282: The Child Martyr: Aurore Gagnon

Episode 282: Aurore Gagnon is probably one of the most tragic figures in twentieth-century Canadian history. She was only ten years old when she died of exhaustion and blood poisoning in her hometown of Sainte-Philomène-de-Fortierville, Quebec, on February 12, 1920. An autopsy revealed at least 54 wounds on her body, presumably inflicted over time by her stepmother Marie-Anne Houde and her father, Télesphore Gagnon. Both were later convicted for their roles in the little girl’s death. Aurore Gagnon’s story has left a lasting impact on Quebec’s cultural memory, inspiring plays, films, and discussions about child abuse and children’s rights in the province.

Sources:

Aurore! The Mystery of the Martyred Child

HISTORY OF SAINTE-PHILOMÈNE

Fortierville, Quebec, Canada: Church of Saint Philomena of Fortierville

Fortierville

GAGNON, AURORE – Volume XIV (1911-1920) – Dictionary of Canadian Biography

Généalogie Aurore Gagnon

Centre d’interprétation de Fortierville | Église Ste-Philomène de Fortierville

Monument funéraire d’Aurore Gagnon – Répertoire du patrimoine culturel du Québec

Marie-Aurore-Lucienne “Aurore” Gagnon (1909-1920)…

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