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Dear America Wiki

"What a Blessing Is This Peace" is a short story published in the Dear Canada book, A Season for Miracles. Written by Maxine Trottier, the story serves as a follow-up to her 2003 book Alone in an Untamed Land. It was also translated into French under the title, "Une paix bienvenue."


"Hélène St. Onge began her voyage to New France with her sister, Catherine, who died on the voyage. She wed in the summer of 1667 and became not only a wife but a step-mother."


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See also: List of Alone in an Untamed Land characters


  • Hélène Aubry (née St.Onge) was Jean's wife and Kateri's stepmother. She lived with her family in Montréal. In December 1667, she visited Kateri's maternal family at a nearby mission. Kateri's grandmother gave her the Mohawk name Ionattokha ("She Is Wise").


  • Ákhsotha and Rakhsotha were Kateri's Mohawk grandparents. They accepted Hélène immediately into their family. Kateri's grandmother later gave Hélène a Mohawk name after she nursed Owira back to health.
  • Barbe Moitié ("Tante") was Hélène's aunt who owned an inn. After receiving a message from Hélène, Barbe worried that she and Kateri may have fallen ill. She insisted that Charles Boquet bring her to the mission.
  • Jean Aubry, also known by his Mohawk name Sawatis,[1] was the husband of Hélène and father of Kateri. He operated a gun shop in Montréal. Jean was close to his Mohawk in-laws and introduced his new wife to them in December 1667.
  • Kateri Aubry was Hélène's stepdaughter. She lived with her family and her dog Ourson in Montréal. Kateri visited her maternal family in December 1667. She was very fond of her grandparents.


  • Cavalier de la Salle was a friend of Jean. He arrived in New France in late 1667. Hélène described him as "a fellow who ceaselessly talks of exploring the wilderness."
  • Charles Boquet, a resident of La Prairie. He worked as an interpreter for Père Raffeix. Charles later delivered a message to Barbe and brought her to the mission.
  • Minette and Sottise, two cats owned by the Aubry family.
  • Ourson was Kateri's pet dog. Barbe later brought him with her when she went to the mission.
  • Owira ("Baby") was the child of Sonhatsi and Atiron. The baby became ill near Christmas. Hélène helped nurse him back to health.
  • Père Raffeix was a priest who opened a mission, called La Prairie, outside of Montréal. His goal was to convert the local natives to Christianity.
  • Séraphin Poule[2] was a friend of the Aubrys. He looked after Jean's shop while they were visiting relatives.
  • Sonhatsi and Atiron was Kateri's cousin and his wife. They had one child, called Owira.




  1. A Season for Miracles, "What a Blessing Is This Peace", page 94
  2. His name is misspelled "Seraphim."

See also[]