Sts. John and Isaac were two priests, accompanied by six lay-brothers, all Jesuits, who were sent as missionaries to the area of modern Canada and New York, and who were murdered by the locals for their work. They were missionaries to New France (Canada) in 1636, starting in Quebec and working among the Hurons and Petuns in the area of the Great Lakes.
This was a rough assignment – not only were the living conditions hard, but the locals blamed the “Blackrobes” for any disease, ill luck, or other problems that occurred where they were. They were captured on 3 August 1642 by the Mohawks, enslaved, tortured and mutilated for thirteen months. He taught the Faith to any who would listen. With the help of local Dutch settlers, he finally escaped and was sent back to France to recover.
In 1644 he returned to Canada to continue his work with the natives and negotiate peace with the Iroquois. Martyred with fellow Jesuit priest Saint John de Brebeuf and several lay missionaries when the natives blamed Christian sorcery for an epidemic and crop failure.
Holy Martyrs and patrons, protect this land which you have blessed by the shedding of your blood. Renew in these days our Catholic faith which you helped to establish in this new land. Bring all our fellow citizens to a knowledge and love of the truth. Make us zealous in the profession of our faith so that we may continue and perfect the work which you have begun with so much labor and suffering. Pray for our homes, our schools, our missions, for vocations, for the conversion of sinners, the return of those who have wandered from the fold, and the perseverance of all the Faithful. And foster a deeper and increasing unity among all Christians. Amen. – Jesuit novena prayer to the martyrs
May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen