Saint Gabriel Lalemant, martyr
Il était originaire de Paris, mais il ne pouvait rester à enseigner la théologie ou la philosophie. Il arrive à convaincre son provincial jésuite de l’envoyer comme missionnaire au Canada. Il y rejoint Jean de Brébeuf et évangélise avec lui les indiens Hurons. En 1649, les tribus indiennes des Iroquois reprennent le sentier de la guerre contre les Hurons et les deux religieux jésuites sont faits prisonniers, torturés, avec d'autres prisonniers chrétiens. Les souffrances sont insoutenables à décrire. Ils entrent dans la paix de Dieu en 1649.
SOURCE : http://www.paroisse-saint-aygulf.fr/index.php/prieres-et-liturgie/saints-par-mois/icalrepeat.detail/2015/03/17/13851/-/saint-gabriel-lalemant-martyr
Saint Gabriel Lalemant
Martyr au Canada (✝ 1649)
Il était originaire de Paris, mais il ne pouvait rester à enseigner la théologie ou la philosophie. Il arrive à convaincre son provincial jésuite à devenir missionnaire au Canada. Il y rejoint Jean de Brébeuf et évangélise avec lui les indiens Hurons. En 1649, les tribus indiennes des Iroquois reprennent le sentier de la guerre contre les Hurons et les deux religieux jésuites sont faits prisonniers, torturés, avec d'autres prisonniers chrétiens. Les souffrances sont insoutenables à décrire. Ils entrent dans la paix de Dieu en 1649.
Jean de Brébeuf, Gabriel Lalemant, Charles Garnier, Antoine Daniel, Noël Chabanel, Isaac Jogues, René Goupil, Jean de La Lande, canonisés en 1930, patrons secondaires du Canada depuis 1940, ils sont devenus des figures nationales proposées en exemples à l'Église universelle. Avec nos découvreurs et nos fondateurs, ils sont nos architectes: leurs courses ont tracé nos routes d'eau et de fer; ils ont fixé le site de maintes de nos cités et donné leurs noms à d'innombrables institutions (hôpitaux, universités, collèges, écoles), à des villages, des paroisses, des routes et des rues du Québec. Davantage, c'est jusqu'au cœur même du sol qu'ils ont pénétré par leur sang répandu. (Les saints martyrs canadiens - diocèse d'Edmundston)
La célébration liturgique des saints martyrs canadiens a lieu le 26 septembre au Canada et le 19 octobre dans l'Église universelle.
Chez les Hurons au Canada, en 1649, la passion de saint Gabriel Lalemant, prêtre de la Compagnie de Jésus. Avec toute la vigueur de son zèle, il répandit la connaissance de Dieu dans ce peuple, et dans sa propre langue, jusqu’au jour où des ennemis, adorateurs d’idoles, le traînèrent aux supplices les plus cruels.
LALEMANT, GABRIEL, prêtre, jésuite, missionnaire et martyr, né à Paris le 3 octobre 1610, tué par les Iroquois le 17 mars 1649, canonisé par le pape Pie XI le 29 juin 1930.
Gabriel Lalemant était fils d’un avocat au parlement de Paris. La Relation de 1649 insinue qu’il appartenait à la noblesse : « Quoy que quittant le monde, il eût quitté la part que sa naissance luy donnoit à des charges honorables ». Il avait 20 ans quand, le 24 mars 1630, il entrait au noviciat de Paris. Deux ans plus tard, il obtenait de ses supérieurs la permission d’ajouter aux trois vœux ordinaires de religion celui de se consacrer aux missions étrangères ; 14 ans s’écouleront entre l’émission de ce vœu et l’arrivée de Gabriel au Canada. Dans l’intervalle, il est professeur au collège de Moulins (1632–1635), étudie la théologie à Bourges (1635–1639), il est ministre des pensionnaires au collège de La Flèche (1639–1641), professeur de philosophie au collège de Moulins (1641–1644), préfet du collège de Bourges (1644–1646). Le Journal des Jésuites note son arrivée à la date du 20 septembre 1646. Sur son séjour à Québec (1646–1648) nous savons peu de choses. Au début de septembre 1648, il arrivait à Sainte-Marie-des-Hurons, et il était appliqué à l’étude de la langue. Les succès furent si rapides qu’en février 1649 il remplaçait à la mission Saint-Louis le père Chabanel, appelé ailleurs.
