So many of America's real antiquities concern the work of the early missionaries in Canada and the United States that a Missal in the archives of the diocese of Sault St. Marie, Quebec, is likely before long to acquire as high an antiquarian value as it has historical interest at present.
This interesting book was in use in the Indian Missions of Sault St. Marie until its venerability removed it from active service. Printed in clear type, despite its three centuries of existence, it could even now be used in the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice. The Table of movable feasts furnishes the date of such feasts as Easter, Ascension and Pentecost from 1637 to 1669.
LETTER OF KING LOUIS •
The Missal is prefaced by a letter written in quaint French, which recites the permission of King Louis of France to his very dear and well-beloved cousin. Armand Cardinal de Richelieu. Duke and Peer of France. Grand Master, Chief and General Superintendent of Navigation and Commerce of this Kingdom, Governor and our Lieutenant-General of our Province of Brittany, to choose and designate printers capable of properly printing such a Missal,
The King makes the proviso that certain copies be furnished to him gratis, which shall be sent to missionaries instructing the heathen in our Holy Faith. The Royal letter is dated at Fontainebleau, October 8, 1631. Undoubtedly this ancient Missal is one of the free copies given to the first Jesuit Missionaries of Canada, which has contrived to survive the vicissitudes of time.