FR. JEAN DE BREBEUF (36) is a strong, dedicated, and holy Catholic priest. Born on March 25 1593 to poor yet devout parents in Conde-sur-Vire, France, he was sent at age 12 to a Jesuit school with the hopes of becoming a priest. But the studies proved too hard for him, and at age 15 he was dismissed and sent home. Yet he clung to prayer, and despite the hard farm work of his youth, he resolved to return one day and become a priest, and at age 22 he did so. At 24 he contracted tuberculosis, and was almost again expelled from the Order, since he was unable to study due to the sickness. But he recovered, and after 10 years of seminary he passed his final exams much to the surprise of his Superiors, and was ordained a priest. Tragically his mother and father both passed away just months before the ordination, and only days apart. Although Philosophy and Theology were not his forte, he did show an aptitude for languages. As a boy his closest friend Andres moved from Spain to France, and Jean quickly learned to speak Spanish. While in Seminary, Jean was able to master Italian and even German. Three years after ordination, the Provincial Superior of the Jesuits assigned him to the missions in New France, where it had become clear to the Church that the Native American languages were of the utmost importance and truly the key to the success of spreading the faith there. Jean was first sent across the Atlantic Ocean in 1625 arriving in Quebec and Quebec City. He lived for three years with the Montagnais and Huron tribes, learning Algonquin and Iroquoian. At the end of every three months durning this time, he would return to Quebec City to report on the the progress of the missions to his superiors, and to rest and revive himself with a softer bed and warmer food then what the Indigenous could usually provide. To his dismay, he and his companions met with no success in converting the Indigenous to Catholicism. And yet, always cheerful at his departure from Quebec City into the wild, he never complained to anyone about the long treks back and forth between the tribal lands and the European settlements, or the harsh conditions he had to endure. Fr. Jean was forced to leave New France in 1629, as the war between France and England raged its harshest. He was assigned as a confessor and chaplain to the University if Eu in northern France, where he influenced many young people with his holiness and thrilling tales of the ‘New World’ to enter the Jesuit Order and become missionaries themselves. In 1633 he traveled back across the Atlantic to Quebec City, there to report to the District Superior, and receive his next assignment. Returning this second time to New France and the mission lands, Fr. Jean is determined to bring the faith to the Indigenous people there. His love for Christ will stop at nothing, he has resolved that neither the danger of war or threat of death will stop his efforts to preach and teach the Gospel. He has rested long enough, and is well prepared for the hardships ahead. His daily routine is that of any disciplined Jesuit priest: he prays the Divine Office in Latin at seven different points throughout the day, sanctifying time and raising his mind and heart to God. Fr. Jean understands that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is that towards which everything flows, and that from each everything comes from. He offers the Mass each day, usually at sunrise, and sometimes pauses for several minutes after the Consecration, in a moment of deep meditation. He always carries a small bottle of holy water, blessed salt, and sacred chrism: three things needed for the rite of baptism, and has on several occasions baptized Indigenous in moments of death. A sturdy man, he is no stranger to work, having been a farmhand from a young age. He puts even the young priests to shame by his eagerness to paddle for hours, chop wood, or build cabins. The Indigenous recognize this work ethic, and look up to him for this. Inspired by several older priests who have spent decades in the mission lands, Fr. Jean wishes desperately to be counted among them. He expects to be sent to the furthermost Fort, and beyond, there to baptize and preach to the peaceful Hurons. Rumours have come back to France that the Iroquois have been capturing and murdering priests over the last year, and that the tortures which accompany their deaths are truly gruesome. Fr. Jean is not afraid of death for as he reminds himself each morning: “It is no longer I live, but Christ Who lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). He will arrive in Quebec City in three days. What his future will hold, he cannot fully tell. But he prepares himself now to offer his life, and even his death if necessary, for the glory of God, the honour of the saints, and the salvation of souls.