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Louisiana Saints

This website is dedicated to the history of the Catholic Church in Indiana. So, why am I talking about Louisiana? I read an article about five French priests who now have a “cause” for sainthood. They are:

Fr. Jean Pierre
Fr. Isidore A. Quemerais.
Fr. Jean-Marie Biler
Fr. Louis Gergaud
Fr. Francois LeVezouet

All of them were from Brittany… Guess who else is from Brittany? Servant of God, Simon Brute as well as Saint Mother Theodore Guérin, foundress of the Sisters of Providence of St. Mary of the Woods.

The Bishop of the Diocese of Natchitoches, Louisiana, (now the Diocese of Shreveport), where these men served, was, at the time, none other than August Martin who had come to the United States to serve the Diocese of Vincennes. He was the Vicar General and he left the diocese during the problems that came as a result of Bishop Hailandiere’s failures.

Reading the article about these courageous priests who gave their lives as “Martyrs of Charity”, 1 I realized that there are so many “Martyrs of Charity”, among them, our own Benjamin Petit who ministered to the Potawatomi people and who died on his return to Indiana. He too was from Brittany. But not just Brittany. The Irishman, Father John Plunkett who was killed while out on a sick call. Fr. Vincent Bacquelin who also died while on a sick call, and many others.

The point is that there are many, many men and women who “should” be canonized, but never will be. The Bishop who signed the paperwork to advance these five priests was Bishop Francis Malone who said; “The culmination of this process may very well, in fact, most likely will take place in a number of decades,” 2

The Cause for Bishop Brute has been active for about 15 years so we know that it is a long laborious project. The point however, isn’t whether or not these men or anyone else gets canonized, but the fact that we don’t forget — we remember. We ask for their prayers (although as Servants of God we can only do so privately). The Diocese of Shreveport has put together a very well done website to help promote the “cause”. There is no such website for Bishop Brute, other than the Criterion’s webpage containing “news” of Brutés cause, which, for now is “no news” due to the fact that there is a painstaking effort going on to find and translate Brutés writings, which are scattered. They also include articles, prayers and other items. I am, by no means, criticizing, but it would be nice to see something along the lines of what Shreveport has done.

Here is the website for the five “Martyrs of Charity“. I hope that it will remind us of our own Servant of God, Simon Gabriel Brute, and will help further his cause. You can also find prayers that can be offered for Bishop Brute. Please note however, that the vice-postulator is no longer Fr. Peter Marshal, but Fr. Joseph Newton.

  1. Look at the Shreveport web page and go to the bottom to read about Pope Francis’2017 Apostolic letter Maiorem hac Dilectionem, which opened the path to sainthood, one that corresponds with the offer of life by five priests who most certainly made a free and voluntary offer of their lives in pure and final fulfillment of Christian virtue on God’s earth, to ease the suffering of humanity.[]
  2. National Catholic Reporter, accessed online – December 10, 2020 –[]

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