Thursday, May 27, 2010

There Were Only Two Catholics In The City of New York

If you go over to the eastern side of Fish Island you will find an isolated and stunted pine, which is known far and wide as " Captain Kidd's Tree," and you may have to listen to all sorts of gruesome tales about how the bold buccaneer buried his treasures somewhere in the soil and left them to the care of the Prince of Darkness. 
It is curious that Captain Kidd and Father Isaac Jogues, who are poles away from each other morally, should meet on this little green spot in the Hudson. 
After six days the ship reached New York, and the Governor gave Joques a most honorable reception, seating him beside the Dominie at table, providing for his wants, and changing his ragged and half savage costume for a civilized dress. Naturally the presence of a priest and a Jesuit on Manhattan Island, especially with all the marks of his terrible sufferings upon him, caused a profound sensation among the colonists. 
They crowded around him to ask about his captivity, and it is narrated that, on one occasion, a young man fell at his feet and, kissing the mangled hands of the priest, exclaimed: " Martyr of Jesus Christ! Martyr of Jesus Christ!" "Are you a Catholic?" asked Jogues. " No, I am a Lutheran, but I recognize you as one who has suffered for the Master." 
There were only two Catholics in New York at that time —one the Portuguese wife of the Ensign, who, singularly enough, had a picture of St. Aloysius in her room; the other an Irishman who had come up from Maryland. He gave Father Jogues intelligence about the Jesuits there and profited by the occasion to perform his religious duties.
Link (here) to portion of the book entitled Isaac Joques, S.J.: Discover of Lake George
Link (here) Fr. Z's post on kissing the hand of a priest.
Painting of St. Isaac Jogues, S.J. martyrdom at the hands of the Mohawk Indians (here)

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