Friday, December 25, 2015

The Huron Carol "Jesous Ahatonhia" written by Jesuit priest Jean de Brebeuf

This is my favorite Christmas carol.  It was written by Fr Jean de Brebeuf (see bio below vid)

Here's what the poster of the vid at YouTube says:

This version performed by Heather Dale, and sung in Wendat (Huron), French and English. Please consider purchasing this music from her if you loved it, as she is an independent artist! Peace :)
The "Huron Carol" (or "'Twas in the Moon of Wintertime") is a Christmas hymn, written in 1643 by Jean de Brébeuf, a Christian missionary at Sainte-Marie among the Hurons in Canada. Brébeuf wrote the lyrics in the native language of the Huron/Wendat people; the song's original Huron title is "Jesous Ahatonhia" ("Jesus, he is born"). The song's melody is a traditional French folk song, "Une Jeune Pucelle" ("A Young Maid"). The well known English lyrics were written in 1926 by Jesse Edgar Middleton.

From Biographi Canada:
BRÉBEUF, JEAN DE    (called Échon by the Hurons), priest, Jesuit, founder of the Huron mission; b. 25 March 1593 at Condé-sur-Vire in Lower Normandy; martyred 16 March 1649 at the village of Saint-Ignace in the Huron country (in the region of Midland, Ontario), canonized 29 June 1930 by Pius XI and proclaimed by Pius XII on 16 Oct. 1940 patron saint of Canada along with his seven martyred companions.

Among Jean de Brébeuf’s ancestors are said to have been companions-in-arms of William the Conqueror and of St. Louis, king of France, and his family, it is said, may be related to the English earls of Arundel. We know nothing of his immediate family. History has, however, preserved the names of two of his nephews: Georges de Brébeuf (1617–61), a minor poet of the 17th century, and Nicolas de Brébeuf (1631–91), prior of Saint-Gerbold, on the outskirts of Caen.

When he was 24 Brébeuf entered the Jesuit noviciate in Rouen. After two years (1617–19) under Father Lancelot Marin’s direction he was appointed teacher of the first form in the secondary school (1619–20), then of the second form (1620–21) at the Collège in Rouen. During his second year of teaching he was incapacitated by illness, but he had enough strength left to prepare for the priesthood, which he received in 1622 at Pontoise. From 1622 to 1625 he stayed at the Collège of Rouen, where he held the office of steward. Then he was chosen for the missions in New France by the provincial of France, Father Pierre Coton. He sailed from Dieppe in April 1625 and landed at Quebec in June, along with Fathers Charles Lalemant and Énemond Massé and two lay brothers, François Charton and Gilbert Burel.

Five months of a roving existence in the cold and the snow (20 Oct. 1625–27 March 1626) with a group of Montagnais Indians who lived near Quebec constituted his apprenticeship for the missionary life. Scarcely had he been initiated in the language and custom of the Algonkins when in the same year, 1626, his superior designated him, with Father Anne de Nouë, for the Huron country. In July for the first time Brébeuf travelled by canoe the 800 miles that separated Quebec from the Huron territory. The pages that he wrote later about conditions on this trip make of him, along with.....

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