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Catholic Activity: Huron Indian Christmas Carol

A carol which deserves to be more widely known among Catholics is the lovely Indian Christmas Carol written by St. John de Brebeuf, S.J., a French Jesuit missioner among the Huron Indian tribes. Father de Brebeuf translated the Christmas story into Indian imagery for the Indians at whose hands he later suffered martyrdom.


1. Twas in the moon of wintertime
When all the birds had fled,
That mighty Gitchi Manitou
Sent angel choirs instead;
Before their light the stars grew dim,
And wond'ring hunters heard the hymn:

Jesus, your King is born,
Jesus is born,
In excelsis gloria

2. Within a lodge of broken bark
The tender Babe was found,
A ragged robe of rabbit skin
Enwrapp'd Hid beauty 'round.
But as the hunter braves drew night,
The angel song rang loud and high:

3. The earliest moon of wintertime
Is not so round and fair
As was the ring of glory on
The helpless infant there.
The chiefs from far before Him knelt
With gifts of fox and beaver pelt.

4. O children of the forest free, O sons
O sons of Manitou,
The Holy Child of earth and heav'n
Is born today for you.
Come kneel before the radiant boy,
Who brings you beauty, peace and joy.

Activity Source: Christmas to Candlemas in a Catholic Home by Helen McLoughlin, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota

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