Le 16 mars 1649, une armée de 1000 Iroquois envahit le bourg Saint-Ignace et s’en empare presque sans coup férir, avant le lever du soleil. De là, elle se rend à la mission Saint-Louis, distante d’une lieue. Ici, les Hurons se défendent énergiquement, repoussent un premier et un second assaut. Mais comme les Iroquois ont le nombre, ils ont aussi la victoire.
Jean de Brébeuf et Gabriel Lalemant étaient alors à la mission Saint-Louis. On leur conseille de fuir ; ils refusent, « et pendant la chaleur du combat, leur cœur n’estoit que feu pour le salut des ames ». Dès qu’ils sont fait captifs, on les dépouille de leurs vêtements, on leur arrache les ongles et on les conduit au bourg Saint-Ignace (à mi-chemin entre Coldwater et Vasey, dans le comté de Simcoe, en Ontario).
Brébeuf mourut le 16 mars, à quatre heures de l’après-midi. Lalemant a-t-il eu connaissance des souffrances de son confrère ? Nous ne le savons pas. Quant à lui, son martyre commença le 16 mars, à six heures du soir, et dura jusqu’au lendemain matin. Voici ce que la Relation en à retenu : « Dans le plus fort de ces tourmens, le Pere Gabriel Lallement levoit les yeux au Ciel, joignant les mains de fois à autres, et jettant des soûpirs à Dieu qu’il invoquoit à son secours ». Il « avait receu un coup de hache sur l’oreille gauche, qu’ils lui avoient enfoncé jusque dans la cervelle qui paroissoit à découvert ; nous ne vismes aucune partie de son corps, depuis les pieds jusqu’à la teste qui n’eut esté grillée, et dans laquelle il n’eut esté bruslé tout vif ; mesme les yeux où ces impies avoient fourré des charbons ardens ».
Son corps, enterré avec celui de Brébeuf, sous la chapelle de la résidence Sainte-Marie, était levé et transporté à Québec au printemps de 1650.
ACSM, Mémoires touchant la mort et les vertus des pères Isaac Jogues, etc. (Ragueneau), repr. RAPQ, 1924–25 : 3–93 passim.— JJ (Laverdière et Casgrain).— JR (Thwaites), XXXIV : 24–36 (source principale sur Gabriel Lalemant).— Positio causae.— Récit veritable du martyre et de la bien heureuse mort, du Pere Jean de Brebœuf et du Pere Gabriel l’Alemant en la Nouvelle france, dans le pays des hurons par les Iroquois, ennemis de la Foy, RAC, 1884 : xivs., lx–lxii.— Léon Pouliot, Notice sur Gabriel Lalemant, dans Les Saints Martyrs canadiens (Montréal, 1949), 25–28, 115–121.— Rochemonteix, Les Jésuites et la N.-F. au XVIIe siècle, II.
Jesuit missionary, b. at Paris, 10 October, 1610, d. in the Huron country, 17 March 1649. He was the nephew of Charles and Jerome Lalemant, and became a Jesuit at Paris, 24 March 1630. He arrived in Canada, 20 September, 1646 and after remaining in Quebec for two years, was sent to the Huron missions as de Brébeuf's assistant. He was scarcely there a month when the Iroquois attacked the settlement of St. Ignatius which they burned, and then descended on the mission of St. Louis where they found de Brébeuf and Lalemant. After setting fire to the village and killing many of the inhabitants, they led the two priests back to St. Ignatius where they were tied to stakes and after horrible torture put to death. Lalemant stood by while his companion was being killed. De Brébeuf expired at three in the afternoon. Lalemant's suffering began at six that evening and lasted until nine o'clock next morning. When the Iroquois withdrew, the bodies of the two priests were carried over to St. Mary's where they were interred. Some of the relics of Lalemant were subsequently carried to Quebec.
