Tour

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1. Welcome Center & Museum The Welcome Center houses the gift shop, snack bar, restrooms and the Shrine museum.

2. The Ravine This path leads from the main Shrine grounds into the Ravine.

  • Martydom Signs: Signage in Fr. Jogues' own writing tells how he buried St. Rene Goupil in an unmarked grave in the Ravine after his martyrdom.
  • Wayside Shrine: Maria della Strada is a Jesuit devotion.
  • Wayside Crucifix: Pilgrims pray at this life-sized crucifix.
  • Shrine Original Pieta: A rustic pergola houses the oldest statue on the Shrine grounds.
  • St. Ignatius Statue: St. Ignatius of Loyola founded the Society of Jesus, the order of the Auriesville Martyrs.
  • Lourdes Grotto & Benediction Altar: Auriesville's beauty & sanctity may be referred to as the Lourdes of America.
  • Goupil Creek: Stream where St. Isaac tried to hide the body of St. Rene.
  • Martyrs Bridge: Spanning the creek is the bridge which leads to the sculpture of Christ in his Sepulcher in a wooded dell.

3. Picnic Pavilion The covered picnic area accommodates nearly 100 people at picnic tables.

4. Three Crosses Walking Entrance Three crosses are emblazoned with the names of the Auriesville Martyrs.

5. Candle & Prayer Room Shrine Priests and staff greet pilgrims here.The Candle Chapel, the only location for live candles, is a place for quiet prayer.

6. 1885 Chapel The first Mass here was celebrated in this tiny chapel on the Feast of Assumption, 1885. 4000 people attended.

7. Fatima Group Our Lady of Fatima and Lucia dos Santos & her cousins. Site of annual May Crowning.

8. Saint Kateri Chapel Built in 1894, these two chapels house the Tabernacle, relics & Our Lady of Foy. Daily Masses & weekly Adoration take place here.

9. Torture Platform Crucifix Site where St. Isaac Jogues and Rene Goupil survived days of torture.

10. Pieta This is a replica of Achtermann's Pieta in the Cathdral of Munster, Germany.

11. St. Kateri Statue Saint Kateri Tekakwitha,"Lily of the Mohawks' was born in 1656 at Auriesville.

12. Shrine Library & Museum 130 years of Shrine History; religious lending library for children & adults; and a meeting room.

13. Restroom

14. Theresa's Rosary Theresa was a 13 year old Huron girl captured with Fr. Jogues. She prayed the rosary on stones to hide her devotion from her captors.

15. Evergreen Cross The Cross of Trees is a symbol of the planting of the faith in New York State by the Auriesville Martyrs.

16. Our Lady of Fatima Replica of the original in the Vatican Gardens; marks the attempt on the life of Pope John Paul II.

17. Memorial to the Unborn Memorial to babies lost to abortion. Donated by the Knights of Columbus.

18. Christ of the Mohawk Sacred Heart statue welcomes travelers and pilgrims.

19. Coliseum Church Built in 1930, the Coliseum Church can accommodate 10,000. Circular like the Roman Coliseum, its 72 doors symbolize the disciples. It houses the Blessed Sacrament, the martyrs' relics, palisade reredos and much more.

20. St. Joseph's Garden St. Joseph is shown as a Worker and a Protector of the Church, St. Peter's Basilica at his feet.

21. Jesus Garden Atop the cross-shaped garden, plants spell the name of Jesus.

22. Sacred Heart Chapel Jesuits have a strong devotion to the Sacred Heart. Site of Outdoor Masses.

23. St. Isaac Jogues Statue Before his martyrdom here, Fr. Jogues carved crosses and the Holy Name of Jesus on the trees in spiritual consolation.

24. Mission Cross & Memorials Names of missionaries & founders of the Shrine are listed on wooden slabs.

25. Saints of Auriesville Museum Timeline artifacts, photographs, text, DVD's relay the story of the Martyrs & Saint Kateri.

26. Restrooms

27. Maintenance Shops

28. Jogues Manor & Shrine Offices

29. La Lande Jesuit Residence

30. Calvary Group Atop the Hill of Prayer, Sts. Isaac Jogues & lidne Goupil prayed the Rosary. Descending the hill toward the village, St. Rene was killed in 1642.

