Please send me your Martyrs.

If you have a Martyr you would like to notify me of, then please do not hesitate to e-mail him/her to me.

Our Lady Queen of the Martyrs Pray for us

Our Lady Queen of the Martyrs Pray for us

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

St.Thomas Becket

On December 29, the Catholic Church remembers St. Thomas Becket, the other Thomas who was martyred for the Catholic Faith in England by a king named Henry over matters of Church governance.

Thomas was born in London on the 21st of December in either 1117 or 1118 to Gilbert Becket and Matilda Roheise. His parents were buried in Old St. Paul's Cathedral. When Thomas was 10 he learned to read at the Merton Priory in England and then traveled to the Mainland for further studies of canon and civil law in Paris, Bologna, and Auxerre.

After his studies were concluded he returned to England around 1141 where he gained the attention of Theobold, Archbishop of Canterbury, who sent him on several missions to Rome and ordained him a deacon in 1154. Soon after this, he was named Archdeacon of Canterbury. About this same time King Stephen died, leaving Henry the II as the new king. At Archbishop Theobold's urging, King Henry named Thomas the Lord High Chancellor of England. Thomas and King Henry were close friends and both spent a good deal of time “living it up.”

Thomas was so zealous in carrying out his duties as chancellor that many of the English clergy distrusted him. His loyalty to Henry, a Norman, was also seen by some as treachery since Thomas was a Saxon and should have been protecting the Saxons from the reaching of the Norman king.

When Archbishop Theobold died in 1161, King Henry thought that naming Thomas the new Archbishop of Canterbury would solidify his position as sole head of England; something that had long been opposed by Archbishop Theobold.

Thomas warned the King that if he were to become the Archbishop, he would fulfill his duty as zealously for the Church as he had as chancellor for England. The King insisted, even obtaining a dispensation from the Pope for Thomas to hold both positions. In 1162 Thomas was named Archbishop of Canterbury and immediately the conflicts that he had warned King Henry about began.

He resigned as Chancellor, excommunicated one of the nobles, and successfully opposed a new land tax by the king. Within two years, Thomas fled to France in exile after more fighting with the king over the Constitutions of Clarendon which were an attempt by the king to define clearly the various spheres of authority between church and state.

King Louis VII of France welcomed Thomas and let him stay at the Cistercian Abbey of Pontigny for two years until threats by King Henry forced him to move. During this time, Thomas was in constant contact with Pope Alexander III who sympathized but wanted to try a more diplomatic approach to resolving the crisis than Thomas wanted.

In 1166 the pope granted Thomas permission to take what measures he saw fit to try to bring the matter to a close. Thomas immediately excommunicated several of the king's councilors. In 1167 the pope appointed arbiters to try to resolve the authority disputes peacefully, but Thomas refused to compromise. In 1169 Thomas excommunicated two bishops loyal to King Henry. In 1170 King Henry had himself crowned king by the Archbishop of York and the pope threatened to excommunicate all of Britain unless the king agreed to work out a compromise with Thomas.

Thomas returned to England in November of 1170 and immediately declared the Constitutions of Clarendon null and void. Henry, in a rage, said “Who will rid me of this troublesome priest?” or similar words. Four of his knights, Reginald Fitzurse, Hugh de Moreville, William de Tracy, and Richard le Breton, took this as a clear command from the king and murdered Thomas during vespers in Canterbury Cathedral on December 29, 1170.

Thomas Becket was canonized in 1173. On July 12, 1174, in an attempt to calm a revolt, King Henry II did public penance at Thomas' tomb.

In 1538, three years after having St. Thomas More beheaded for opposing the rule of the Catholic Church by the king, King Henry VIII had the shrine of St. Thomas Becket destroyed in an act of vengeance. He also had Thomas' relics destroyed and any mention of his name obliterated.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

St. Stephen ( the first martyr of the church )

Hi everyone, I hope you all had a good Christmas day, Christmas day was also my birthday that I share with the Lord, although his birthday is much more important than mine. Today celebrates the feast day of the above martyr St.Stephen whose name in aramaic ( the language of Jesus ) when transliterated means ''Kelil''.