Relations, passim; ROCHEMONTEIX, Les Jesuites de la Nouvelle France; MARTIN, Hurons et Iroquois; FERLAND, Histoire du Canada; Journal des Jesuites.
MLA citation. Campbell, Thomas. "Gabriel Lalemant." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 8. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. 16 Mar. 2015 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08752b.htm>.
Gabriel Lalemant / l6lO - 1649
by ANGUS MACDOUGALL
Three Lalemants made their mark as Jesuit blackrobes in 17th century Canada. There was Charles, the first to come, brother of Jerome and uncle of Gabriel. Charles landed at Quebec with Brebeuf in 1625. After his enforced return to France in 1629 and after the restoration of New France in 1632, Charles continued his missionary role by acting as procurator for the mission of Canada.
His brother, Jerome, a very illustrious Jesuit in 17th century Que-bec, followed in Charles' footsteps and arrived in Canada in 1638. He immediately set out for Huronia and replaced the wonderful Jean de Brebeuf as superior of the Huron mission. To him fell the task of building Sainte-Marie, the ambitious central mission residence, and it was he who, in great measure, systematized the evangelization of the growing mission to the Hurons and their neighbors the Tobaccos and the Nipis sings.
Jerome went to Quebec in 1645 to assume control of the whole Canadian mission and so was at the helm during the difficult days of Iroquois attacks and the eventual destruction of the Hurons and their flourishing mission.
A truly eminent Jesuit in his time, Jerome was the advisor of gover-nors, Bishop Lava' and the other leaders of New France; he was a talented and devoted superior; a gifted director of souls, and a man much esteemed for his wisdom, prudence and charity. He served the Canadian mission long and well and has left us some of the finest Rela-tions, especially those of 1646-49 and 1660-64.
GABRIEL THE NEPHEW
Gabriel, the nephew of Charles and Jerome, arrived in Quebec only many years after his uncles, but his martyrdom at the hands of the Iroquois in March 1649 has given him the place of honor among these splendid 17th century Lalemants.
Our martyr was born in Paris, October 31, 1610. He was the son of an able French jurist and the third of six children, five of whom entered the religious life. His older brother Bruno became a Carthusian monk, three sisters became nuns, and Gabriel entered the Jesuit Order on March 24, 1630, at the age of nineteen. The youngest child, a boy, grew up to be, like his father, a successful lawyer and an admirable Christian.
His family must have been surely a deeply christian one, for Gabriel's mother was left a widow with young children and brought them up well and with a profound sense of dedication. She herself, after her children had reached maturity and after the martyrdom of her son Gabriel, joined the Recollectines and ended her days in seclusion and prayer.
Gabriel, after his novitiate, taught for several years in various Jesuit colleges. He then made his theological studies at Bourges and was ordained a priest in that city in 1638. After the priesthood he con-tinued to teach, being professor of philosophy at Moulins, and later was "prefect" at the famous college of La Fleche. But ever since his ordination Gabriel had begged his superiors to send him to the mis sion of New France. The example of his exemplary uncles spurred him on.
TO NEW FRANCE - 1646
We know that Gabriel was not very robust. Indeed, Father Bressani, a fellow missionary in New France and among the Hurons, referred to him as a man of extremely frail constitution. This, no doubt, was the main reason for deferring his departure for Quebec. However, his obvious goodness, generosity and insistence overcame all obstacles in 1646.
His uncle Jerome welcomed him to Quebec but hesitated to send him up to Huronia. He knew from his own experience the difficulties and rigors of that mission. So for the first two years he applied Gabriel to priestly ministry in and around Quebec and at Three Rivers, the great trading centre. In 1648 he had even decided to send him among the Algonkian Montagnais who were not too far from Quebec.
However, circumstances changed and the uncle finally allowed him to leave for Huronia along with Fathers Bressani, Bonin, Daran and Greslon and a large party of Frenchmen and Hurons. After all, the Iroquois menace was a real one and both French and Hurons had to travel in large numbers for their own safety and protection. They reached Huronia in August 1648.
