Charles Garnier (missionary)
|Saint Charles Garnier|
North American Martyrs
|Born||May 25, 1606
|Died||December 17, 1649
Sainte-Marie among the Hurons, Canada
|Honored in||Roman Catholic Church|
|Canonized||1930 by Pope Pius XI|
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. On December 7, 1649 he was indeed killed by the Iroquois during an attack on the Huron village where he was living.
- Charlotte Gray 'The Museum Called Canada: 25 Rooms of Wonder' Random House, 2004
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