Auriesville, New York: National Shrine of Our Lady of the Martyrs
The history of the Jesuits in North America:
In the 1600’s French Jesuits arrived in Canada and upstate New York to evangelize among the native tribes of the area: the Mohawk and the Iroquois.
Contrary to what some revisionist historians might have you believe, these were not peaceful people suddenly dominated by European influence. In fact, their savagery and immorality were such that the Jesuits in charge of the missions warned their superiors of the great hardships that they would have to endure if the volunteered to serve here. The rampant immorality and barbarism of the indigenous population was something they would surely not be prepared to accept.
The efforts of the Jesuits were, by their own admission, modest at best. Some inroads were made but ultimately 8 of them were martyred, in most cases after enslavement, cruel tortures and abuse. Their willingness to die for the faith is an example to the world, even more so was their willingness to forgive those who tormented them even to the point of death.
The shrine of The North American Martyrs:
The shrine here honors three of those missionaries, as well as Kateri Tekakwitha, a native American convert who lived and died here at what was, at the time, a Mohawk village. Kateri Tekawitha was canonized a saint in October 2012.
The Shrine is open, with Masses occurring each weekend, pilgrimages, events, and the gift shop is open daily through the summer months and with limited hours through October.
Self-guided tours of the landscaped grounds are encouraged, and include the meditation gardens and Stations of the Cross, the Martyrs’ Ravine, and chapels for prayer. The Jesuit cemetery remains an active burial site for the USA Northeast Province and the final resting place for hundreds of Jesuit priests and brothers.
All are welcome to visit from April through October.
Restrooms and picnic areas are available, but the former gift shop and cafeteria will remain closed. While there will be no scheduled Masses or religious services, the chapel remains available for group prayer or for priests traveling with pilgrims to offer Mass. Please use this form to reserve a chapel or to make other inquiries.
Traveling to the Shrine of the North American Martyrs:
The Shrine is located north of Albany, near the city of Amsterdam.
Address: 136 Shrine Road, Fultonville NY, 12072
GPS coordinates: 42° 55′ 32.4120” N, 74° 18′ 9.9756” W
Tel: +1 (518) 853-3033
e-mail: [email protected]
Click here for the official website of the Shrine of the North American Martyrs in Auriesville, New York.