August, 1642 AD. The Jesuit missionary St. Issac Jogues is canoeing to the land of the Herons in New France when he is captured by Mohawk Iroquois. They torture him and cut off several of his fingers. He later escapes them and returns home to France, but he laments no longer being able to preside at the Mass. (Canon law prohibits him from offering the sacrifice with his maimed hands.)
An appeal is made to Pope Urban VIII in Rome for an unprecedented dispensation. The pope responds with this famous reply:
“Can one deny the right to say Mass to a martyr of Christ?”
St. Issac Jogues returns to Canada and sheds his blood a second, final time at the hands of those he came to save.