31. Goupil Chapel Rites of final commendation before burial are prayed here by the Jesuit Community.

32. Jesuit Cemetary Over 500 Jesuits from the New York & formerly Buffalo Provinces are interred here including Avery Cardinal Dulles, theologian and scholar.

33. Hill of Prayer Stations of the Cross begin at the Martyrs Chapel and end at the top of the Hill of Prayer where the rosary was first prayed in NY State.

34. Memorial Gateway Statues and wall on Rt. 5S mark the original entrance to the Shrine.

35. Esplanade & Stations of the Cross Panoramic view of the Mohawk Valley; pilgrims can pray the Way of the Cross from their cars.

Seven Sorrows Of Mary outline the 17th century Mohawk village of Ossernenon. Sts. Isaac Jogues and John Lalande were killed somewhere in the village in 1646. Mosaics on the Celtic crosses are from the Vatican City works.

DETAILS OF GROUNDS MAP OUR LADY OF MARTYRS SHRINE

1885 Chapel

In 1884, Father Joseph Loyzance, the Jesuit pastor of St. Mary's in Troy, NY spearheaded the effort to identify the site of Ossemenon. When this property was determined to be the site, it was farmland owned by Victor Putnam. Father Loyzance purchased 10 acres from Mr. Putnam. With the financial help of the Knights of Columbus, a domed chapel was erected in 1885. At that time it was located between the Martyrs Chapel and where the Pieta now stands on the brow of the hill overlooking the Mohawk River.


The chapel was only large enough for the altar, priest and altar servers. The first Mass was celebrated on the Feast of the Assumption, 1885, the 243'd anniversary of the arrival of St. Isaac Jogues and Rend Goupil as captives. Four thousand pilgrims stood outside the chapel to hear Mass and receive Holy Communion.

The Seven Sorrow of Mary

These , circular mosaics are products of the mosaic works of Vatican City. They depict Janssens' Seven Sorrows of Our Lady, call the "Via Mauls," or the seven Dolors. They are a favorite devotion during pilgrimages, and they approximate the parameters of the Mohawk village of Ossemenon.

The Stations of the Cross

The sculptured stations are finely detailed and painted. Each is framed in brick and includes a kneeler for pilgrims to pause and pray. The Way of the Cross is a devotion often includes in pilgrimages. The stations begin at the Martyrs Chapel and end with a solemn, life-sized sculpture of the Crucifixion atop the Hill of Prayer.

Our Lady of Fatima

The Blessed Mother appeared to three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal in 1917. She left with them "The Three Secrets of Fatima" that included predications of a Second World War, the spread of communism, and the assassination attempt of Pope John Paul IL

Today, the World Apostolate of Fatima actively promotes devotion to Our Lady of Fatima. A replica of the original statue in Fatima, containing a relic of the oak tree upon which the Blessed Mother stood, is exhibited at the Shrine every year. A May crowning of the statue takes place here on the first Saturday of May.

Katerl Chapel/Martyrs Chapel

In 1894, Kateri/Martyrs Chapel was constructed to accommodate the thousands of pilgrims who flocked to the Shrine. Originally the entire structure was an open air chapel. Thousands of pilgrims overflowed onto the grounds
The front of the structure is now called the Martyrs Chapel. Screens were added in 2008. Inside is an altar for Mass and Adoration, and pews and standing room for approximately 175 people. Beside the altar is a jeweled reliquary contains a bone fragment of St. John de Brdbeuf, one of the eight North American Martyrs. Known as the Giant of God for his massive stature, great intellect and relentless zeal, he was the leader of the Jesuits Missions in Canada.
On the other side of the altar is a replica of the statuette of Notre Dame de Foy. The original was found by woodcutters inside a tree in Foy, Belgium in 17th century. The Jesuits made replicas, each containing a piece of the original tree. These were sent to their missions all over the world and created significant devotion to the Blessed Mother. One was brought to the Mohawk Valley in 1675, resulting in an increase in fervor for the faith and in many new converts. St. Kateri Tekakwitha likely participated in the ceremony and procession upon the statue's arrival. It is believed to be the first statue of the Blessed Mother brought to New York State.
Behind the Martyrs Chapel is the indoor Kateri Chapel that was added in 1984. The Blessed Sacrament is present in the Tabernacle. Mass is celebrated here on weekdays, and includes weekly Masses offered in thanksgiving for the canonization of the St. Kateri, "the Lily of the Mohawks." who was born at Ossemenon in 1656. It accommodates approximately 45 people and houses a reliquary containing a bone fragment of St. Kateri.

