24. St. Rene Goupil, Rockhurst College

St. Rene Goupil
Rockhurst College, 1910

Kansas City, Missouri

Saint Rene Goupil (1608-1642) came from Anjou, France. He began a life of service to others by becoming a surgeon but found that he desired something of even more significance: he wanted to become a Jesuit priest. His hearing was so poor that he could not serve in that capacity, so Rene offered himself to the Society of Jesus as a lay volunteer. He was accepted, and went to Quebec in order to provide health-care for both French settlers and the native Algonquin people who lived in the area.

After two years in Quebec, Rene met the Jesuit priest, Isaac Jogues, who had recently returned from France, and joined him on a journey to the Huron missions. On their way, they were captured by members of the Mohawk tribe and subjected to many severe tortures. Rene asked Father Jogues to receive him as a Jesuit, so the doctor made his vows and became a member of the Society of Jesus. After two weeks in captivity, the saint was martyred by tomahawk in the location now known as Auriesville, New York.

Rene is shown a wearing the clothing of a lay volunteer. There are two small images of flames to either side of his head, and he stands with hands bound on crossed Indian tomahawks. These symbols indicate the tortures he endured and the manner of his death. Beneath his feet, the fir trees, one by a snow bank, the other by a running brook, represent locations of his service in the North American countryside.

The Rockhurst shield is divided into four parts by a large cross that has seven pillars on it which represent the seven liberal arts. The upper left quarter of the shield contains the stripes of the Oñaz family, on the maternal side of Saint Ignatius. On the upper right side there is a red grouse from the coat of arms of Saint Thomas More to whom the college was dedicated. In the lower left, there is holly tree from the arms of the Dowling family, because Father Michael Dowling, S.J., was the founder and first president. On the opposite side of the shield there is a large rock and a group of trees, or "hurst," which identify the locality as Rockhurst. The inscription reads: Rockhurst College, Kansas City, Mo. The date of foundation is 1910. The school colors are royal blue and white.


Rene Goupil - Rockhurst College