"St. Stephen's Day, or the Feast of St. Stephen, is a Christian saint's day celebrated on 26 December in the Western Church and 27 December in the Eastern Church. Many Eastern Orthodox churches adhere to the Julian calendar and mark St. Stephen's Day on 27 December according to that calendar, which places it on January 9 according to the Gregorian calendar used in secular (and Western) contexts. It commemorates St Stephen, the first Christian martyr or protomartyr.

Acts of the Apostles tells the story of how Stephen was tried by the Sanhedrin (high priests) for blasphemy against Moses and God (Acts 6:11) and speaking against the Temple and the Law (Acts 6:13-14) (see also Antinomianism). He was stoned to death (c. A.D. 34–35) by an infuriated mob encouraged by Saul of Tarsus, the future Saint Paul: "And Saul entirely approved of putting him to death" (8:1). [3]. Stephen's final speech was presented as accusing the Jews of persecuting prophets who spoke out against their sins:

'"Which one of the Prophets did your fathers not persecute, and they killed the ones who prophesied the coming of the Just One, of whom now, too, you have become betrayers and murderers." (7:52)
Saint Stephen's name is simply derived from the Greek Stephanos, meaning "crown", which translated into Aramaic as Kelil. Traditionally, Saint Stephen is invested with a crown of martyrdom for Christianity; he is often depicted in art with three stones and the martyrs' palm. In Eastern Christian iconography, he is shown as a young beardless man with a tonsure, wearing a deacon's vestments, and often holding a miniature church building or a censer."

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Cassandra Martyrs ( Martyrs for charity )

Shepherding has taken many forms in the history of the Good Shepherd Sisters. In the Philippines, on November 21, 1983, it was shepherding in a shipwreck. Sisters Mary Consuelo Chuidian, Concepcion Conti, Virginia Gonzaga, and Catherine Loreto were on board the M/V Doña Cassandra when it sank in shark-infested waters off the coast of Northeastern Mindanao, Philippines. Survivors told of the four Sisters praying, distributing life vests, helping children put theirs on, instructing other passengers to hasten towards the life rafts and to be ready to abandon ship, not calculating how little time they had to save themselves, until time did run out.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Blessed Maximilian (Maksymilian) Binkiewicz

Blessed Maximilian (Maksymilian) Binkiewicz, Priest and Martyr
Gmina Żarnowiec, Poland, February 21, 1908 – Dachau, Germany, August 24, 1942

Blessed Maksymilian Binkiewicz, Polish diocesan priest, was born in Gmina Żarnowiec (Olkusz) February 21, 1908 and died in Dachau, Germany, August 24, 1942. He was Beatified by Pope John Paul II in Warsaw (Poland) June 13, 1999 together with 107 other Polish martyrs.

Roman Martyrology: In the prison camp at Dachau near Munich in Germany, Monaco, blessed Maximian Binkiewicz, Priest and Martyr, who, during the war, was deported by the invading soldiers from Poland because of his faith in Christ and he died under torture and torture.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Maria Teresa Ferragud Roig and her four martyr daughters

Here is a great addition to the blog.

Thanks once again to all who e-mail me their martyrs.

God bless

Friday, November 20, 2009

Saint Giordano Ansalone, Dominican Priest, Martyr

Saint Giordano Ansalone, Dominican Priest, Martyr
Santo Stefano Quisquina (Agrigento), 1 November 1598 – Nagasaki (Japan), November 17, 1634

In 1625, he reached Seville on foot, he left for the missions. After a break of about a year in Mexico, across the Pacific in the summer of 1626, he reached the Philippine Islands. First two years costs between the Philippines, Cagayan in northern Luzon, then lived for four years among the Chinese of a colony of the suburb of Binondo, Manila, in the Parish and the Hospital S. Gabriel, built for them. Studied the language, the mentality and customs from the Chinese, showing true forerunner of inculturation and dialogue with non-believers. To do this he also wrote an opera, hopelessly lost, which compiled the main religious beliefs and philosophical ideas of the Chinese, discussing them with the data of faith and Catholic doctrine, for an enlightening comparison. In 1632, the midst of this persecution, he went to Japan, disguised as a merchant, to bring aid and comfort: for a year he was the Vicar Provincial of this mission. Seriously ill on the island of Kyushu, “he implored the Virgin Mary to be cured until they had killed Christ.” He was jailed August 4, 1634 and subjected to unspeakable torture.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Saint Peter Chanel ( ProtoMartyr )

