Father Andrew White converts “Anacostan Indian”

2010-March-3800-img-1“An Anacostan Indian fell into a Sesquehanna ambush, and pierced from side to side with the keen spear, lay weltering in his blood. His friends recalled by his cry bore him to Piscataway and laid him on a mat before his door. Here Father White found him chanting in his dying voice the never-forgotten death song, while his friends join in, the Christians invoking the aid of heaven in his behalf. He too was a Christian, and Father White, seeing his perilous state, renewed his faith and heard his confession. Then reading a gospel and the Litany of Loretto over him, he urged him to commend himself to Jesus and Mary. After applying to his wounds a relic of the Holy Cross he directed the attendants to bring his corpse to the chapel for burial, and then launched his canoe to visit a dying catechumen. As he was returning the next day, to his amazement he beheld the same Indian approaching him in a canoe, paddling with as vigorous a stroke as his his comrade. Still greater was Father White’s surprise when the Indian, stepping into his boat, threw off his blanket and showed a red line, the only trace of his deadly wound. Glorifying God for so signal a favor, the good missionary admonished the happy man never to be ungrateful to god…”


Shea, John Gilmary. History of the Catholic Missions Among the Indian Tribes of the United States, 1529-1854, Edward Dunigan & Bro., 1854, p. 493.


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