Hill of Torture

Captives "ran the gauntlet" up this grassy slope. Sts. Isaac Jogues and Rend Goupil came up this hill as captives on August 14, 1642. Jogues returned twice more as a peace ambassador. He and St. John de Lalande, a teenaged lay missionary, were killed in the village on October 18 and 19, respectively, in 1646. A box of personal affects belonging to Jogues was mistaken for the cause of a crop failure and illness in the village.
Mohawk Village The Seven Sorrows of Mary approximate the parameters of the Mohawk village of Ossemenon. During the 17th century, the Mohawks were one of five tribes that made up the Iroquois Confederacy. This fierce alliance was formed to maintain peace among them, to defend against invading Europeans, and to war upon enemy tribes in Canada.

They lived in longhouses which were tunnel-like structures made of trees and bark. They stood 20 feet high, 20 feet wide, and were well over 100 feet long depending on the growth of the family who lived within. Bunks lined the walls. The people slept on the lower bunks and stored food above. Campfires inside were used for heat and for cooking. A hole in the roof let out smoke. Several families lived together — mothers and fathers, aunts, uncles and cousins, and grandparents and pet dogs. The longhouses were crowded and smoke-filled, and afforded little privacy. The village was surrounded by palisades, pointed log fencing constructed for protection.

The tribe fished from the Mohawk River and other rivers. They hunted deer, beaver, turkey and bear, and cultivated what they called "the three sisters": corn, squash and beans.

Into this community life, and on this very ground, St. Kateri Tekakwitha was born in 1656 to an Algonquin woman and the Mohawk chief. She would be become the first fruit of the martyrs' sacrifice, and would grow to be strong in heroic virtue. Her great love for her spouse, Jesus Christ, along with her penance and prayers gave way to many healing and miracles after her death. She will be canonized the first Native American saint on October 21, 2012.

1884 Chapel

In 1884, the year of the first organized pilgrimage to Auriesville, this little chapel was built. It housed a small altar where the first Masses on the rediscovered site of Ossernenon were celebrated. The first Mass here was celebrated in this tiny chapel on the Feast of the Assumtion, 1885.4,000 people attended. Restoration of the chapel was donated by of the Knights of Columbus.

I. Martyrs Chapel & Saint Kateri Chapel -Built in 1894, these two chapels house the Tabernacle, relics & Our Lady of Foy. This chapel dedicated to the North American Martyrs was the second chapel constructed at the Shrine. Built in 1894, it was left open all around to permit throngs of pilgrims to hear Mass from the surrounding lawn. It served the Shrine until 1930 when the Coliseum was built. In 1894, it was renovated and renamed The Chapel of Our Lady of Martyrs. Also added was the Chapel of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha. In the Saint Kateri Chapel, the set of windows behind a small altar offers a wonderful view of the Mohawk Valley. The intimate setting of the Chapel is home to weekly Adoration and Blessed Sacrament, special programs, as well as individual visits.
The names of both chapels adorn the front of the building.

3. Coliseum „Built in 1930, the Coliseum can accommodate 10,000. Most importantly it is rich in symbolism. The amphitheatre structure reminds us of the Romas Martyrs who died for their faith. Circular like the Roman Coliseum, its 72 doors recall the 72 the disciples. The 12 main aisles number the 12 apostles.

The triple circle of windows and the cruciform arrangement of four altars reflect the incensation of the offerings of bread and wine in the Liturgy. The stockade forming the cluster of altars mirrors the PALISADES that enclosed the Mohawk village of Ossernenon. 

On crosses on the columns are likened to trees where Isaac Jogues carved his crosses. Historically symbolism extends to the outside of the Coliseum.
Over the eight double doors are sculpted images of the eight North American Martyrs.
Father Isaac Jogues and his two companions looked west and south to the United States.
Father Brebuef and his four companions gazed towards Canada high atop the Coliseum is a glorious crucifix built by a person in Troy, New York.

