Saturday, April 7, 2012

Eustace Of The Hurons Was Baptized On Holy Saturday

A Huron Indian warrior
........all that I can do is to declare sincerely the desire that I have for it. After that, if my Soul be burned in Hell, you will be the cause of it. But, whatever you may do, I will always pray to God, because I know him; and perhaps he will have mercy on me, for you say that he is better than you." "But," said one of our Fathers, " what made you first think of believing?" "Even before you came to this Country," he replied, " I had escaped from a great many perils in which my Companions perished. I saw very well that it was not I who extricated myself [19] from these dangers. I had this thought, that some more powerful Spirit, who was unknown to me, gave me favorable aid" (although the Hurons attribute to dreams the source of all their good fortune); 
"I was convinced that all that was only nonsense, but I knew no more about it. When I heard of the Greatness of God, whom you preach, and of what Jesus Christ had done when he was on Earth, I recognized him as the being who had preserved me, and I resolved to honor him all my life. When I went to war, I recommended myself to him night and morning. It is to him that all my victories are due; he it is in whom I believe; and I ask you for Baptism, so that he may have pity on me after my death." 
Was it possible to refuse such a Man? We Baptized him publicly, with some others, on Holy Saturday, and gave him the name of Eustache. When he had performed his Devotions on Easter Sunday, he started for the War with some of our best Christians, who had remained solely for the purpose of celebrating that holy Day, although the Troops whom [20] they were to join had already departed. But, before separating, finding that a considerable number of persons were assembled there belonging to various Nations, they wished of their own accord to hold a Council. Here, in a few words, are the resolutions that they took:
"Let us hereafter be but one body and one mind, since we all serve the same Master. Whenever any one of us passes by a Village wherein a Christian dwells, let him not lodge elsewhere. Whenever any one is afflicted, let him seek consolation among the others. Let us not reveal one another's faults to the Infidels; but let it be recognized, through the friendship that we shall have for one another, that the Name of Christian is a tie more binding than Nature's bonds.
'' Let us inform our Relatives who are not of the same Faith as we, even if they be our fathers and our children, that we do not wish our bones to be mingled together after our death, since our Souls will be eternally separated, and our affection will not continue beyond this life."
 Link (here) to French Jesuit, Fr. Jerome Lalemant, S.J. of his account as found in the Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents of a Huron warrior named Eustace and his story of conversion.

1 comment:

TonyD said...

In the book the warrior is described as being made Christian through his “series of combats”.

So the book, perhaps inadvertently, recognizes that Faith is a subjective, independent quality. A warrior can express Faith through war. His Faith reflects the values of his community and his Faith is recognized as real by God.

Similarly, Faith in the Catholic Church can be a real and positive attribute, even if that Faith coexists with values and judgments that are different from God's. Faith is a single attribute, which may or may not reflect God-like values.