Death of Brebeuf and Lalemant

Two Jesuit priests - Jean de Brebeuf and Gabriel Lalemant came to the Huron land to spread the Catholic beliefs. In March 1649, both were captured and tortured to death by Iroquois, who believed that the priests were sorcerers responsible for the Indians' destruction.

The deaths came in the midst of the Iroquois struggle to crush the Huron. The warriors attacked the villages of Taenhatentaron and St. Louis. Jean de Brebeuf had founded the Huron Mission in New France and lived in St. Louis, On March 17, 1649, more than 1,000 Iroquois came.

They killed or captured almost all of 400 people living there. Both priests were urged to flee by the inhabitants, but they refused to leave their friends and thus were captured. Iroquois stripped the priests of their clothes and tore their nails out. Then the poor men were carried off to Taenhatentaron.

The Indians tortured Brebeuf first. He was 55- year old. He died first. Lalemant was tortured overnight and died the following morning.

The bodies of the priests were burnt. Huron villages were the target of Iroquois attacks, and many of their inhabitants were killed or captured and made slaves.

In June, 1649, the Jesuits abandoned Ste-Marie-des-Hurons, as they no longer considered the community a save place to live, and as the threat of an Iroquois attack grew stronger every day.

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