How St. Jean de Brébeuf became a living sacrifice of love.
“Therefore, my beloved Jesus, from this day on, with the feeling of joy I am now experiencing, I offer you my body, my blood, and my life…”
-St. Jean de Brébeuf
(Jean de Brébeuf, Latourelle, Rene, SJ, Editions Fides, 1999, pg 176.)
Ad majorem Dei gloriam.
An Ongoing Sacrifice
At Martyrs’ Shrine, there are many statues and replications of St. Jean de Brébeuf. Rightly so, both from a historical, as well as a spiritual perspective.
He was called “the Arkon” by the First Nations peoples of Huronia, meaning “the Ox” in the Wendat language. Truly, he was unusually tall and strong for his time. As a “Norman,” Fr. Latourelle tells us, he was the descendant and “fusion” of the Celts, Romans, Franks and Vikings. Jean de Brébeuf was not a killer, but he was a warrior of a different kind.
When we meditate upon the cross of Christ, we can see that Jesus also, like the Canadian Martyrs who loved Him, came to die. He was the seed of which He spoke, a seed that bears life even today when pilgrims journey to the Shrine with all of their ailments and problems and sufferings, to lay them down. They lay them down, they plant the seed of their own sufferings in the ground here, soaked with the blood of the Martyrs, and miracles are the fruit by God’s grace.
St. Jean de Brébeuf and his companions, now revered as the Canadian Martyrs, did not simply make one large and final sacrifice at the end of their lives, and live mediocre or profligate lives until that point. In choosing to follow Jesus, then as well as now, Christians make a choice that is anti-world, anti-flesh, anti-diabolical. It is a choice all of us must make- will we follow Him, when it means we will most certainly die? “Behold,” He says to you today, “I stand at the door and knock.” (Rev. 3:12) Will you give your life to Him completely?
If you do, God promises that you will RISE. (Jn. 11:25; 1 Thess. 4:16-17)
St. Jean de Brébeuf and your companions, pray for us.
Daniel Devine, M. Div
Martyrs’ Shrine (Programmes Department)