Saturday, October 23, 2010

Fr. Jacques Marquette, S.J.

Père (Father or Fr.) Jacques Marquette, S.J. (1637-1675) = Jesuit Priest. Missionary. Explorer. Along with French Canadian fur trader, Louis Joliet (1645-1700), Marquette is best known as the discoverer of the mouth of the Missouri River. Marquette was born in Laon, France on June 1, 1637, to Nicolas & Rose de la Salle Marquette. His father,a lawyer, provided a good life for his large family.
When Jacques turned nine, he went to study at the Jesuit school in Reims, France. The Society of Jesus or the Jesuits were a religious order for men within the Roman Catholic Church founded by St. Ignatius of Loyola*. Marquette dreamed of becoming a missionary, one who brings the message of Christ to others. When he turned 29, he was ordained a priest, given the title Father and wore the black robe of the order.
King Louis XIV of France was eager to expand French territory in the New World and sponsored an overseas mission in which Marquette was chosen to go. When he reached New France, present-day Canada, he lived near several missions, gaining the trust of the native peoples and learning their languages.
Marquette met Louis Joliet, a fur trader and map maker and prepared an expedition to explore a great river nearby. They departed on May (some books say June) 17, 1673. When they reached the Mississippi River which forms the eastern border of the present-day state of Missouri, they sailed down it as far as the mouth of the Arkansas River, where they turned around
because of their fear of the Spanish army.
After Marquette fell ill on the return trip, his health was never quite the same afterwards. He passed away in 1675.
More to Read:
1. Collection of Travels (Recueil de Voyages). Marquette's Journal. Paris; 1681.
2. Famous Explorers Five Part Series Video: Marquette & Joliet. Produced by Film Ideas, Inc. Wheeling, IL. 2002.
3. Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet. By Jeff Donaldson-Forbes. 2002.
4. Marquette & Jolliet: Quest for the Mississippi. By Alexander Zelenyj. 2007.
5. The Explorations of Pere Marquette. By Jim Kjelgaard. Random House, 1951.
6. The Life and Times of Father Jacques Marquette. By Susan Sales & William H. Harkins. 2009.
7. Webster's Biographical Dictionary. G & C. Merriam, 1956.
8. Dictionary of Christianity in America. Editors: Daniel G. Reid, Robert D. Linder, Bruce L.Shelley, &  Harry S. Stout, Intervarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL, 1990.
9. Findagrave #671 

Places to Visit in MO.
The Mississippi River
The Missouri River

Historical Trivia:
The great Mississippi river was known by Native Americans of the region as Missi Sepe, meaning "Father of Waters". The Missouri River was called the Pekitanoui or "Muddy Water."

Teach Us to Serve Thee, Lord
By St. Ignatius of Loyola, (1491-1556)

Teach us, good Lord, to serve Thee as Thou deservest:
To give and not to count the cost;
To fight and not to heed the wounds;
To toil and not to seek for rest;
To labor and not ask for any reward
Save that of knowing that we do Thy will. Amen.


  1. whos jacques marquettes family

  2. He doesn't have descendants as he was a Catholic priest, but he probably has nieces and nephews. Did you check out the books I have listed for family information?

  3. My mother told me he's in our family tree. Not sure where exactly.


Ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. ~ Ephesians 1:15-17.