National Shrine of the North American Martyrs

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Interior of the Coliseum at the National Shrine of the North American Martyrs, Auriesville, New York, showing the sanctuary and high altar.

The National Shrine of the North American Martyrs, also dedicated as the Shrine of Our Lady of Martyrs, is a Roman Catholic shrine in Auriesville, New York dedicated to the Jesuit missionaries who were martyred at the Mohawk Indian village of Ossernenon between 1642 and 1646. Saint Rene Goupil, a Jesuit brother, was martyred in 1642. Saint Isaac Jogues, a Jesuit priest, and Saint John Lalande, a lay missionary, were martyred in 1646. They remain the only canonized martyrs of the United States. The first recitation of the Rosary in what is now New York State took place at the site on September 29, 1642. Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, a Mohawk woman, was born there in 1656. She later converted to Christianity and was baptized in what is now nearby Fonda, New York. While the missionaries were in Ossernenon and the adjacent Indian towns, she and other Mohawk converts were known for their exact Christian life, and in many instances for their exalted piety.[1] Saint Kateri was beatified in 1980 by Pope John Paul II, and was canonized a Saint by his successor, Pope Benedict XVI, on Sunday, October 21, 2012, along with some others.

The shrine was founded in 1885, and was dedicated to the Virgin Mary under the title Our Lady of Martyrs. 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.[2] Today the grounds of the Shrine cover some 600 acres (2.4 km2).[3]

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Media related to National Shrine of the North American Martyrs at Wikimedia Commons

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