In the 1640’s Renee Goupil, Fr. Isaac Jogues, and John LaLande wre martyred by the Mohawk Indians. In 1885, Father Joseph Loyzance S.J., purchased the location of the Mohwak village of Osserneon, the site of their martyrdom and the birthplace of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha and built a simple chapel on the hill. The martyrs were canonized in 1930 and were the first canonized saints in North America. The current shrine, the Shrine of Our Lady of Matyrs, was established as a monument to them and Auriesville was called “natures own reliquary” by Pope Pius XII. Kateri Tekakwitha, the first laywoman in North America to be beatified, is also honored here. There is a Martyrs Museum adjacent to the church is home to relics of the missionaries and their Indian converts. Be sure to visit the Way of the Cross leads to the top of the hill where Father Jogues and Brother Groupil prayed during their captivity.