AUGUST TO MARCH 1648-49
The new missionary among the Hurons, now thirty-eight years of age, seemed right in his element. He studied the difficult Huron language at the village of Ossossane under the direction of the able Father Chau-monot. The experienced missionary marvelled at his pupil's rapid pro-gress in the language and later remarked to Jerome Lalemant how seriously and successfully his nephew had applied himself to this task.
When Gabriel was deemed ready for more active missionary work he was sent by the superior, Father Paul Ragueneau, to assist the great veteran Jean de Brebeuf. In February 1649 he relieved Father Noel Chabanel who then left for the more distant mission of Saint-Jean among the Tobaccos. It was an eventful change for both of them!
Little did Gabriel know, but he would have only a month of active apostolic labor at the side of the admirable Brebeuf. Both were ex-tremely good and zealous priests, so we can well imagine how content they must have been making the rounds of their mission that comprised five villages to the east of Sainte-Marie. St. Ignace and St. Louis are the two we remember best.
As the frontiers of Huronia had shrunk under the incessant incur-sions by the Iroquois, villages like St. Ignace and St. Louis suddenly became alarmingly exposed to the attacks of the enemy. Indeed in March 1649, most of the Huron warriors from the villages were scour-ing the woods to discover the whereabouts of the enemy - but in vain! The crafty Iroquois - 1200 strong and well armed - had outwitted the Hurons and had arrived in the vicinity of St. Ignace completely un-detected.
Early in the morning of March 16, 1649, as the light of day was breaking, they found the one weak and unprotected spot in the pali-saded village and swiftly broke in and overran the place. Five hundred Hurons, mostly older people, women and children, were quickly sub-dued. Some were killed instantly but most were taken prisoner. Only three managed to escape to warn St. Louis of this disaster and of what was to come.
It was like a death blow to an already staggering Huronia.
At St. Louis, the old people, the sick, the women and children im-mediately fled off to other Huron villages. Only eighty warriors were left and these were resolved to fight the enemy and gain valuable time for the fleeing villagers. And with these eighty stayed the two mission-aries Brebeuf and Lalemant. Despite the pleas of the Hurons that they escape while there was time, the two fathers preferred to remain in this hour of crisis. As Ragueneau, their friend, would say later: "the salvation of their flock was dearer to them than life itself."
About an hour later the Iroquois surrounded St. Louis and pressed their attack. The eighty Hurons fought desperately to keep them at bay. And all the while Brebeuf and Lalemant, amid the din and shouting, busied themselves with encouragement, confessions and baptisms.
When one pagan Huron, dismayed at the sight of so many Iroquois attackers, wished to run away, Stephen Annaotaha, a Christian and outstanding warrior, rebuked him sharply with "What, could we for-sake these two good fathers who have exposed their lives for us? Their love of our salvation will be the cause of their death. They cannot escape now over the snow, so let us die with them and we shall go to heaven with them."
On the third assault the village fell into the hands of the Iroquois. The few remaining Hurons and the two blackrobes were seized and led off in triumph. They would provide the victors with much sport!
HOURS OF AGONY
"As soon as they were taken captive," wrote Ragueneau, "the Iroquois stripped them of their clothes and tore off some of their nails. When they reached the village of St. Ignace, they were welcomed with a hail-storm of blows on the shoulders, the back, the legs, the stomach, the chest and the face, until there did not remain a single part of their bodies without pain."
Then the two fathers were dragged into the centre of the village and fastened to stakes. Now the torture became deliberate and fiendish. They were burned with firebrands, their flesh was pierced with sharp awls, collars of red-hot hatchets were strung around their necks, their flesh was ripped and torn away, and belts of burning pitch were fasten-ed to their bodies. Cruelty was heaped upon cruelty.
At the height of these dreadful torments, Father Gabriel, we are told by Huron witnesses, lifted his eyes to heaven, joined his hands from time to time, and, breathing a sigh to God, invoked His help.
Later the aroused executioners gouged out his eyes and put burning coals in the sockets, and then, in mockery of the baptisms he had per-formed so recently at St. Louis, they poured scalding hot water over him in order, they jeered, to send him the more quickly to heaven.
