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St. Jean de Brébeuf

Saint Jean de Brébeuf


Jean was born in Normandy in 1593. At the age of twenty-four he entered the Society of Jesus, and not long after his ordination he was chosen as a missionary to New France. After a few years of greater success in linguistics than in evangelization, Fr. de Brébeuf was called back to France, where he took his final Jesuit vows. In 1633 Fr. de Brébeuf returned to Canada for good, already highly valued for his knowledge of the Huron tongue. Despite hostility, Fr. de Brébeuf worked among the Huron for years, caring for the many who fell ill from European diseases, and greatly advancing study of the Huron language. It was he who wrote the famed “Huron Carol”. Great progress was made in evangelization, but tensions also grew throughout Canada, and in the year of Our Lord 1649 Fr. de Brébeuf was taken prisoner in an Iroquois raid. The holy priest, steadfast in the face of suffering, was ritually tortured for hours, scalded with water in a mockery of baptism, and partially cannibalized before he had even expired, with his heart finally torn out and eaten. The Apostle of the Hurons is honored with the other North American Martyrs on September 26th or October 19th.


Traditional Roman Martyrology for March 16th

AT Rome, the martyrdom of the deacon St. Cyriacus, who, after a long imprisonment, was covered with melted pitch and stretched on the rack, to have his limbs distended with ropes, was beaten with clubs, and finally beheaded with Largus, Smaragdus, and twenty others, by order of Maximian. Their feast, however, is kept on the 8th of August, the day on which their bodies were taken up by the blessed pope Marcellus and reverently entombed.

At Aquileia, in the time of the emperor Numerian and the governor Beronius, the birthday of the holy bishop Hilary, and the deacon Tatian, who terminated their martyrdom with Felix, Largus, and Denis, after being subjected to the rack and other tortures.

In Lycaonia, the holy martyr Papas, who was scourged for the Christian faith, torn with iron hooks, then compelled to walk with shoes pierced with nails, and finally bound to a barren tree. In leaving this world to go to God, he rendered the tree fruitful.

At Anazarbum, in Cilicia, under the governor Marcian, the martyr St. Julian, who was a long time tortured, then put into a sack with serpents, and cast into the sea.

At Ravenna, St. Agapitus, bishop and confessor.

At Cologne, St. Heribert, a bishop, celebrated for sanctity.

At Clermont, in Auvergne, the demise of St. Patrick, bishop.

In Syria, St. Abraham, hermit, whose life has been written by the blessed deacon Ephrem.

℣. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

℟. Thanks be to God.

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