4. Saint Kateri I" Location of her birth.

5. Pieta This is a replica of Achterrnann's Pieta in the Cathedral of Munster, Germany.

6. Memorial to the Unborn Child Fundraising Chair was Francis X. Attreed." The monument to the Unborn Child overlooks the Mohawk River. Erected in 1994, it consists of three sections. The funds raised for the monument came by the efforts of the Gloversville local Knights of Columbus via a radio-thon donated by Joey Caruso and Hometown Broadcasting of Johnstown. The funds raised surpassed $25.000.

7. Our Lady of Fatima " Replica of the original in the Vatican Gardens: marks the attempt on the life of Pope John II.

8. Official home of the Knights of Columbus

9. The Ravine'' Saint Rene Goupil's body was recovered in the Ravine by Father Jogues. Distraught and grief stricken, he placed it in a creek that runs through the Ravine and weighed it down with heavy rocks. He intended to give Saint Goupil a Christian burial when he was again allowed out of the village.

Kateri Tekakwitha Statue

A lovely white, can marble statue of St. Kateri Tekakwitha stands near the Shrine History Museum. Beside her are two Mohawk children. The "Lily of the Mohawks," was born in 1656 of an Algonquin mother and Mohawk father in Osserneron, the village that formerly stood here. Another statue of St. Kateri stands at the west end of the Saints of Auriesville Museum.

Madonna Della Libera

Near the entrance to the Coliseum stands the statue of Madonna Della Libera. The society that made this donation commemorates the miraculous deliverance of the original statue in Moiano, Italy from the hands of invaders. It was dedicated on August 13, 1967 but he top was broken subsequently in a storm.

Statue of St. Joseph the Worker Near the main entrance to the Coliseum stands the statue of St. Joseph. He is portrayed as a worker with tools of his trade. At his feet is St. Peter's Basilica, which was the scene of Vatican Council Il. This relief represents his role as protector of the Church. The statue was unveiled on October 27, 1963.

Saints of Auriesville Museum

A timeline of history details the convergence of cultures, warfare, and spirituality that took place in 17th century Auriesville. Mohawk and Algonquin. French and Dutch, Catholic and Protestant, fur traders and missionaries all played decisive roles in the sensational drama that unfolded here. It culminated in the Shrine of Our Lady of Martyrs, the altar stone of the Catholic faith in New York State.
Maps, artifacts, art, posters and interpretive text are arranged in a chronological sequence of venues that include the Mohawk village of Ossemenon, the advent of European fur traders, the Jesuit missionaries in Canada, and their capture and ultimate martyrdoms. Of the eight North American Martyrs, Saints Isaac Logue, Rene Goupil and John de Lalande shed their blood at Auriesville while evangelizing the native people. Among the first fruits of those seeds of faith planted by their sacrifice was St. Kateri Tekakwitha. A Mohawk/Algonquin woman born at Auriesville, is the firstbe canonized Native American saint. Her life story is presented in posters, an, maps. testimonials, and Native American bead work and basketry.

Accompanying text throughout the museum provides a self tour. Docents are available to interpret the historical content, spiritual dimensions, and the evangelical mission of the Catholic Church in the New World.

Shrine History Museum

Vintage photographs, ephemera, portraits, news articles and collectables/ souvenirs depict the 126-year history of the Shrine of Our Lady of Martyrs. Venues include Shrine directors, ethnic pilgrimages, Knights of Columbus. Boy Scouts of America and gifts to the Shrine.

A lending library for adults and children, and an adjacent sitting mom, are available for retreats, discussion groups and prayer meetings.

Hill of Prayer

The Stations of the Cross being at the Martyrs/Kateri Chapel and lead to the top of a peaceful knoll called "The Hill of Prayer." The Calvary scene depicts Christ crucified, a kneeling Mary Magdalene, the Blessed Mother crushed with sorrow and John the Apostle raising his head in reverence. Father Jogues and Rene Goupil came here to talk and encourage each other and to pray the rosary during their captivity. This is the first place in New York State where the rosary was recited. Somewhere between the base of the Hill of Prayer and parameters of the village, Rene Goupil was killed for making the sign of the cross over a child. His gesture of blessed had been misinterpreted as a curse.