"In 1831, he joined the forming Society of Mary (Marists), who would concentrate on local missions and foreign missionary work. Instead of being selected as a missionary, however, the Marists used his talents as the spiritual director at the Seminary of Belley, where he stayed for five years. In 1833 he accompanied Fr Jean-Claude Colin to Rome to seek approval of the nascent Society. In 1836, the Marists, finally formally approved by Pope Gregory XVI, were asked to send missionaries to the territory of the South West Pacific. Chanel, professed a Marist on 24 September 1836 was made the superior of a band of Marist missionaries that set out on 24 December from Le Havre. They were accompanied by Bishop Jean Baptiste Pompallier who was to become the first Bishop of New Zealand. Pompallier had been appointed by Gregory XVI to care for the Vicariate Apostolic of Western Oceania. Pompallier based himself in New Zealand from 1838 and became the first Bishop of Auckland, New Zealand in 1848.

Travelling via the Canary Islands (8 Jan 1837) where Fr Claude Bret (Chanel's friend) caught a flu-like virus which led to his death at sea (20 Mar 1837) and then Valparaiso (28 June) (where the French Picpus Fathers who had care of the Vicariate of Eastern Oceania had their base) and Gambier (13 Sept) then Tahiti (21 Sept) where the group transferred to the Raiatea and set sail for Tonga (23 Oct) before first dropping two missionaries at ʻUvea (still named Wallis by the French), the mainseat of the mission. Pierre Chanel went to neighbouring Futuna Island, accompanied by a French laybrother Marie-Nizier Delorme. They arrived on 8 November 1837 with an English Protestant layman named Thomas Boag who had been resident on the island and had joined them at Tonga seeking passage to Futuna.

The group was initially well received by the island's king, Niuliki. Once the missionaries learned the local language and began preaching directly to the people, the king grew restive. He believed that Christianity would take away his prerogatives as high priest and king. When the king's son, Meitala, sought to be baptized, the king sent a favoured warrior, his son-in-law, Musumusu, to "do whatever was necessary" to resolve the problem. Musumusu initially went to Meitala and the two fought. Musumusu, injured in the fracas ,went to Chanel feigning need of medical attention. While Chanel tended him a group of others ransacked his house. Musumusu took an axe and clubbed Chanel on the head. Pierre died that day, April 28, 1841.

The news of Chanel's death took months to reach the outside world. It was almost a year before Marists in France learned of it; for those in New Zealand it took half that time. Two weeks after the killing the William Hamilton, a passing American trading ship, took Br Marie-Nizier, Boag and others to Wallis (arriving 18 May 1841) and safety. In time it came on to Kororareka, New Zealand. There Marie Nizier told Pompallier’s deputy, Fr Jean-Baptiste Épalle, that Peter Chanel had been murdered."

Monday, November 9, 2009

Stephen Raymond Bou Pascual

Roman Martyrology: In the area of La Nucia near Alicante in Spain ever, blessed Stephen Raymond Bou Pascual, priest and martyr, who, during the same persecution as a faithful disciple, merited salvation in the blood of Christ.

He was Beatified on March 11, 2001 by Pope John Paul II, as one of 233 Blessed Spanish Martyrs of Valencia, victims of the Spanish Civil War

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Blessed Theodore Romza, Bishop and Martyr.

On the day when the Church indicates for us to contemplate the glory of all the saints, in communion with all of us on earth, in heaven already living eternal happiness, also used the liturgical feast of Ukrainian Romza Teodoro, one of the martyrs of the twentieth century Beatified by Pope John Paul II. He was born April 14, 1911 in the Carpathian region. After studying in Rome he was ordained a priest of the Greek-Catholic community in 1936. Returned to his diocese of Mukachevo, he became a bishop at only thirty-three. He bravely lived his ministry during very difficult years, between the horrors of war first and then the communist threat. On October 27, 1947 he was authorized to visit a church in his district. But in reality it was a trap, his carriage was struck by a truck and survivors beaten with iron bars. To be sure to kill him, the Bishop Romza was taken to a hospital where he was also poisoned. But the courageous testimony that he had left did not die: the years of persecution the against the Greek-Catholic community kept his memory alive.

Roman Martyrology: In the town of Mukachevo in Ukraine, Blessed Theodore Romza, Bishop and Martyr, who, during Prohibition of faith, responsibility for achieving the palm of glory for having preserved fidelity to the Church.

