Venerable Frederic Baraga
By Patrick Cook - Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - 18 August 2014
He paddles Lake Superior, brings Bread
of Life to logging camps, Ojibwa villages,
builds rude log chapels in the pines.
Canoes up Little Munuscong, Tahquamenon,
Big Two-Heart. When rivers freeze he tramps
in snowshoes, sleeps curled up between two fires.
In bitter January he stays home
in L'Anse translating prayer books, preaches
in eight languages, prays for strength.
Blackfly-bitten, hungry, lonely, cold, he suffers
brutal weather, brutal men. It takes him
thirty years to wear his body out.
He lies beneath the altar in Marquette.
After the good fight he travels no more.