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The way Catholic missionary work is presented in the letters of Marie de l’Incarnation and in the comments of Frances Brooke

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These contrasts can be observed in early works of Canadian literature such as the letters of Marie de l’Incarnation and Frances Brookes character Lieutenant Colonel Ed Rivers. While Marie represents a nun from the Ursuline order and an actual person, the Colonel is a fictional character from the works of Frances Brookes that had been shaped around the lives of actual people in contemporary Canadian society. The backgrounds of the works and the backgrounds of their authors will serve as important indicators along with the works to decipher how their views on Catholic missionary work differ. Marie de l’Incarnation decided to dedicate her life to missionary work in the new world after the death of her husband and the period following it. Marie managed her brother in law’s business in France for quite some time after her husband’s death but eventually she chose to serve God. In this endeavor she left her eleven year old son in the care of her sister and joined the Ursuline monastery in Tours. Rising through the ranks Marie volunteered to go to Canada and there she worked with the Native American Indians who she often referred to as savages. Marie’s only reason for coming to Canada was doing missionary work and she strived to win souls to Jesus (Marshall 75). …
Being a woman herself, the bulk of Marie’s work was directed to the uplift of the Native American Indian women and her letters reflect this. The natives have been referred to as savages time and again by Marie and have been scrutinized ethnocentrically by her. She describes the locals as having poor clothing but delightful spirits. This indicates that Marie viewed these people as innocent and simple yet pushed into barbaric ways with enough margins to rescue them through the work of the Catholic Church (Rowan). She expresses this by stating in her letters that (Marshall 79): The candor and simplicity of their spirits are so delightful that they cannot be described. This indicates that Marie considers the natives simple people and is ready to put herself fully into her work in order to rescue these souls. She states (Marshall 79): It is a singular consolation to us to deprive ourselves of all that is most necessary in order to win souls to Jesus Christ, and we would prefer to lack everything rather than leave our girls in the unbearable filth they bring from their cabins. While Marie considers these people simple yet she tends to condescend upon them as uncivilised and dirty as indicated by the statement above. This is a necessary trait that was shared commonly by Christian missionaries around the world. The missionaries were convinced that their work was going to improve the lives of the savage peoples they were working with by imparting Christian values even if it means that the native culture was eliminated in the process (Zecher). Moreover like other missionary settings, Marie is prepared to use any amount of resources in order to win over the natives. In one of her letters,