The Mission Cross

Father Jogues eventually escaped from Ossernenon in July of 1643 with the help of the Dutch. He returned three years later as a peace ambassador for the French, the Canadian natives, and the Mohawks. Negotiations were productive and he was invited to build a mission at Ossernenon. The Mission Cross signifies his intention to build the Holy Trinity Mission. He and his lay companion, John Lalande, returned in October, 1646 to begin the mission. Due to a superstitious misunderstanding of Father Jogues being the cause of a crop failure, he and Lalande were tomahawked and killed somewhere in the village.
The wooden planks bear the names of other missionaries to the village, as well as the men who identified Ossemenon in 1884. The Society of Jesus then purchased the property and established the Shrine of Our Lady of Martyrs in 1885.

Statue of St. Isaac Jogues

Father lopes is depicted instructing Mohawk children about Jesus. During his enslavement, he often stripped the bark off the trees of the forest in the shape of a cross and carved the name of Jesus into the trunks. Contrary to what the statue portrays, he did not have his cassock and boots during his captivity. He was clothed in a deer skin cape and moccasins.

Pieta

A silver dome supported by eight Corinthian pillars shelters the sorrowfUl sculpture of the Blessed Mother holding the crucified body of her Divine Son. It is a replica of Achtermann's Pieta in the Cathedral of Munster, Germany. It makes the northeastern edge of Ossernenon.

Sacred Heart Chapel Devotion to the wounds of Christ began in the first centuries, and to the Heart of Christ in the I and 12th centuries. With the visions of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque of France during the 1600s, devotion to the Sacred Heart became widely known and popularized. The Jesuits have a special devotion to the Sacred Heart since it was a Jesuit priest, Father de la Colombiere, who was spiritual director to St. Margaret, and who kept a journal of her apparitions. The Sacred Heart Chapel was built in 2005 to provide an outdoor venue for Mass. The wooden altar is named for Rev. Neil Poulin, Si., a Jesuit priest from Amsterdam, NY who served as a missionary to the poor in the Pacific. Because he garnered his missionary vocation from the martyrs of Auriesville, his 1953 graduating class from St. Mary's High School in Amsterdam donated the altar for this Chapel.
Panoramic View The hill on the north side of the Coliseum affords a sensational view of the Mohawk River and Valley, and the distant Adirondack Mountains. On the hill is found:
Evergreen Cross This enormous cross of silver spruce and fir trees is visible to travelers on the New York State Thruway and to boaters on the Mohawk River. It symbolizes the planting of the faith in North America by the Jesuit missionaries.

Theresa's Rosary Theresa was a 13-year old Huron girl who attended a school in Quebec run by the Ursaline sisters. She was returning to Huronia with Father Jogues when they were ambushed on the St. Lawrence River. She was married into the Mohawk tribe in a village west of Ossernenon. Refusing to abandon her devotion to the Blessed Mother, she prayed the rosary on stones to hide this practice from her captors. She was a powerful witness to Catholicism to the native people.

When Father Jogues returned to the Mohawk Valley as a peace ambassador, he negotiated her release to her homeland in Huronia. However, Jesuit missionaries some years later again encountered her in the Mohawk Valley. It is not known what became of her.

A statue of St. Kateri stands in the middle of the rosary.

Our Lady of Fatima Monument

Overlooking the Mohawk River is a statue of Our Lady of Fatima by American sculptor Frederick Shrady. This replica was cast in the same mold of the original that stands in the Vatican Gardens. It marked the second anniversary of the attempt on the life of Pope John Paul II in 1981. Bishop Edward J. Magin blessed this statue on May 29, 1983

Monument to the Unborn Child

The Monument to the Unborn Child overlooks the Mohawk River. Erected in 1994, it consists of three sections. The middle section shows god holding a baby. On each side are respective images of the Blessed Mother and the Emblem of the Knights of Columbus, who commissioned the monument.

Christ of the Mohawk

The Statue of the Sacred Heart stands on the brow of the hill overlooking the Mohawk Valley.
The Esplanade At the east side of the Coliseum is a majestic panoramic view of the Mohawk Valley and of Adirondack Mountains to the far north. From the Esplanade, pilgrims can pray the Way of the Cross from their cars.

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