Black Robe Peacemaker: Pierre De Smet
Belgian Jesuit, Father Pierre-Jean De Smet couldn’t wait to get to the American frontier after arriving from Europe. Setting out for the mountain country of the Flatheads in the early 1800s, his heart was set on bringing the Word of God to a people hungry for his teaching. Traveling across the plains, over the Rockies to Oregon and back again – several times – his pioneering exploits rivaled those of Daniel Boone, and his maps and writings guided settlers throughout the western wilderness.
As the white man continued to encroach on Indian lands and the government continued to break its promises, De Smet stayed true to the Indians. They trusted him, and he worked as a peacemaker and go-between for the US army. In the end, he had to endure the loss of the missions he had founded and to witness the ultimate betrayal of his Indian friends. But all the while he stayed true to his vocation and the love he had for all native peoples.