The Jesuit missionary was ready to accept death for the sake of spreading the Christian faith in the New World.
Shortly after St. John de Brébeuf was ordained a priest, he had a great desire to spread the Christian faith in the New World.
He writes in his spiritual diary, “My God, it grieves me greatly that you are not known, that in this wilderness all have not been converted to you,”
However, he knew that such an endeavor was risky and could lead to his death. It was a sacrifice that he was ready to make, as he made the following vow to God.
Jesus, my Lord and Savior, what can I give you in return for all the favors you have first conferred on me? I will take from your hand the cup of your sufferings and call on your name. I vow before your eternal Father and the Holy Spirit, before your most holy Mother and her most chaste spouse, before the angels, apostles and martyrs, before my blessed fathers Saint Ignatius and Saint Francis Xavier – in truth I vow to you, Jesus my Savior, that as far as I have the strength I will never fail to accept the grace of martyrdom, if some day you in your infinite mercy should offer it to me, your most unworthy servant. I bind myself in this way so that for the rest of my life I will have neither permission nor freedom to refuse opportunities of dying and shedding my blood for you, unless at a particular juncture I should consider it more suitable for your glory to act otherwise at that time.
This vow shows how much St. John de Brébeuf desired to spread the faith in America, even if it would cost his life.
He lived up to this vow when he was killed on March 16, 1649, martyred for his Christian witness of charity.