Roman Catholic nuns fought and got half of saints boiled skull

The skull of Saint Brébeuf can be adored in Martyr’s Shrine near Midland, Ontario, in Canada. But only half of it.


Roman Catholics can adore half of a skull in Canada. The other half was given to nuns, and disappeared.


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.

Source: Wikipedia

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.

Read more at Suite101:

An ecclesiastical court sat in 1904 for an entire year to examine his life and virtues and the cause of his death, and the result of the inquiry was forwarded to Rome. Brebeuf was canonized in 1930, by Pope Pius XI.


St. Joseph Church, the Martyrs Shrine in Ontario Canada.


Not many half skulls are covered with so much gold

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?

Source: Blogger

What happened to the other half’s of the skull?

“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.

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?