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Blackrobe Peacemaker: Pierre de Smet
Blackrobe Peacemaker: Pierre de Smet
American Catholic Biography series
Price: $14.95

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Belgian Jesuit, Father Pierre-Jean De Smet couldn’t wait to get to the American frontier after arriving from Europe. Setting out for the mountain country of the Flatheads in the early 1800s, his heart was set on bringing the Word of God to a people hungry for his teaching. Traveling across the plains, over the Rockies to Oregon and back again—several times—his pioneering exploits rivaled those of Daniel Boone, and his maps and writings guided settlers throughout the western wilderness.

As the white man continued to encroach on Indian lands and the government continued to break its promises, De Smet stayed true to the Indians. They trusted him, and he worked as a peacemaker and go-between for the US army. In the end, he had to endure the loss of the missions he had founded and to witness the ultimate betrayal of his Indian friends. But all the while he stayed true to his vocation and the love he had for all native peoples.

“I have not come to rule you, or to change the ways of your fathers. Later, perhaps, you may think it wise to settle in one place which suits you and is fertile. If you learn to take your living from the earth, you can escape the hungry times and defend yourselves better against your enemies. I will teach you how to do this if you wish it, but for the present I shall talk to you only of God.”

Father De Smet to the Flatheads

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