Gabriel's companion, Brebeuf, died from his tortures about 4 p.m., that March 16th. Gabriel, frail though he was, endured his dreadful sufferings all that day and throughout the night, dying only, after a hatchet blow over his left ear, at 9 a.m. the following day. As a final gesture the Iroquois tore out his heart and devoured it in order to imbibe some of his courage!
After the sudden withdrawal of the Iroquois war party from the area on March 19th, seven Frenchmen went to St. Ignace to carry the bodies of the two fathers to Sainte-Marie. There, on Sunday, March 21st, their bodies - "precious relics" - were buried.
Ragueneau, the superior at Sainte-Marie, recalled the scene: "All who assisted at their obsequies were filled with such consolation and tender devotion that, far from being afraid, they hoped for a similar death for themselves."
And thus it was that the last to enter the lists of Huronia was one of the first to win the crown. He had spent only six months in the land of martyrs. But for him it had been an intense period of accomplishing much in a short time.
THE SERVANT OF GOD
For so long he had wished to give up everything for the salvation of souls. In his diary he spoke of his readiness to be a holocaust in the service of God and of his desire to make amends for any offences in his life by extraordinary suffering. And he had prayed that his missionary work and sufferings would bring blessings upon his beloved mother and the family to whom he was so indebted.
A Jesuit for nineteen years, Gabriel showed forth remarkable purity of conscience, unmistakable union with God, and a sincere love of others. Serious, reserved and gentle he was much beloved by all who knew him. Even in the few months he lived among the Hurons he had endeared himself to them by his ministrations. They called him Ati-ronta, the name of a Huron chief.
Ragneneau, his first biographer, wrote that Gabriel had died for the cause of God and had found in Huronia the cross of Christ which he had sought.
His uncle, Jerome Lalemant, had to break the news of his death to the family in France. He wrote to his niece - Gabriel's sister - the carmelite nun in typical Lalemant fashion: "What happiness for our family . . . it seems to me the news should help you raise your heart and mind to God."
Gabriel Lalemant, the martyr, was officially recognized and pro-claimed as such by Pope Pius XI on June 29th, 1930. In popular devo-tion his memory is always linked with that of Jean de Brebeuf with whom he labored and died.
SOURCE : http://www.wyandot.org/lalemant.htm
ST. GABRIEL LALEMANT (1610 – 1649)
Gabriel was the nephew of Charles and Jerome Lalemant, who were brothers, and who worked as Jesuit priests in the wilderness of Quebec and Ontario, when the Jesuits first came to New France. Gabriel was born in Paris, on October 31, 1610. In 1630, at the age of nineteen, he entered the Jesuit novitiate in Paris. Hearing stories from his own Uncle Charles, about the missionary work in New France, filled him with desire to go to convert the savage Indians. And even though his own family did not want him to go to the savage land of New France, Gabriel was not one to allow his family to stand between himself and doing God's holy will. Still, he loved his family very much, and wrote the following note: "I am indebted to my relatives, to my mother and to my brothers, and I must try to draw down on them the mercy of God. Never permit, O God, that any of my family, for whom Thou hast shown so much love, perish in Thy sight, or that there be one amongst them who will blaspheme Thee for all eternity in Hell. Let me be a victim for them!"
Gabriel completed his novitiate and took his vows of Chastity, Poverty, and Obedience, in 1632. Inspired by God, he also added a fourth vow: to consecrate himself to the foreign missions. At the same time God tested his patience, because he had to wait sixteen years before he was given permission to go to New France.
Gabriel Lalemant was sent immediately after his novitiate to teach in the college at Moulins. He worked there for three years before he went to study theology at Bourges. There he was ordained in 1638. The following year Fr. Lalemant was appointed prefect of students in the college of La Fleche, and in 1641, he was sent to teach philosophy at Moulins. He was prefect in the college at Bourges, in 1646, when the news reached him that he had been chosen for the missions in New France—his poor health had been the cause of the long delay.
