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Simon’s Month

June is always a busy month on the Indiana Catholic History calendar, especially in terms of Bishop Simon Gabriel Brute. June 11, is the anniversary of his ordination. There is a debate, albeit among only a few, about the day that Brute was actually ordained. Regardless of what day it was, we celebrate and give thanks to God for Servant of God, Simon Gabriel Brute, and we continue to pray for his eventual canonization. We invite you to pray the prayer to the left and to pray it often. We also encourage you to make a donation, however big or small to the Archdiocesan fund to further Bishop Brutés Cause.

Here are a few quotes, from various sources, concerning Brutés Ordination date:

    The 2013 Archdiocesan Directory — Born in Rennes, France, March 20, 1779. Ordained priest at Rennes, June 11, 1808. Consecrated bishop of Vincennes in the cathedral at St. Louis, MO, October 28, 1834, by Bishop Benedict Joseph Flaget of Bardstown, assisted by Bishop Joseph Rosati of St. Louis and Bishop John Baptist Purcell of Cincinnati.

    Father Robert Gorman’s History of the Catholic Church in Indiana — At the age of twenty nine he was ordained June 10, 1808 and shortly after was received into the Society of St. Su1pice.

    Alerding’s History of the Diocese of Vincennes — he was ordained Priest in the parish church of St. Sulpice by Msgr. Andre, the retired Bishop of Quimper, on the Saturday before Trinity Sunday, 1808.

    WikiPedia — He was ordained a priest on June 11, 1808,

    New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia — Ordained priest on the 11th of June, 1808,

    Catholic — Ordained June 11, 1808

    Sr. Mary Salesia Godecker, in her biography of Bishop Brute — Brute’ was ordained on June 10, 1808 at the church of St. Sulpice in Paris. He was ordained by the Right Reverend Andre’, the retired Bishop of Quimper. His first Mass was celebrated at the altar of the Blessed Virgin in the Seminary of St. Sulpice on Trinity Sunday, June 11, 1808.

    Brute’s”Memoirs” by Archbishop Bayley say that he was ordained on the Saturday before Trinity Sunday in 1808. That would mean JUNE 11th, according to a perpetual calendar. Trinity Sunday was 12 June, 1808 according to same perpetual calendar.

    Manuscripts located in the Indianapolis Archdiocesan Archives, which appear to have been written by Brute say”Ordained Priest on the 10th of June 1808″³.

June 26th is the 174th anniversary of the death of Servant of God, Simon Brute. Perhaps one day, this date will be his feast day! He died in Vincennes and was buried on June 28th, in the crypt of St. Francis Xavier Cathedral.

Elihu Stout, the Protestant editor of the local newspaper, eulogized Brute with the following words:

The news of his death produced a general and almost unanimous expression of grief amongst our citizens: and well have we cause to lament this event, for to many, very many he was dear; to the one as a friend, to the other as a comforter; to the third as a teacher, or as a literary companion, and to all as a pattern of goodness, morality and pure piety. His character was truly amiable, and his manners so conciliating, that wherever he could not make friends, he was sure not to make enemies, and we can safely affirm, that he died without the latter. 1

Nineteenth century grammar was always flowery and pious when it came to describing religious leaders, however, I have never seen any negative comments about the good bishop. I’ve even heard of statements by people of that time who said that when the Bishop walked through the rain it did not touch him. All that was one way of honoring a very special man, priest, bishop.

Another journal, the “Catholic Miscellany:, which was published by Bishop John England of the Diocese of Charleston S.C., published an obituary for Bishop Brute in their [PUT DATE HERE] issue. As already mentioned, 19th century writers used what we might consider overly pious language, but if you read this obituary carefully, you come away with the feeling that Bishop Brute truly reflected the God and the Church that he loved so well.



It is our melancholy duty to announce the death of the Right Rev Dr. Brute. He died on Wednesday the 26th of June in the town of Vincennes of pulmonary consumption. During the last year of his life the tecious disease afflicted him severely, but he suffered in all patience waiting with meek and holy resignation, until the Lord should terminate his sorrow, and call him to his rest. To those who knew him, it will be unnecessary to say, that he performed the hard labors of his office, until the near approach of death made him absolutely incapable of action. He had lately visited some distant parts of his diocese, and attended to the the sick, fainting on his way, and frequently obliged to rest, so great was his exhaustion. On Trinity Sunday he celebrated the thirty first anniversary of his first mass, being assisted on that occasion by two of his clergy, who supported him at the altar, whilst he offered the divine sacrifice with a heart overflowing with love, and lips that brethed the spirit of piety. They who live had the happiness to attend him on such occasions, can never forget the ardent devotion with which he preformed that sacred office. Being strengthened by the sacraments, he waited calmly until the moment of his dissolution should arrive. The glorious life he had led, for it was truly so, grew brighter as it hastened to its close; the eminent virtues he had practiced so long, fortified his spirit, and he departed amid the tears of the living to be united to him whom he loved so purely from his youth.

The life of this distinguished prelate was one of incessant labor. Soon after his arrival in the United Stated he became the associate of the present venerable Bishop Dubois of New York, and aided him in the establishment of the Emmitsburg College, where he long resided over the philosophical and theological department. He there laboured with holy diligence to prepare young men for the mission. His extraordinary mind and the plentitude of his knowledge, but above all his edifying manners and exceeding piety, the sincerity which distinguished his words and actions and the consciousness of the responsibility of his station, made him admirably qualified to superintend the inniates of a Catholic seminary. He was a noble instance of what human industry may accomplish when the motive is pure, and heaven the reward of our toils. Though the church in America was then comparitively weak and in many parts unorganized, he taught her to entertain the brightest hopes; and he lived to see them realized. A succession of able priests went form from his school, who brought back the lost sheep of the desert, and defended and repulsed the aggressions of those who endeavored to enter the fold and scatter the flock. His pupils were in every section of the country–many of their names are already cherished by the faithful, nor is it surprising that with such a teacher, the theological seminary at Emmitsburg acquired a reputation unequaled by any other in the land.

After devoting many year to this arduous occupation, he was called from the retirement of college and the consolations of his library to be the first Catholoc Bishop of the new diocese of Vincennes. He found it without priests o churches, or means to provide them; his poverty was pinching–he was almost alone in the wide field of his labors–but his zeal overcame all difficulty, he visited Europe, and returned with many zealous clergy–he established religious communities–commenced the erection of new churches, encouraged the faithful by his apostolical zeal, sowed the good seed throughout the state, and had the consolation, before he died, to see the wilderness to blossom like the rose. In the fulfillment of these holy duties, he persevered with wonderful fidelity, until at length, full of honor and worthy of heaven, he was called from his toils and fell asleep in the Lord.

The memory of the deceased will be ever cherished by the Catholics of the Union. His character was enriched with every trait to make him loved by his fellow-men. His knowledge was immense, but so softened by his religious feelings, that his conversation was loved by the ignorant as well as the enlightened. In his death the church as lost a friend upon earth, but gained one in heaven. May we imitate his virtues, and be eve ready to sacrifice as he did every temporal comfort to advance the glory of God by the extension of his church upon earth. 2

John Gilmary Shea (1824-1892), the 19th century church historian, who has been called the “Father of American Catholic History, wrote in one of his many works, A History of the Catholic Church Within the Limits of the United States about Brute in glowing terms. You can read that chapter of his book by Going Here

Last but not least, please say the prayer for the canonization of Bishop Brute, which you find to the left of this article.

  1. Western Sun and General Advertiser – Vincennes, Indiana – 29 June 1839[]
  2. Catholic Miscellany, Vol. 19, No. 2, July 13, 1839[]

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