When the Mohawks, from near Amsterdam, attacked Canada,
they captured a Jesuit Priest who they tortured and made a slave.
While a captive, he is believed to have been the first European to
see Saratoga Lake. Eventually he escaped when they visited
Albany. The Dutch paid a ransom for him and he returned to
In 1646 he was sent back here to make peace with the tribe. On
his journey he used the Saratoga Trail to return to the Mohawk
villages just west of Amsterdam.
Having passed by what is now an island, Isaac Jogues was likely
to have been the first European to see the lands of Hudson
Departure of the Jesuit by L. F. Tantillo
Jesuit priest, Isaac Jogues, is aided in his secret departure from the
colony of Rensselaerswyck by sympathetic supporters in
October of 1643, on the banks of the Hudson River.
St. Isaac Jogues, S.J. (January 10, 1607 – October 18, 1646) was a Jesuit priest, missionary and martyr who traveled and
worked among the native populations in North America. He gave the original European name to Lake George, calling it Lac du Saint
Sacrement, Lake of the Blessed Sacrament. In 1646, Jogues was martyred by the Mohawk at their village of Ossernenon, a site
near present-day Auriesville, New York.
Auriesville is on the south bank of the Mohawk River, about forty miles west of Albany, New York. Research on the part of Catholic
historian John Gilmary Shea, whose knowledge of the history of the early mission was profound, and that of Gen. J. S. Clarke of
Auburn, whose knowledge of Indian sites both in New York and Huron territory equally so, led to the identification of the place
where Father Jogues and his companions died. Rev. Joseph Loyzance, S.J., a parish priest of St. Joseph's, Troy, N.Y., had a lifelong
interest in the lives of the early missionaries. In 1884, Father Loyzance purchased ten acres of land on the hill where the village had
been located, and erected a small shrine under the title of Our Lady of Martyrs. Father Loyzance subsequently led a pilgrimage of
four thousand people from Albany and Troy to the shrine. Other parishes later adopted the practice of visiting Auriesville during the
In 1930, a unique Coliseum was built overlooking the Mohawk Valley, thus becoming one of the first circular churches built in the
United States. The Coliseum's design allows for the efficient seating of approximately 6000 worshipers for Holy Mass. Today the
grounds of the Shrine cover some 600 acres
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