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Martyr's Shrine - a Memorial Place in Midland, Ontario, Canada
Tourism, Travel Guide
In "Sainte-Marie among the Hurons" Jesuit Missionaries established a settlement and worked between 1639 and 1649 to reform the local Wendat or Hurons as they were called by the French to Christianity. The Hurons were Iroquoian-speaking people but were not really a part of this tribe.
Soon the Iroquois became enemies of the "black robes" and their followers. They were blamed for many illnesses and the pressure on the mission station kept growing. The necessary connection to Quebec could almost no longer be maintained. The Seneca, Ogondaga, Cayuga, Oneida and the Mohawk - all tribes that belonged to the Iroquois people made these trips almost impossible.
Before the missionary station had to be abandoned, some of the Jesuits and their helpers were killed by the Iroquois, sometimes under terrible tortures.
In memory of these martyrs, the current church was built on a hill in 1925..
Opening hours and contact::
See English original website - please search the Internet - the link given to us has been changed!
Furthermore, you will find a very detailed description of J.G. Shaw in English under the title "The Story of Martyr's Shrine"; here
If you want to learn more, search the Internet.
Even if you are not a Catholic, you should not miss a visit.
Of course, admission has to be paid but if you get vouchers beforehand, you can save some money.
Do not get confused by the first parking lot. You are allowed to drive anywhere. This is a great relief if you are older and can not walk so well.
You will also find clean toilets and a cafeteria on the premises. On the outdoor area you can also have a picnic and do some sports. Alcohol is prohibited.
The church itself is quite simple without all the pomp of Catholic churches in Europe.
I read that it reminds some visitors of a "long house" of the natives. Judge for yourself - I do not share this impression.
The sacrificial work of the French Jesuits for the Christianization of North America does not need expensive paintings, statues etc to be remembered.
Services were held daily at 9:00, 10:30, 12:00 and 19:30. We did not take part in any.
Pope John Paul II was here in 1984. His sermon in English can be found here
View from the grounds of Martyr's Shrine Church
From the church grounds you have a very good view of the surrounding countryside.
If you visit the "Wye Marsh Wildlife Center" across the street, you can always use the church as a guide to the direction.
For personal questions, helpful priests are at your disposal. Surely one of them is also one who can help you in some other languages. Visitors from from all over the world come to this place. We saw many from South America.
Below you can see the papal altar from 1984.
The papal altar from 1984.
Before we realized how big the whole area which surrounds the church is, we walked.
But we corrected that very quickly and made it like the other visitors by driving the whole distance by car. You can stop almost anywhere if you want to take a closer look or take photos of all the stations.
One of the stations that shows the ordeal of Jesus
Please read the little information booklet first. It is a helpful guide and available in different languages.
Complementary publications, keepsakes and religious articles can be bought here in a gift shop.
The proceeds will be used to maintain all facilities.
Definitely combine your visit to Martyr's Shrine with one from "Sainte-Marie among the Hurons".
You will not regret seeing under what conditions the early missionaries lived and worked.
One of the highlights of Martyr's Shrine is the portrayal of the ordeal of Jesus.
We only show a few of them in our website.
Come see for yourself and take pictures!
Every September, "The Feast Day of the Canadian Martyrs"is celebrated. It always takes place on Saturday (Saturday), which is closest to the 26th of September.
Call ahead for safety's sake, if you are interested. Phone 705-526-3788 or fax 705-526-1546.
Our visit took place several years ago and some of the information may be outdated.
The individual stations were not too far apart. There was always a group of visitors in front of everyone. Including many young people.
As has been said, the Pope visited this place a few years ago, and certainly many Catholic travelers from abroad have made a visit to Ontario to visit also Martyr's Shrine.
Another of the stations that shows the Passion of Jesus
The terrain may also be used for sports
We were very surprised to see so many visitors from the Far East and South America. But certainly some of them were also immigrants who found a new home in North America.
As you can see there is a lot of space in the picnic area and you can relax here from the sometimes strenuous tour.
Below you can see the "Crucification Shrine".
We are not of Catholic faith and therefore did not look at everything in detail.
We ask for your understanding.
Surely you can easily spend a whole day or even several days, if you want to study everything seriously.
Der "Crucification Shrine"
Martyrs' Shrine, Midland Ontario
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Sainte-Marie among the Hurons
Huron Quendat Village, Midland, Ontario, Kanada, Canada
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