Martyr; Apostle of the Hurons; Echon
25 March 1593
16 March 1649 (aged 55)
June 29, 1930 by Pope Pius XI
St. Jean de Brébeuf (1593-1649) was a Jesuit priest from Normandy, France, who traveled to New France (modern day Canada) in 1625 to live with and evangelize the Huron Indians. He entered the Jesuit order desiring, in humility, to be a brother. He was convinced to become a priest and started out teaching in France. Soon he felt called to the mission fields.
Brébeuf spent most of his life in New France with the Huron. His nickname was “Echon” among the Hurons, which means, roughly, “he who carries burdens,” as a result of his willingness to portage and do tasks. He acquired deep respect and knowledge of his beloved Hurons’ native ways.
He was martyred near Ste. Marie (near present day Midland, Ontario) during an attack by the Iroquois.
My God and my savior Jesus, what return can I make to you for all the benefits you have conferred on me? I make a vow to you never to fail, on my side, in the grace of martyrdom, if by your infinite mercy you offer it to me some day.