After three months of crossing the ocean, Gabriel arrived in Quebec, in September 1646, where he was welcomed by his Uncle Jerome Lalemant; the Superior of all the missions of New France. Fr. Lalemant wanted to go at once to some Indian tribe to begin the study of their language. But his uncle was unwilling to send him to Huronia, because he already knew from his own experience, how difficult it was to work in the missions. So for the next two years he had Fr. Lalemant do his ministry in and around Quebec and at Trois-Rivières among the French colonists.
Before coming to New France, Gabriel had consecrated himself to Our Lord for the purpose of receiving from His hand a violent death, either in exposing himself among the plague-stricken in France, or in seeking to save the souls of savages in New France. And he esteemed it a favour if he were allowed to die for God's glory in the flower of his age. The favour that Fr. Lalemant so greatly desired was to be granted to him in all its fullness. On July 24, 1648, he was allowed to leave Quebec City for Trois-Rivières, to join the Hurons on their return homewards.
Carrying their goods was one the hardest tasks that the missionaries had to endure on their tiresome journeys westward, and after one of those tiring spells both Indian and white men rested for a few hours, often for the night. At last in the beginning of September 1648, after the tiring journey up the Ottawa River, across Lake Nipissing and down the French River, Fr. Lalemant reached Fort St. Marie, the headquarters of the Jesuits in Huronia. This was also a place where the Christians found a hospital when sick, a refuge when panic-stricken, and a shelter when they went to visit the priests and Frenchmen.
Fr. Lalemant, who was now thirty-eight years old, studied the difficult Huron language at the village of Ossossané under the direction of Fr. Chaumonot.
By 1649, the Iroquois had grown angrier. The massacre of Fr. Antoine Daniel and his people at Teanaostaye, in July 1648, served as a warning to the recent converts and catechumens of the various Huron villages, to prepare for the worst. It also acted as an encouragement for them to lead better lives, and as a result, a wave of fervour swept over the land. Between July 1648 and March 1649, the missionary priests baptised more than 1400 Hurons. Missionaries as well as Indians believed that they were on the eve of a catastrophe, and no one was penetrated with this feeling more than Fr. Gabriel Lalemant who had long before desired to sacrifice his life. He wrote: "My Jesus and my Love, Thy blood shed for barbarians as well as for us, must be efficaciously applied for their salvation. Aided by Thy grace, I offer myself to co-operate in this work and to sacrifice myself for them."
Early in the morning on March 16, 1649, 1200 Iroquois ran into the poorly protected village of St. Ignace. Five hundred Hurons; mostly older people, women and children, were taken as prisoners and some were even killed. Three Hurons managed to escape to warn the people at the St. Louis settlement that the Iroquois were coming to attack their village. At St. Louis, the women and children, the sick and old people, quickly hurried away to other Huron villages. Only eighty Huron warriors were left to fight off the Iroquois and with them stayed Fr. Brébeuf and Fr. Lalemant. The Christians begged the two priests to flee and save themselves, but these two good priests refused to leave their flock, which was dearer to them than their own lives. While the Iroquois were killing and scalping the Hurons, the two saints stood in the midst of them, baptising, giving them absolution and encouraging them to die for the Catholic Faith.
The Iroquois set fire to St. Louis and hurried back to St. Ignace with the two priests. The priests were stripped naked, had some of their nails torn out and were beaten with clubs until there did not remain a single part of their bodies that was not in pain.
Like Fr. Brébeuf, Fr. Lalemant received the same terrible treatment: his flesh was pierced with sharp awls, red hot hatchets were applied to his loins and under his armpits, and a necklace of red hot hatchets was hung around his neck! Boiling water too, was poured over him until his entire body was bathed in it. The wretches also applied burning torches to Fr. Lalemant’s body, gouged out his eyes and put burning coals in the empty holes! The more the two priests were tortured, the more they begged God to pardon their evil enemies. Fr. Brébeuf died from his tortures about 4:00 p.m. on March 16th.
Fr. Lalemant, who was of a more delicate nature than Fr. Brébeuf, raised his eyes to Heaven and with sighs, begged God to come to his aid. The Iroquois split his jaws, drew his mouth wide open and drove burning brands down his throat. The torturers left Fr. Lalemant's charred body entire so that his sufferings might cause him more pain during the coming night!
