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Happy Birthday, Bishop Brute

As I post this, the day is almost over, however, I did not want the sun to set without mentioning that today, March 20th marks the 25th anniversary of the birth of Servant of God, Simon Guillaume Brute, first Bishop of Vincennes, spiritual director to Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, scholar, theologian and “Hoosier”… Well, perhaps the last part is a stretch, mostly because that term wasn’t in use in 1834. However, Bishop Brute did become a U.S. Citizen (see: Citizen Brute)
Brute was a prolific writer. The document you see here, comes from the archives of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. It is written in the first person, but it is not clear if it was dictated, or written by Brute himself. It is entirely possible that it may have been written by Father Jean Vabret, a member of the Society of Eudists, the religious order that Bishop Brute asked to run the new college at Vincennes. I mention this because Fr. Vabret was the priest who ministered to Brute until his death. According to Henry Cauthorn, in his book “St. Francis Xavier Cathedral” (1892), Brute conveyed all his property to Vabret. Vabret, then, conveyed it all to Bishop Hailandiere upon his return from France. At the top of this document, is the letter “V”, which may indicate Vabret.

Regardless of all of that, the document is a chronology of sorts that describe Brutés life. He says that he was… “Ordained Priest on the 10th of June 1808” and in another line, “1823 – When Bishop Cheverus was gone to France, Bishop Duborg of N. Orleans wrote to me that he had sent my name to Rome to replace him…

You can read the entire document by going to this PDF document. 1

On this anniversary of Brutés birth we can, perhaps, recommit ourselves to pursuing for him the honor of Sainthood. In case you did not know, the Archdiocese maintains a web site for news of Bishop Brutés “Cause”. That site has languished, although there hasn’t been much in the way of “official” news to report. However, there are, hopefully, activities in the ongoing quest to discover more and more about Brute to put together a solid case.

Of course this all requires, as any worthwhile activity does, prayer. There are official prayers for the intercession of Bishop Brute. We can also give thanks to God for the continued support of our new Archbishop, Joseph Tobin, who quoted Bishop Brute in his installation homily.

  1. Courtesy of the Archives of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis[]

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