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Francesco Giuseppe Bressani
An Indian missionary, born in Rome, 6 May, 1612; died at Florence, 9 September, 1672. He entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus, 15 August, 1626 and studied at Rome and Clermont, teaching before his ordination at Sezza, Tivoli, and Paris. On his arrival in America he was assigned to the spiritual care of the French at Quebec, but the following year was sent to the Algonquins at Three Rivers. In April, 1644, on the way to the Huron Mission, he was captured by the Iroquois and cruelly tortured by them, at intervals, for over two months. He was at length ransomed by the Dutch at Fort Orange, and sent to France, where he arrived in November, 1644. In the following year he was again in Canada and labored zealously on the Huron Mission until its destruction by the Iroquois four years later. He continued, however, to minister to the scattered and fugitive Hurons. He was also stationed for a time at Quebec, where he occasionally officiated at the church. In November 1650, Bressani's failing health and the meager resources of the mission obliged him to return to Italy, where he spent many years as a preacher and missionary, dying at Florence. Bressani wrote the "Breve Relatione d'alcune Missioni. . .nella Nuova Francia" (Macerata, 1653) which was translated into French by Father Martin, S.J. (Montreal, 1852).
Thwaites, Jesuit Relations (Cleveland, 1897), XXIII, 326, 327; Michaud, Biog. Univ., V; Sommervogel, II.
EDWARD P. SPILLANE