One of the most picturesque and venerable missionaries in Australia is Mgr. Francis Xavier Gsell, M.S.C., Bishop of Darwin. A native of Alsace, he established a mission among the aborigines of Bathurst Island many years ago.
One of the tyrannical laws. of the natives gave the chief a monopoly over the baby girls borri in the tribe He trafficked in them, selling them to rich old men of the tribe and many of the young men were deprived of the opportunity of marrying unless they could acquire enough tomahawks to make the greed of the old men exceed their lust.
One day a young girl, who wished to marry a young man, was threatened with death by the old men of her tribe. She ran to the mission for sanctuary and Bishop Coen saved her from death and himself from attack by offering " trade articles " which the old men accepted.
The Bishop had the girl placed in a convent and from that day went on " purchasing " young aborigine girls and has saved 200 of them from terrible slavery. After being educated by nuns the girls, if they are willing, are married to young men of the island.