremonies. It re­mained exposed under the pall, all that Day, which was whitsunmonday, the 8th of Junei and on the morrow, after having rendered to it all the funeral rites, it was lowered into a small Vault in the middle of the church, where it rests as the guardian angel of our outaouas missions. The savages often come to pray over his tomb. Not to mention more than this instance, a young girl, aged 19 or 2o years, whom the late father had Instructed, and who had been baptized in the past year, fell sick, and applied to father nouvel to be bled and to take certain remedies. The father prescribed to her, as sole medicine, to come for 3 days and say a pater and three ave's at the tomb of father marquette. She did so, and before the 3rd Day was cured, without bleeding or any other remedies.

 

Father Jaques marquette, of the province of champagne, died at the age of 38 years, of which 21 were passed in the Societynamely, 12 in france and 9 in Canada. He was sent to the missions of the upper algonquins, who are called outaouacs; and labored therein with the Zeal that might be expected from a man who had proposed to himself st. francis xavier as the model of his life and death. He resembled that great Saint, not only in the variety of barbarian languages which he mastered, but also by the range of his Zeal, which made him carry the faith To the ends of this new world, and nearly 8oo leagues from here into the forests, where the name of Jesus Christ had never been proclaimed.

 

He always entreated God that he might end his life in these laborious missions, and that, like his dear st. xavier, he might die in the midst of the woods bereft of everything. Every Day, he Interposed for that end both the merits of Jesus Christ and the intercession of the virgin Immaculate, for whom he entertained a singular tenderness.

 

Accordingly, he obtained through such powerful mediators that which he solicited with so much earnestness; since he had, like the apostle of the Indies, the happiness to die in a wretched cabin on the shore of lake Ilinois, forsaken by all the world.

 

We might say much of the rare virtues of this nob~c missionary; of his Zeal, which prompted him to carry the faith so far, and proclaim the gospel to so many peoples w1vo were unknown to us; of his gentleness, which rendered beloved by all, and made him all things to all mena fr man with the french, a huron with the hurons, an alg with the algonquins; of the childlike Candor with w' disclosed his heart to his superiors, and even to all persons, with an ingenuousness which won all Hearts; of his angelic Chastity; and of his uninterrupted union with God.

 

But that which Apparently predominated was a devotion, altogether rare and singular, to the blessed virgin, and par­ticularly toward the mystery of her immaculate conception. It was a pleasure to him him speak or preach on that subject. All his conversations and letters contained something about the blessed virgin Immaculatefor so he always called her. From the age of 9 years, he Fasted every saturday; and from his tenderest Youth Began to say the little office of the Con­ception, Inspiring everyone with the same devotion. Some months before his death, he said every Day with his two men a little corona of the immaculate conception which he had devised as follows: After the Credo, there is said once the pater and ave, and then 4 times these words: Ave filia Dei patris, ave mater filfi Dei, ave sponsa spiritus sancti, ave templum totius trinitatis; per sanctam virginitatem. et immacu­latam conceptionem tuam, purissima virgo, emunda Cor et Carmen meam; in nomine patris, et filfi, et spiritus sancti,­concluding with the gloria patri, the whole repeated three times.

 

He Never failed to Say the mass of the Conception, or, at least, when he could do so, the prayer of the Conception. He .hardly meditated upon anything else Day and night. That he might leave us an everenduring testimony of his senti­ments, it was his desire to bestow on the mission of the Ilinois the name of la Conception.

 

So tender a devotion toward the mother of God merited some singular grace; and she accorded him the favor that he bad always requestedto die on a saturday. His companions never doubted that she appeared to him at the hour of his death, when, after pronouncing the names of Jesus and mary, he Suddenly raised his eyes above his Crucifix, holding them fixed on an object which he regarded with extreme pleasure and a joy that showed itself upon his features; and they had at that time, the impression that he had rendered up his soul into the hands of his good mother.

 

 

One of the last letters that he wrote to the father superior of the missions before his great voyage) is sufficient evidence that such were his sentiments. He Begins it thus: "The Blessed virgin immaculate has obtained for me the favor of reaching this place in good health, and with the resolve to correspond to the intentions which God has respecting me, since he has assigned me to the voyage toward the south. I have no other thought than that of doing what God wills. I dread nothingneither the nadoissis, nor the reception awaiting me among the nations, dismay me. One of two Things will happen: either God will punish me for my crimes and cowardice, or else he will give me a share in his Cross, which I have not yet carried since my arrival in this country. But this Cross has been perhaps obtained for me by the blessed virgin immaculate, or it may be death itself, that I may cease to offend God. It is that for which I try to hold myself in readiness, surrendering myself altogether into his hands. I entreat Your Reverence not to forget me, and to obtain for me of God that I may not remain ungrateful for the favors which he heaps upon me."

 

There was found among his papers a Manuscript entitled "The Directing care of God over a missionary," in which he shows the excellence of that vocation, the advantages which it affords for selfsanctification, and the care that God takes of Gospel laborers. One sees in this little abstract the spirit of God which possessed him.

Source: Edna Kenton, ed, The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents (New York: Albert and Charles Boni, Inc., 1925), pp.376-387.