Gabriel Lalemant

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Saint Gabriel Lalemant
SOJ Saint Gabriel-Lallemant.jpg
Jesuit, Missionary and Martyr of Canada
Born October 3, 1610
Paris, France
Died May 17, 1649(1649-05-17) (aged 38)
Saint Ignace (Waubashene near Tay, Ontario)
Honored in Roman Catholic Church
Canonized June 29, 1930 by Pope Pius XI
Major shrine Shrine of the Jesuit Martyrs, Midland, Ontario, Canada
Feast September 26 (Canada); October 19 (U.S.)

Saint Gabriel Lalemant (October 3, 1610, Paris, France – March 17, 1649, Saint Ignace, Ontario) was a Jesuit missionary and one of the eight Canadian Martyrs.

In 1630 Lalemant joined the Jesuits and in 1632 took the vow to devote himself to foreign missions. Despite the vow, he spent 14 years in France before going to Canada. He taught at the Collège in Moulins from 1632 to 1635. He was at Bourges from 1635 to 1639 studying theology and then taught at three different schools before arriving in Quebec in September, 1646.

Little is known about Lalemant's stay in Quebec. In September 1648 he was sent to Wendake, the land of the Wendat, as an assistant to Father Jean de Brébeuf. He was first posted to the mission at Sainte-Marie among the Hurons. In February 1649 he replaced Noël Chabanel at the mission of Saint Louis. In March Lalemant and Brébeuf were captured there by the Iroquois and taken to the nearby mission at Saint Ignace. There he was tortured before being killed on March 17, 1649.

North American Martyrs
Bressani map of 1657 depicts the martyrdom of Jean de Brébeuf and Gabriel Lalemant

Lalemant was the nephew of former Sainte-Marie superior Jérôme Lalemant. At the time of Gabriel's death, his uncle was the superior of Jesuits in Canada. In 1650, he venerated the remains of Jean de Brébeuf and Gabriel Lalemant in Quebec.

Lalemant was canonized by Pope Pius XI on June 29, 1930.

His last moments are recorded as follows:

"At the height of these torments, Father Gabriel Lallemant lifted his eyes to Heaven, clasping his hands from time to time and uttering sighs to God, whom he invoked to his aid." [He] "had received a hatchet blow on the left ear, which they had driven into his brain, which appeared exposed: we saw no part of his body, from the feet even to the head, which had not been broiled, and in which he had not been burned alive, – even the eyes, into which those impious ones had thrust burning coals." (source?)

His surname may be spelled either Lallemant or Lalemant by different references.

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