There is a chapel in the bowels of the Pontifical North American College in Rome dedicated to the North American Martyrs and they were the mascots for the soccer team whose colors were, appropriately, red, black, and blue. The stained glass window there depicts a few of the men who traveled far to witness to the Truth. The Jesuits who undertook the spread of the Gospel in hostile and untamed lands often encountered both reception and opposition. North America was not a unified land and even with abundant resources, territorial disputes were contentious. So was it too for the vineyard of Faith.
The success or failure of the martyrs of North America is not measured by the integration of Catholicism into North America, or the overwhelming of cultures, or suppression of Native peoples and beliefs, but in the witness of those martyrs, especially to those whose lives they changed. I live surrounded by their efforts.
"Woe to you who build the memorials of the prophets whom your fathers killed.
Consequently, you bear witness and give consent to the deeds of your ancestors, for they killed them and you do the building.
Therefore, the wisdom of God said, 'I will send to them prophets and Apostles; some of them they will kill and persecute' in order that this generation might be charged with the blood of all the prophets shed since the foundation of the world, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah who died between the altar and the temple building.
Yes, I tell you, this generation will be charged with their blood! Woe to you, scholars of the law! You have taken away the key of knowledge. You yourselves did not enter and you stopped those trying to enter."
When Jesus left, the scribes and Pharisees began to act with hostility toward him and to interrogate him about many things, for they were plotting to catch him at something he might say.
-- Luke 11:47-54
Things to Think About