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During a severe drought in Canada, St. John de Brébeuf turned to St. Joseph


Zeynep Demir - Shutterstock

Philip Kosloski - published on 10/19/19

At the end of a novena to St. Joseph, a miraculous rain poured down upon the land.

While living amongst a native tribe in Canada, Jesuit priest St. John de Brébeuf became a beacon of hope during a severe drought. It hadn’t rain for most of the summer and everything was so dry that fires began to threaten the lives of various villages. They were in desperate need of rain, and at first the native people turned to their own “magicians.”

A tribal leader claimed that it was the cross mounted on the Jesuit’s cabin that was preventing the rain from coming down and that it needed to be destroyed for his magic to work.

Instead of taking down the cross, St. John de Brébeuf gathered the native people and urged them to turn to the “Author of all Blessings” and pray to him (God) for the rain to come down. He explains what they did in one of his many letters.

I then told them that they must hate their sins, and resolve in earnest to serve that God whom we announced to them; that henceforth we would every day make a Procession to implore his help, that all Christians did this; that they should be constant and persevering, not losing courage if they were not immediately heard. We added to this a vow of nine Masses in honor of the glorious Spouse of our Lady, the Protector of the Hurons. We exposed also the Blessed Sacrament on the occasion of its Feast [Corpus Christi], which happened at that time.

Brébeuf led the people in these daily processions and had an unwavering trust that God would respond to their request and send rain. What happened next was nothing short of miraculous.

Now it happened that, exactly as the novena was completed, which was on the thirteenth of June, we could not finish the Procession on account of the rain, which followed very abundantly and lasted, with several intervals, the space of a month, with a great improvement and growth of the fruits of the earth; and because, as I have said, these sandy soils need rain almost every other day, another drought having occurred from the middle of July until the last of the month, we undertook another novena in honor of our Blessed Father St. Ignatius, through whose prayers we had, from the day after this novena began and since, such an abundance of rain that it caused the corn, to form perfect ears, and ripened them; so that there was this year as much corn as there has been for a long time.Now these rains have produced two good results one in that they have increased the fruits of the earth; the other that they stifled those false opinions and notions conceived against God, against the Cross, and against ourselves…To God be forever the glory of the whole; he permits the drought of the soil, to bedew all hearts with his blessings.

Brébeuf firmly believed that it was no mere coincidence that rain fell on the last day of their novena. He credited God and the intercession of St. Joseph for the rain, showing how faith can truly bring about concrete results.

As Jesus said to his apostles, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).


Read more:
The Huron Carol reveals God’s name — by getting all the details wrong

John de Brébeuf

Read more:
This Jesuit missionary preached the Gospel through his love of Native Americans

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