In all, our saint had to endure his sufferings for fifteen hours before he died. His soul sped to Heaven on the following morning, March 17th, when the Iroquois smashed his skull with a hatchet and left his brain exposed. Fr. Lalemant also had his heart torn out and eaten by the Iroquois, who hoped to gain some of his courage by doing so.
Fr. Lalemant’s precious remains were carried to Fort St. Marie, and he and Fr. Brébeuf were buried on Sunday March 21st. Barely seven months had passed, and Gabriel Lalemant had received the crown of martyrdom. The baptisms of more than 2,700 savages after his death proved that the blood he shed had helped to convert the pagan Indians.
St. Gabriel Lalemant: pray for us
LALEMANT, GABRIEL, priest, Jesuit, missionary and martyr; canonized by Pope Pius XI, 29 June 1930; b. 3 Oct. 1610 in Paris; killed by the Iroquois 17 March 1649.
Gabriel Lalemant was the son of a lawyer in the judicial court (Parlement) of Paris. The 1649 Relation implies that he belonged to the nobility: “Although, in leaving the world, he had left the share which his birth gave him in honorable offices. . . .” He was 20 when he entered the noviciate in Paris on 24 March 1630. Two years later he was granted permission by his superiors to add to the three usual religious vows that of devoting himself to foreign missions; 14 years were to elapse between the taking of this vow and Gabriel’s arrival in Canada. In the interval he was a teacher at the Collège in Moulins (1632-35), studied theology at Bourges (1635–39), was minister to the boarding-school pupils at the Collège in La Flèche (1639–41), was philosophy teacher at the Collège in Moulins (1641–44), and prefect of the Collège in Bourges (1644–46). The Journal des Jésuites records his arrival under the date 20 Sept. 1646. We know little about his stay in Quebec (1646–48). Early in September 1648 he arrived at Sainte-Marie-des-Hurons and he was diligent in the study of the language. His success was so prompt that in February 1649 he replaced at the Saint-Louis mission Father Noël Chabanel, who had been called away.
On 16 March 1649, a war-party of 1,000 Iroquois overran the little town of Saint-Ignace and captured it before sunrise, almost without striking a blow. From there they went on to the Saint-Louis mission, about a league away. Here the Hurons defended themselves stoutly, and drove back two separate attacks. But by weight of numbers the Iroquois were victorious here as well.
Jean de Brébeuf and Gabriel Lalemant were at that time at the Saint-Louis mission. They were urged to flee; they refused, “and, during the heat of the combat, their hearts were only fire for the salvation of souls.” As soon as they were captured they were stripped of their clothes, their nails were torn out, and they were taken to the little town of Saint-Ignace (half-way between Coldwater and Vasey, in the county of Simcoe, Ontario).
Brébeuf died 16 March, at four in the afternoon. Was Lalemant aware of his fellow missionary’s suffering? We do not know. As for him, his martyrdom began 16 March at six in the evening and lasted until the following morning. Here is the account of it given in the Relation: “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.”
His body, buried with Brébeuf’s beneath the chapel of the Sainte-Marie residence, was taken up and moved to Quebec in the spring of 1650.
Almost all that we know about Gabriel Lalemant we owe to the Relation of 1649 (JR (Thwaites), XXXIV, 24–36). JJ (Laverdière et Casgrain), passim. See also ACSM, “Mémoires touchant la mort et les vertus des pères Isaac Jogues . . .” (Ragueneau), repr. APQ Rapport, 1924–25, 3–93, passim. Positio causae. Christophe Regnaut, “Récit veritable du martyre et de la bien heureuse mort, du Père Jean de Breboeuf et du Père Gabriel l’Alemant en la Nouvelle France, dans le pays des hurons par les Iroquois, ennemis de la foy,” 1678, in PAC Report, 1884, Note E. 1xiii. Léon Pouliot, “Notice sur Gabriel Lalemant,” dans Les saints martyrs canadiens (Montréal, 1949), 25–28; 115–21. Rochemonteix, Les Jésuites et la Nouvelle-France au XVIIe siècle, II.
Voir aussi : http://www.unicaen.fr/mrsh/prefen/notices/3681jb.pdf