Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Saturday 15 May |
Saint of the Day: St. Isidore the Farmer
home iconSpirituality
line break icon

Meet the priest whom John Quincy Adams thought was the most learned man in America

SIMON BRUTE

Public Domain

Philip Kosloski - published on 09/17/17

Servant of God Simon Bruté was a highly influential Catholic leader in the United States.

Born in 1779 at Rennes, France, Simon Bruté lived during the tumultuous French Revolution and witnessed the open persecution of Catholic priests. He frequently visited the prisons where these men were held and often brought with him the Blessed Sacrament, hidden in his clothes.

Then in 1796 Bruté studied medicine, but never became a doctor. Soon after his graduation he pursued a vocation with the Society of Saint-Sulpice and was ordained a priest on June 11, 1808. Two years later he set sail for the United States as a missionary.

Upon arrival he was put to work teaching philosophy at St. Mary’s College, Baltimore, as well as some pastoral work in Maryland. He was eventually transferred to Mt. St. Mary’s in Emmitsburg and became known as the “Angel of the Mount.” During this time he became the spiritual director and friend of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.




Read more:
The unbreakable Elizabeth Ann Seton helps adjust our perspective upwards

After a few years he was appointed bishop to the newly created Diocese of Vincennes, which at the time consisted of the entire state of Indiana. It would later be reorganized as the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.

It was a challenging assignment for a poor diocese. Bruté would make trips back to France to solicit priests and funds for new churches. Near the end of his life Bishop Bruté sent his Vicar-General to France and eventually convinced St. Theodore Guérin to bring her new community to Indiana.




Read more:
From France to the woodlands of Indiana: An unlikely journey to sainthood

Bishop Bruté was known during his life for his holiness and intellect. President John Quincy Adams wrote about Bruté, saying he was “the most learned man of his day in America.”

Bruté had a deep devotion to the Eucharist and wrote, “There comes a kind of resolution to go after the manner of the Apostles in the greatest possible simplicity. For each moment the Lord has in view means of grace for me and for all—the altar, the sacraments, prayer, instruction.”

He also possessed a deep humility, as can be seen from these lines from his first pastoral letter, “unworthy as I am of so great an honor, and of myself unequal of the charge, my only trust is in God; and, therefore, earnestly calling for your prayers, that I may obtain His Divine assistance, I come to be your chief pastor.”

Bishop Bruté died in 1839, but it wasn’t until 2005 that his cause for canonization was officially opened. He has been given the title “Servant of God” and the Archdiocese of Indianapolis continues to pore over all the documentation of his life in order to send what they need to Rome to promote the cause.

See more in our series on the Saints of the United States.

Tags:
SaintsSaints of the United States
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to the “Holy Mothe...
2
ascension AND ASSUMPTION
Philip Kosloski
Ascension vs. assumption: What is the difference?
3
ZMARTWYCHWSTANIE
Philip Kosloski
What happened between the resurrection and ascension of Jesus?
4
I.Media for Aleteia
These 30 shrines will lead the Rosary Relay for end of the pandem...
5
PHILIPPINES CHURCH
J-P Mauro
We need better church music, say Catholics in the Philippines
6
Philip Kosloski
What was the message of Our Lady of Fatima?
7
BENOIT JOSEPH LABRE
Larry Peterson
Benedict XVI called him “one of the most unusual saintsR...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.