Friday, November 6, 2009

The way of the Cross.

Hello, I have just received my internet back so thats been a real treat and I thank the Lord for such a gift. There is certainly something about autobiographical writing which I disdain, however a break free from posting martyrs, I feel, may well prove to be a positive one.

Before my conversion to Christianity the Rock'n'roll lifestyle was pretty much how I lived: the alcohol, the drugs, the hatred, the pride, ( pride of which I still struggle to get rid of every day ). I felt I was going against the norm with such behaviour, however after reading how Jesus suffered during his passion, and the martyrs who imitated his example, it really gave me food for thought on how I was actually going with the norm.

Most of us need alcohol to have a good time, but The Holy Spirit through Saint Paul teaches us that we can be happy without such things and that our happiness does not depend on it.

Most of us have sexual relations outside of marriage, yet Jesus and the Martyrs denounced the temptations of the flesh and swam against the tide of such normalities that have always existed in the world.

Most of the world nailed these martyrs to the cross because the message they preached was not to their convenience. It didn't sound normal to them; it went against the norm, so rather than accept the antidote to happiness they threw it to the lions. The evidence of over 1 billion Christians today shows that, although these martyrs may have been thrown to the lions, the message they delivered shall never be devoured.

Let us honour those Martyrs who rebelled against hatred and repayed evil with love.

God bless and take care

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

St Magdalene of Nagasaki

St Magdalene of Nagasaki (died 1634), an Augustinian Tertiary in Japan, in spite of great danger and difficulty, remained faithful to Jesus Christ until her martyrdom.

Born in the early seventeenth century, Magdalene belonged to a devout Christian family. Her parents were martyred around 1620, when Magdalene was in her teens.

It was around this time that the first Augustinians arrived in Japan. As a committed Catholic Christian, Magdalene made herself known to them. She served as a catechist and interpreter for the early Augustinian missionaries.

She found their Augustinian spirituality appealing, with its emphasis on the search for God, interior life, and community. She asked to be accepted into the Order of Saint Augustine, and in 1625 was formally received into the Augustinian Third Order.

Being a Christian in Japan became more and more difficult, and with the growth of Christianity persecution became stronger. Magdalene fled to the hills, where she worked at bringing the Word of God to those who did not know Jesus, and strengthening the faith of those who did.

In 1632 the Augustinians Francis of Jesus Terrero and Vincent of Saint Anthony Simoens, who had been her first counsellors, were burned to death by the pagan Japanese government because of their Christian faith. This only served to make Magdalene's faith and commitment to Christ even stronger. She located two other Augustinian Friars, Martin of Saint Nicholas Lumbreras and Melchior of Saint Augustine Sánchez. They mutually encouraged each other in persevering in the faith..

Eventually these two Friars were also martyred. Magdalene then took as her spiritual guide Jordan of Saint Stephen, a Dominican. Dominicans also follow a variant of the Rule of St Augustine.

She considered becoming a full-fledged Dominican sister, but continued religious persecution kept her from doing so.

Moved by her strong Christian conviction, and when she could hide no more, Magdalene voluntarily declared herself a follower of Jesus. She was arrested, threatened, ridiculed and tortured, but her Christian witness was strong and unfailing.

After 13 days of torture, wearing her Augustinian habit, Magdalene was suspended upside down in a pit of garbage and eventually died of her tortures. Then her body was burned and her ashes scattered.

Pope John Paul II beatified her in 1981 and canonized her in 1987.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Blessed Metod Dominik Trčka, New Martyr Of Slovakia

Succumbed to pneumonia on this date back in 1959 in a Czechoslovakian prison. Illness was contracted when confined to solitary confinement as punishment for singing a Christmas carol.

Blessed Metod, pray for us!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Archbishop Mar Paulos Faraj Rahho

Paulos Faraj Rahho was born to a Chaldean family in 1942 in Mosul. He spent nearly all his life in Mosul, a city with one of the largest and oldest Christian populations in Iraq. In 1954 he entered the St. Peter's junior and major seminary in Baghdad in order to become a priest. After his ordination on June 10, 1965 he briefly worked in Baghdad before being appointed to St. Isaiah's Church in Mosul. Between 1974 and 1976, Rahho completed his religious studies in Rome. Rahho later founded the church of the Sacred Heart in Tel Keppe, a town some 20 kilometers north of Mosul. "He also opened an orphanage for handicapped children".

