Simon Brute and the Western Adventure

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   During France’s days of turmoil in the 1790s, thirteen-year-old Simon Bruté, helping hide priests from the guillotine, little imagines the path his ardent soul will travel. When the Reign of Terror calms down, Bruté goes to Paris; he wins honors at the College of Medicine. But now responding to a deeper hunger, the young man shifts, enters a seminary and becomes a priest. The flame is ignited: Bruté burns to preach to far-off Indians. And in 1810 his religious order sends him to America. But there they want him not as a missionary, but as a brilliant theologian-president for their Baltimore seminary! Crushed, he submits, accepting this great disappointment as God’s will. However, from the treasures of his mind and heart Fr Bruté, with his poor English and lovable eccentricities, increasingly touches the lives of many persons, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton among them, who were to play an essential role in forming the young Catholic Church in the United States. When the missionary call to the frontier comes in 1834, it seems too late. But Fr Bruté responds with all his soul and becomes the first bishop of Vincennes, Indiana. A living legend, Bruté’s tireless and loving zeal kindles hearts wherever he goes. Today his Cause for Canonization is being actively advanced.


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