Black Robe Peacemaker: Pierre de Smet

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  In 1867 the President of the United States set up a commission of three generals to end the wars with the Sioux Indians for good—he hoped!—through a just treaty. Only one person in all the United States, the commissioners thought, just might be acceptable by the Sioux for parley: the priest- missionary, Fr. Pierre De Smet. Black Robe Peacemaker relates Father De Smet’s story, his fearless character, remarkable encounters and depth of love for the tribes he served. As a restless young Belgian, Pierre’s vocation is triggered by the testimony of Fr. Charles Nerinckx, a Jesuit missionary. In 1821 De Smet joins the pioneering Jesuits in America to bring the Gospel to the Indians. His great chance to reach the Native Americans begins in earnest when two tribesmen from the northern Rockies beg for a "Black Robe" to teach them. Fr De Smet comes, and his courage and honesty quickly earn him the Indians’ respect and admiration. He touches the hearts of many natives and brings them to faith in the Triune God. Conflicts between white settlers and the Indian nations increase, yet he, the Black Robe, is one man both sides listen to. Though Fr De Smet’s heroic work is threatened with destruction, we glimpse, amidst man’s wickedness, the mysterious power of God’s purposes in the life of this great servant of Christ.

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