In 2001, Pope John Paul II appointed him archbishop of the Archeparchy of Mosul. On February 16, 2001, he was ordained Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul, giving him responsibility for around 20,000 Catholics in ten parishes. He was ordained by the Patriarch of Babylon. His church is known in Mosul as Safina (The Ship), but parishioners called it the Holy Spirit Church.

Rahho expressed disquiet at the moves to incorporate Sharia law more fundamentally into the Iraqi constitution, and continued throughout his life to lead worship in difficult situations. During his 2007 trip to Rome, with the patriarch of Babylon Emmanuel III Delly who was then appointed cardinal, Rahho confided that he had been threatened by gunmen in his native town. Following the start of the Iraq war, persecution of Christians in Iraq increased dramatically. Rahho commented on the precarious situation of Mesopotamian Christians in an interview with Asia News shortly before his kidnapping.

Late on February 29, 2008, according to a report given by the Catholic News Service, Archbishop Rahho was kidnapped from his car in the Al-Nur district of the city; his bodyguards and driver were killed.[7] According to church officials, "gunmen sprayed the Archbishop's car with bullets, killed two bodyguards and shoved the bishop into the trunk of a car. In the darkness, he managed to pull out his cellphone and call the church, telling officials not to pay a ransom for his release, they said. "He believed that this money would not be paid for good works and would be used for killing and more evil actions," the officials said". Other reports stated that also investigators believed the archbishop may have been shot at the time of the kidnapping.

The kidnappers demanded Christians contribute to the jihad, through jizya. [10] The captors also demanded the release of Arab (Non-Iraqi) detainees and that they be paid three million dollars for Rahho's release. The kidnappers also demanded that Iraqi Christians form a militia to fight the US forces.

On March 13, 2008, it was reported that the Archbishop's body had been found buried in a shallow grave near Mosul. Officials of the Chaldean Church in Iraq said they had received a call telling them where the body was buried. Reports over the cause of death were contradictory. An official of the morgue in Mosul said the archbishop, who had health problems, including high blood pressure and diabetes, might have died of natural causes. Police at the Mosul morgue said the Archbishop "appeared to have been dead a week and his body bore no bullet wounds". Nineveh Deputy Governor Khasro Goran stated that when relatives and authorities went to the location specified by the kidnappers and found the body, it had "gunshot wounds".

Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho is believed to be the highest-ranking Chaldean Catholic clergyman to have been killed in the current Iraq war. The funeral services were held in the town of Karamlesh, with Chaldean Catholic Cardinal Emmanuel Delly in presence.

Blessed Zoltan Lajos Meszlenyi

"Ordained on 28 October 1915. Auxiliary Bishop of Esztergom, Hungary and Titular Bishop of Sinope on 22 September 1937. Martyred in the anti-Christian persecutions of the Communists."

Should you have any more information relevant to the canonization of this particular Martyr, please e-mail details to:

Thank you and God bless

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Blessed Ivan Ziatyk

The end of World War II was the beginning of a terrible period in the history of Ukraine, of the Greek-Catholic Church, and of the Lviv Province of CSsR. Having arrested all the Greek-Catholic bishops, in the spring of 1946 Soviet secret police gathered Redemptorists from Ternopil, Stanislaviv, Lviv, and Zboiska to Holosko, and placed them in a non-heated wing of the monastery. Fr. Ziatyk was among those gathered in Holosko. Redemptorists stayed there for two years under constant surveillance of the secret police. Their presence was checked three or four times a week. The confreres were often taken for interrogation, in the course of which they were promised various benefits in exchange for betrayal of their faith and monastic vocation. On 17 October 1948 all the Redemptorists staying in Holosko were told to board trucks which transported them to the Studite monastery in Univ.

The verdict was announced to Fr. Ziatyk in Kiev on 21 November 1951. He was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for “cooperating with anti-Soviet nationalistic organization and anti-Soviet propaganda”. The term was to be served in the Ozernyi Lager prison camp near the town of Bratsk in Irkutsk region.

