Canadian Martyr's Shrine Pilgrimage

September 29, 2018
Midland, Ontario

The Canadian Martyrs Shrine honors the eight Jesuit saints who lived, worked, and died in Ontario and New York over 350 years ago. They came from France intent on spreading the Catholic faith, ready to give their lives for the glory of God and the salvation of souls.  They built the first Church in Ontario and converted many of the Hurons – the native people.

A rented bus will depart from the Church of the Transfiguration in Toronto promptly at 6:00 am, will leave the Martyrs Shrine at approx. 4:00 pm to return to Toronto – Church of the Transfiguration.
Cost: $20.00 per person.
For more information: Please contact St. Michael’s Priory,
P: 416-251-0499 or  [email protected]

The Relics

Within the National Shrine are the relics of three out of the eight Martyrs: St. Jean de Brebeuf, St. Gabriel Lalemant, and St. Charles Garnier.

Jean de Brebeuf was massive in body, strong, and yet gentle in character. His visions of the cross and of his future martyrdom were fulfilled after he was captured in March 1649. He was tortured for hours and finally martyred at St. Ignace, six miles from Ste. Marie, at the age of fifty-six.

Gabriel Lalemant entered the Jesuits at the age of nineteen. He was ordained at twenty-seven and then served the Order as a scholar, professor, and college administrator. Delicate in body, he had a strong desire to convert the Huron tribes. Thus after spending two years in Canada, he left for Huronia and quickly learned to speak the natives' tongue. He assisted jean de Brebeuf for only one month before sharing with him the palm of martyrdom on 1 7 March 1649.

Charles Garnier joined the Jesuit Mission in Huronia at the age of thirty-one. For thirteen years he served as pastor and missionary to the Hurons and Petuns. Gentle, innocent, and fearless, his great faith in God's goodness drew many to the baptismal font. Even when his settlement was attacked and he was himself wounded, he continued baptizing neophytes and caring for an injured Huron. He soon died from his wounds, about thirty miles from Ste. Marie.

Practical notes


  • The Distance from St. Ignace II to the Martrys’ Shrine is 18 km along a gravel road and paved trails
  • A rented bus will depart from the Church of the Transfiguration in Toronto promptly at 6:00am, and will leave the Martyrs Shrine at approx. 4:00 pm to return to Toronto – Church of the Transfiguration.
  • The bus fee should be $20.00 per person, depending on the number of pilgrims who travel by bus. There is room for 48 passengers.
  • Pilgrims will walk in different, smaller chapters to facilitate prayer and meditation. Priests will be available for confessions throughout the pilgrimage.
  • There are two Trails that lead from St. Ignace II to the Martyrs’ Shrine, both using former railway tracks. Pilgrims will be invited to take the paved trail as usual. But our staff will stay at St. Ignace 2 till 9:15am, to direct the late comers, using the shorter trail, which is a dirt trail used by ATVs.
  • A van will be available to pick up tired pilgrims along the way.
  • Pilgrims should bring a picnic lunch.  Water, however, will be provided.  A barbecue, held on the grounds of the Martyrs Shrine, will follow the closing Mass: for $5 per person, you will get a hamburger and a drink.
  • Pilgrims driving their own cars should drop all passengers off at St. Ignace II and then drive their cars to the Shrine, parking nearing the East Gate.  A shuttle bus will leave the Shrine at 8:00 am to bring the drivers back to the starting point of the pilgrimage.


  • 8:15 am   -Start of the pilgrimage at St. Ignace II, the location of the martyrdom of St. Jean de Brébeuf and St. Gabriel Lalemant.
  • 11:30 am -Procession to the church of the Martyrs Shrine. Prayer & veneration of the relics.
  • 12:00pm -Pontifical Mass, celebrated on the grounds by Bishop de Galarreta. Barbecue to follow near the Mass location.


The Martyrs' Shrine is located of Highway 12 just East of Midland, Ontario. It consists of a Basilica, Outdoor Stations of the Cross, and many other outdoor shrines. In the Church are the relics of St. Jean de Brebeuf, St. Gabriel Lalemant, and St. Rene Goupil.

St. Ignace II (as it is called) is the exact location where Sts. Jean de Brebeuf and Gabriel Lalemant suffered their martyrdom. It is at located off Rosemount Road, South of Highway 12.

Directions to St. Ignace II (Pilgrimage will start at St. Ignace walking to the Shrine)

  • From Toronto: Take 400 North past Barrie and Coldwater. Exit Highway 12 West, which is the exit for Waubashene and Victoria Harbour. The Exit Number is 147. (Note: you will see other signs to the Martyrs Shrine and to Highway 12. Do not exit at any of these, but wait until the Waubashene Victoria Harbour Exit.)
    ***Continue on Highway 12 West for about 3 Kilometres. There will be a Shell gas station on your right. Turn Left onto Rosemount road. Continue on Rosemount Road for about 3 kilometers, and right after going over a small bridge you will see sign: Camp Manitomno and St. Ignace. Turn left here to arrive at St. Ignace.

Directions to the Martyrs Shrine from St. Ignace II

  • Return to Highway 12, and at the Shell station turn Left. Continue on Highway 12 West for about 10 Km and the Martyrs Shrine will be on your right (on the north side of Highway 12; do not confuse with St. Marie among the Hurons historical site).

You may find the “Pilgrim Route Virtual Map”

Stay overnight

Pilgrims coming from a distance may camp on the grounds of one of our families living in the area.

Contact the Rugman family at 705-730-6730.

Contact: St. Michael’s Priory, Tel: 416-251-0499
[email protected]

Registration: Because of the larger number of pilgrims, we ask that you register for the pilgrimage at your local SSPX chapel. This will help our logistics team.
Please register by September 16, 2018
Registration form