The skull of Saint Brébeuf can be adored in Martyr’s Shrine near Midland, Ontario, in Canada. But only half of it.
If this had only been one of the thousands of skulls venerated and adored in Roman Catholic Churches, I would not have written this article. I have already written more than enough about worship of bones inside this death cult. But the story behind this skull makes it worthy of some extra publicity.
This is what have been recorded by Wikipedia:
Brébeuf did not make a single outcry while he was being tortured and he astounded the Iroquois, who later cut out his heart and ate it in hopes of gaining his courage Brébeuf was fifty-five years old.
Brébeuf’s body was recovered a few days later. His body was boiled in lye to remove the flesh, and the bones became church relics. His flesh was buried, along with Lalemant’s, in one coffin, and today rests in the Church of St. Joseph at the reconstructed Jesuit mission of Sainte-Marie among the Hurons across Highway 12 from the Martyrs’ Shrine Catholic Church near Midland, Ontario
In September, 1984, Pope John Paul II prayed over Brebeuf’s skull before saying an outdoor Mass on the grounds of the Martyrs’ Shrine. Thousands of people came to hear him speak from a platform built especially for the day.
According to Catholic Encyclopedia, this Jesuit missionary died a horrible death on March 16th 1649 A.D. 90 days later the body was ex-hummed. The Catholic Encyclopedia do not record the beginning of the process of beautification of the body.
This is what Suite101 has recorded:
On June 16, 1649, the remaining missionaries set fire to the mission, rather than see it desecrated or overrun by the Iroquois. At the same time, they had also decided that Brebeuf and Lallemant would be canonized as saints. Accordingly, their bodies were exhumed and boiled in a lye solution. Their flesh was reburied and their bones wrapped in linen and saved as relics.
The story is indeed a challenge to all reflecting humans.
Boiling a dead body in lye to get the flesh and bones to separate, makes me think of how men treat dead animals, when they make soup or dinner.
And why re-bury the boiled flesh, without its bones?
Are there some special powers in a dead man bones, that boiled flesh do not contain?
How will the Pope and his priests enter the Kingdom of Heaven? Frankly: Can religious activities get more perverse and grotesque?
But let us leave the boiling part of the sorry for a second.
The greater mystery is why the Pope felt for praying over half of the skull.
This is what another website has recorded:
Actually, it only the left half of his skull that inhabits Martyrs’ Shrine.
Was this decided because that part of the skull encased the left brain that enabled Brebeuf to learn several Native American languages?
Not that fluency in their tongue stopped the Iroquois from hanging red-hot tomahawks around his neck.
And where is his right skull?
The Catholic legend gets even more intriguing when we really dive deep into the details. What happened to the other half’s of the skull?
Just take a look at this:
“Yes, the bones were entrusted to the Ursuline Order of nuns in Québec for safekeeping, but once Brébuf was proclaimed a saint, the Jesuits asked for them back. The Ursulines were not amused as they thought that they had done a good job and wanted to keep half, so at Martyrs’ Shrine there’s only one-half of Brébuf’s skull (left side) while the nuns kept the other portion.”
Source: Tourist site.
We might get puzzled with nuns fighting over a dead man bones, and demanding to keep half of his skull.
In fact it is so tragic, that I feel like crying. Many of these women wanted to enter nunnery to help people, and to come closer to God.
The physical issues linked to this legend are worrisome.
What makes people cut a skull in two?
How to you do that in the first place, without damaging the “holy” relic?
Was it the native Indians who cut the skull in two, or was it the local Jesuit’s?
What do they find “holy” about the remains of a dead man, serving in a “Church” who beautified him after being ex-humed and boiled?
The theological implications are also worth a second thought.
Will both parts of the skull remain “holy”, or will only a united skull have the magic powers of restoration and healing?
Has the claimed infallible Pope made a mistake?
The Roman Catholic Church claims the “Holy see” never fails when he beautifies his dead followers, and elevate them to the post of “saints”.
Written by Ivar