Huron missionary, born at Dieppe, in Normandy, 27 May 1601, slain by the Iroquois at Teanaostae, near Hillsdale, Simcoe County, Ontario, Canada, 4 July, 1648. After two years’ study of philosophy and one of law, he entered the Society of Jesus in Rome, 1 October, 1621. Sent to Canada in 1633 he was first stationed at Cape Breton, where his brother Captain Daniel had established a French fort in 1629. For two years he had charge at Quebec of a school for Indian boys, but with this exception he was connected with the Mission at Ihonatiria, in the Huron country, from July, 1634, until his death fourteen years later. In the summer of 1648, the Iroquois made a sudden attack on the mission while most of the Huron braves were absent. Father Daniel did all in his power to aid his people.
Before the palisades had been scaled he hurried to the chapel where the women, children, and old men were gathered gave them general absolution and baptized the catechumens. Daniel himself made no attempt to escape, but calmly advanced to meet the enemy. Seized with amazement the savages halted for a moment, then recovering themselves they discharged at him a shower of arrows. “The victim to the heroism of charity”, says Bancroft, “died, the name of Jesus on his lips, the wilderness gave him a grave; the Huron nation were his mourners” (vol. II, ch. xxxii). Here Bancroft is in error. The lifeless body was flung into the burning chapel and both were consumed together. Daniel was the second to receive the martyr’s crown among the Jesuits sent to New France, and the first of the missionaries to the Hurons. Father Ragueneau, his superior, speaks of him in a letter to the general of the order as “a truly remarkable man, humble, obedient, united with God, of never failing patience and indomitable courage in adversity” (Thwaites, tr. Relations, XXXIII, 253-269).
He was canonized in 1930.