THE JESUIT RELATION<br />HIST 140 THEME 5<br />SUMMER 2011<br />BY: LE THI MY HO<br />
Introduction<br />The Jesuits Relations are among the most scholarly sources for the study of early American history<br />It draws us closer to the cultural encounters occurring in Northeastern North America during the early colonial period when the French came over<br />Members of a religious order, the Society of Jesus, who took vows of poverty and obedience that distinguished them from regular parish priest<br />Among them were the Jesuits, their mission was to convert “pagan savages” to Catholic Christianity<br />They followed the conquistadors of Portugal, French, and Spain to the New World and Canada<br />
Introduction<br />Jesuit priests were missionaries who lived with the Indians in their villages in the 1600s<br />They wanted to convert the Indians to Catholicism, hoping to make the Indians more dependent and dependable<br />Learned the Indian languages, recorded their culture in great detail, and studied and cared for the native people, hoping to convert them<br />Most Jesuits astonished the natives by their single-minded dedication by their lack of interest in the land, furs, and women that other Europeans demanded<br />
Jean de Brefeuf on the Hurons<br />Spent most of his adult life living in Hurons<br />Believes that theHuronssomewhat live a political, civil, and peaceful life among each other<br />Converting the Huron to Christianity proved difficult since they did not have any corresponding words to describe such things in religion or government.<br />Surprised of how in touch the Huron were with the natural earth but not much of understanding for things of Heaven<br />
Jean de Brefeuf on the Hurons<br />One of Huron’s legends of the origin of man is strikingly similar to the book of Genesis<br />Able to see the inconsistencies and irrationalism in the Huron’s belief system<br />Amazed to see that the Huron’s exhibited self control and lived in mutual generosity without an organized government<br />The Huron’s practiced cannibalism when they captured enemies<br />
Missions to the Iroquois<br />One of the “big accomplishments” the Jesuits were proud of was with the Iroquois tribes<br />The Jesuit success with the Iroquois was only possible after1667 when the Iroquois made peace with enemy tribes and France<br />The English were moving in on native lands and the natives saw that this was an opportunity to be an alliance with France<br />A treaty was made with France, which forced the Iroquois to allow Christian missionaries to settle within their province<br />
Missions to the Iroquois<br />Some of the Iroquois accepted the Jesuits at this point and became accepting of Jesuit teachings but they still long to preserve their culture and beliefs<br />Jesuits were known as the “Black Robes”<br />Some of the natives went to extremes to practice chastisement<br />Many of the natives started to settle near missions and some speculated that entire tribes would eventually congregate there<br />
Disease and Medicine<br />When the Europeans arrived to the New World, not only did they brought new languages, beliefs, people, culture, they brought with them old-world diseases<br />The new diseases became an epidemic that wiped half of the Natives population<br />The Jesuits were not doctors, their purpose was to save souls and when the epidemic struck the Natives, they believed in baptizing the dead rather than relieving and curing them while they are still alive<br />The baptizing did not favor the Natives<br />
Disease and Medicine<br />The Jesuits did not approve the medicines of the Natives <br />They were shocked by the rituals and beliefs of the Natives use of curing the sick<br />Many Hurons medical procedures involved the mind and body, spiritually<br />They believed that dances and games could cure the illness<br />The Europeans believed that when one is ill, he or she should be isolated from daily life<br />
Martyrs and Mystics<br />The Iroquois did not welcome the French Jesuits on their first meetings who captured and tortured the missionaries<br />The torture was extreme as the Iroquois would bite off fingernails, run knives through hands, cut off thumbs and run sticks up to the elbow<br />The Jesuits treated these experiences as Christ’s death on Calvary<br />
Martyrs and Mystics<br />Catherine Tegahkouitawas a Mohawk native girl that attempted to live her life in Christian perfection<br />She was arranged to marry but she resisted and remained a virgin for her entire life<br />Catherine was a perfect example to the Jesuits and Europeans<br />Her family was greatly disappointed by her devotion and used ploys to shake her of her faith<br />Catherine escaped from her family and lived the rest of her life at a mission<br />
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