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Prayer for the Cause of Bishop Brute


Heavenly Father, source of all that is holy, in every age, you raise up men and women who live lives of heroic love and service.

You have blessed your Church through the life of Simon Bruté, first bishop of Vincennes and spiritual director to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.

Through his prayer, his intellect, his love, and his pastoral care, Simon Bruté formed future priests and guided your Church in the early days of our country.

If it be your will, may he be proclaimed a saint.

We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord. —Amen.

(Contributions to defray the expenses in furthering the Cause should be sent to Bishop Bruté Fund, Archdiocese of Indianapolis, P.O. Box 1410, Indianapolis, IN 46206.)

Feast of Elizabeth Ann Seton

Today, January 4th, is the Feast of Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first native born American to be canonized a saint. She was canonized in 1975, one year before the Bi-Centennial. Although she never visited Indiana, the history of the Catholic Church in this State has very close ties to her. And, if it is possible to be a saint by “association”, then our very own Servant of God Simon Bruté would be one.color-elizabeth

Elizabeth Ann’s first connection with Indiana comes in the form of a book — not one, but two. She had two bibles, both of which were used to make fairly extensive notes in. The first one is located in the Bruté Library at the Old Cathedral in Vincennes. The other is located at the University of Notre Dame. The Vincennes copy was from Bruté’s own library. He had loaned it to Mother Seton in 1813.

Obviously the other association of Elizabeth Seton to Indiana was in the person of Simon Bruté. He and Elizabeth Ann were kindred spirits. They aided each other in their quest to seek God in all things. Father Joseph Dirvin C.M. in his book, “Mrs. Seton. Foundress of the American Sisters of Charity wrote:

It was this affinity that made their relationshop unique in spiritual history, for they mutually aided each other to God. More in the manner of friends than as director and penitent. In this sense Elizabeth often guided Bruté spiritually as much as he guided her. ..He looked upon Elizabeth as a mother; to her he was a brother or a son. She freely called hi Gabriel or, more often simply ‘G’1

Simon Bruté was Elizabeth Ann’s spiritual director. It was he who guided her on her journey. Although he was not part of her life when she converted to Catholicism, he was the one who helped her as a struggling superior of a small group of Sisters of Charity in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Bruté first met Elizabeth Seton in 1811. Some say that her holiness came as a result of the holiness of Father Bruté. Perhaps it was a two way street. Four months after Elizabeth Seton’s death, Bruté wrote:

I have lost the best of my friends. I feel it, I say it, write it, and more, make it my inexpressible, and inconsolable secret. — No soul has so forcibly excited mine to see what it is to be a priest of my GOD, Pray, my Mother, yes, pray for me, — pray for me whether in Heaven, or still in Purgatory, for a soul who felt so sacredly, and with such light, the holiness of her GOD, had no doubt of Purgatory, had no presumption that it was not for her, feared still itself, yet hoped with infinite peace, and trusted most perfectly her JESUS.

It was Father Bruté who saw to it that the papers of Elizabeth Ann Seton were preserved. You can read about this and other aspects of her life by visiting the Seton Shrine web page.

The Sisters who carry on Elizabeth Ann’s work continue to honor Father Bruté for his contribution to her quest for holiness.

We hope this day, that Elizabeth Ann Seton and the women who followed her continue to pray for the Cause of Bishop Bruté. We urge all who read this to do the same. May this new year, 2018, see some movement in the “Cause” of our very own “Servant of God” Simon Bruté.

Click the link here to see the Sacramental Record entry for Elizabeth Seton, signed by Simon Bruté2

Here is the prayer for Bishop Brute’s canonization:

Heavenly Father,
source of all that is holy,
in every age, you raise up
men and women who live lives
of heroic love and service.

You have blessed your Church
through the life of Simon Bruté,
first bishop of Vincennes
and spiritual director
to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.
Through his prayer, his intellect,
his love, and his pastoral care,
Simon Bruté formed future priests
and guided your Church
in the early days of our country.

If it be your will,
may he be proclaimed a saint.
We ask this through Jesus Christ,
our Lord.

—Amen.

  1. Taken from “Elizabeth Seton’s Two Bibles” by Ellin M. Kelly, OSV 1977 []
  2. courtesy of Msgr. Fred Easton []
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