20. St. Anthony Daniel, Gonzaga University

St. Anthony Daniel,
Gonzaga University, 1887
Spokane, Washington

Saint Anthony Daniel (1601-1648) was born in Dieppe, France. He was preparing for a career in Law when he came to the realization that his deeper ambition was to become a Jesuit priest. Anthony entered the Society of Jesus in Rouen, where he heard stories about the Jesuit missions in New France (Canada) from a young Huron native who had been sent to study at the college there.

After Anthony had been ordained a priest and was teaching in a Jesuit college, his interest in the missions was confirmed when he met Fr. Jean de Brébeuf who had returned to France for a short time from his work among the Huron people. In 1632 Fr. Daniel left for Quebec, where he spent two years learning the language of those with whom he would serve.

In 1634, Anthony joined Fr. Brébeuf, who had come back to Huronia from France, and began to work in the mission villages. Fr. Daniel soon became adept at teaching children by setting their catechism lessons to music. He also managed to win over many Huron adults who had been skeptical of the missionaries, when he went from cabin to cabin nursing the sick who were suffering from a smallpox epidemic. For over fourteen years Anthony lived with the natives in their villages and ministered to them.

By 1647, the saint had been having great success among the Hurons, but the Iroquois Indians had become a great threat to the missions. Shortly after returning from his annual retreat, the mission village where he was living was attacked and overwhelmed by invading Iroquois. Fr. Daniel confronted the warriors on behalf of the villagers who had taken refuge in the church. But he was killed, the church set afire, and his body was thrown into the burning building.

Saint Anthony is pictured in a missionary priest’s grey cassock with an elaborately decorated brick-red Huron shawl resembling a priest’s stole, and also wearing a rosary of brown beads. He is reading a green-bound catechism. Beneath him are symbols of the attack on the Native American village where he died: a fire and a lash.

The Gonzaga University shield features a gold eagle with its wings protectively spread over all the symbols beneath it. At the top of the shield is a Latin scroll which reads: “Deo, Patria, Scientia, Artibus” (“God, Country, Science, Arts”). Above the eagle’s head is the Jesuit emblem IHS with three nails. The right claw of the eagle rests on an open book, which represents academic studies. The left claw grasps a shield of stars and stripes representing the United States. Beneath the two symbols, a spray of laurel suggests the enduring quality of Jesuit education in America. The shield also includes two pairs of letters, AM and DG, on either side of the eagle. The abbreviation stands for the Jesuit motto: “Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam” (“For the Greater Glory of God.”) The inscription reads: Gonzaga University, Spokane, Washington; the date of foundation is 1887. The school colors are blue and red.


St. Anthony Daniel - Gonzaga University