Bressani, Francesco Giuseppe
- Conrad Heidenreich
Bressani, Francesco Giuseppe (06 May 1612–09 September 1672), priest, Jesuit missionary, and astronomer, was born in Rome, Italy. His parents’ names are unknown, and very little is known about his early life. Bressani entered the Society of Jesus as a novice on 15 August 1626. Over the next few years he requested repeatedly to be sent to Canada as a missionary. After studying in Rome and later in Claremont, France, he became an accomplished teacher of philosophy, literature, mathematics, and astronomy. In 1642 Bressani got his wish and was sent to Quebec, the seat of the Jesuit mission in New France. Finally, on 27 April 1644, having become sufficiently fluent in Huron to undertake missionary duties, he set off for Sainte-Marie in the Huron country, near the present Midland, Ontario, accompanied by six Christian Hurons and a French boy. Three days later, just east of the mouth of the Richelieu River, the group was captured by twenty-seven Mohawk warriors. Thus began Father Bressani’s ordeal....