Happy Feast Day!

Happy Feast Day!

Yes, folks, once again the calendar has brought us around to the feast of St. John Sarkander, priest and martyr (+1620).

Here is the enrty in the Martyrologium Romanum.

7.  Olomucii in Moravia, sancti Ioannis Sarkander, presbyteri et martyris, qui parochus Holesoviensis, cum arcana confessionum tradere renuisset, rotae supplicio datus est et adhuc spirans in carcerem deiectus post mensem obiit.

It is also the feast of St. Gabriel Lalemant, S.J., martyred by Hurons in Canada (+1649).  And don’t forget St. Gertrude of Brabant, abbess (+659).

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Henry Edwards says:

    Shame, shame, shame, Father Z. And all the while I assumed that Zuhlsdorf was a venerable and respected Irish name.

  2. Karen Russell says:

    St. Gabriel Lalemant?! This is his feast day?!!

    When I was a teenager in high school here in Canada, some forty years ago, our literature textbook had a poem about him, by a rather obscure Canadian poet which I, feeling strongly drawn to Catholicism and desperate for anything to nourish that struggling faith, found very meaningful. He was one of the early French Jesuit missionaries to what is now the Quebec/Ontario area, and eventually martyred by the Indians.

    And so, in his honour, here it is–quoted entirely from memory, so there are undoubtedly mistakes:

    Pere Lalemant

    I lift the Lord on high
    Under the murmuring hemlock boughs, and see
    The small birds of the forest lingering by
    And making melody.
    These are my acolytes, and this my choir,
    And this my altar in the cool green shade,
    Where the wild, soft-eyed doe draws nigh,
    Wondering, as in the byre at Bethlehem long ago
    The oxen heard Thy cry,
    And saw Thee unafraid.

    My boatmen sit apart.
    Wolf-eyed, wolf-sinewed, stiller than the trees.
    Help me, O Lord, for very slow of heart
    And hard of faith are these.’
    Cruel are they, yet thy children.
    Foul are they–yet wert Thou born to save them utterly.
    Then make me as I pray,
    Wise after their sorrows, clear to their speech,
    And strong before their free, indomitable eyes.

    Do the French lilies reign
    Over Mount Royal and Stadacona still?
    Up the St. Lawrence comes the spring again,
    Crowning each southward hill and blossoming pool
    With beauty, while I roam
    Far from the perilous folds that are my home.
    There, where we built St. Ignace for our needs.
    Shaped the rough roof-tree, turned the first sweet sod.
    St. Ignace and St. Louis, little beads
    On the rosary of God.

    My hour of rest is done.
    On the smooth ripples lifts the long canoe.
    The hemlocks murmur sadly as the sun
    Slants his dim arrows through.
    Whither I go I know not, nor the way.
    Dark with strange passions, vexed with heathen charms.
    Holding I know not what of life or death;
    Only be Thou beside me day by day,
    Thy rod my guide and comfort, underneath
    Thy everlasting arms.
    By Marjorie Pickthall

    Fr. Z:
    I think your post was designed to evoke a reaction, and this is mine! Happy multiple-feast day!

  3. Karen Russell says:

    I finally found my copy of the above and would like to correct the end of Verse 2, which I knew was off:

    Then make me as I pray
    Just to their hates, kind to their sorrows, wise
    After their speech, and strong before their free
    Indomitable eyes.

    And (horrors!) I missed Verse 4 entirely:

    Pines shall Thy pillars be,
    Fairer than those Sidonian cedars brought
    By Hiram our of Tyre, and each birch-tree
    Shines like a holy thought.
    But come no worshippers; shall I confess,
    St. Francis-like, the birds of the wilderness?
    O, with Thy love my lonely head uphold.
    A wandering shepherd I, who hath no sheep:
    A wandering soul, who hath no scrip, nor gold,
    Nor anywhere to sleep.

    The other, more minor errors I’ll leave alone.

  4. Karen: His Eminence the Cardinal Archbishop of “Mount Royal” is staying with in in our house here in Rome.

    I will ask him about the lilies.

    Thanks for your comments!


  5. Henry: As great a saint as St. Patrick is, I just can’t get myself worked up into a pseudo-green froth about his feast day. I am still mightily irritated at the fact that last year the USA bishops (with a very few exceptions) totally ignored the extremely important Lunar New Year, so important to Asians. The New Year has far more cultural and familial significance than the feast of St. Patrick does for the relatively few Irish folks in the world.

    At any rate, I think that a priest who was broken on the wheel and then covered with pitch and set afire because he refused to reveal a confession deserves some attention.


Comments are closed.