During his imprisonment, Fr. Ziatyk suffered terrible tortures. According to witnesses, on Good Friday 1952 Fr. Ivan Ziatyk was heavily beaten with sticks, soaked in water, and left unconscious outside, in the Siberian frost. Beating and cold caused his death in a prison hospital three days later, on 17 May 1952. Fr. Ziatyk was buried in the Taishet district of Irkutsk region. The Great Architect laid another precious tile into the great mosaic of martyrdom…

Monday, October 12, 2009

St.Polycarp (A.D. 69-155).

St.David Lewis ( Last Welsh Martyr )

He was born at Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, in 1616 and raised as a Protestant.

At sixteen years of age, while visiting Paris, he converted to Catholicism and subsequently went to study in Rome, where in 1642 he was ordained as a Catholic priest. Three years later, he became a Jesuit.

He was arrested in November 1678, at Llantarnam in Monmouthshire, and condemned as a Roman Catholic priest and for saying Catholic masses, at the Assizes in Monmouth in March 1679. Like St John Wall and St John Kemble, he was then sent to London to be examined by Titus Oates (the originator of the Popish Plot) and others.

He was brought for trial at the Lenten Assizes in Monmouth on 16 March 1679. He was brought to the bar on a charge of High Treason – for having become a Catholic priest and then remaining in England.

He pleaded not guilty to the charge of being an accessory to the Popish Plot, but five or six witnesses claimed they had seen him say Mass and perform other priestly duties. For this Lewis was found guilty and sentenced to death by Sir Robert Atkins. The condemned priest was brought to Newgate Prison in London with John Kemble (Herefordshire) and questioned about the "plot". Oates, William Bedloe, Dugdale and Prace were unable to prove anything against him. Lord Shaftesbury advised him that if he gave evidence about the "plot" or renounced his Catholic faith, that his life would be spared and he would be greatly rewarded. Lewis said in his dying speech, "discover the plot I could not, as I knew of none; and conform I would not, for it was against my conscience". He was returned to Usk and waited for three months for his call to death by execution.

He was finally brought back to Usk in Monmouthshire for his execution, and was hanged on 27 August 1679. After the Titus Oates affair (1679–80), the remaining Welsh-speaking Catholic clergy were either executed or exiled.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Franz Jägerstätter

Franz Jägerstätter (May 20, 1907 — August 9, 1943; born as Franz Huber) was an Austrian conscientious objector during World War II and has been declared Blessed by the Roman Catholic Church. As in most countries at the time, refusal to serve mandatory military service in war time was a criminal offense in Germany, and Jägerstätter was sentenced to death and executed.

Franz Jägerstätter (in English also spelt Franz Jaegerstaetter) was born in Sankt Radegund, Austria, a small village near Salzburg and Braunau am Inn. He was the illegitimate child of Rosalia Huber and Franz Bachmeier. The child was first brought up by his grandmother, Elisabeth Huber. Franz's natural father was killed in World War I when he was still a child, and when his mother married, Franz was adopted by her husband, Heinrich Jägerstätter.

In his youth, Franz had gained a reputation for being a wild fellow, but, in general, his daily life was like that of most Austrian peasants. In 1933, he fathered an out of wedlock daughter, Hildegard Auer.

In 1936, he married Franziska Schwaninger, a girl from a nearby village, and they went to Rome on their honeymoon. A Catholic by birth, he experienced a religious awakening - apparently about the time of his marriage – and later served as sexton of his parish church.

When German troops moved into Austria in 1938, Jägerstätter was the only person in the village to vote against the Anschluss. Although he was not involved with any political organization, and did undergo one brief period of military training, he remained openly anti-Nazi, and publicly declared he would not fight in the war.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Blessed Natalia Tułasiewicz, New Martyr Of Poland

“A teacher from Poznan & a leader in the apostolate of lay people. During the occupation, she volunteered to leave for the Third Reich together with of ther women condemned to do heavy work in order to give them spiritual comfort. When the Gestapo found out, she was arrested, tortured and humiliated in public and was condemned to death in the Rawensbruck camp. On Good Friday, with the strength that was still in her, she climbed a stool in the hut and gave a talk to the prisoners on the passion and resurrection of Jesus. Two days later, they brought her to die in a gas-chamber.”

Eleven Nuns of NowogrodekFr

The Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth arrived in Nowogródek in 1929 at the behest of Bishop Zygmunt Lozinski.The Sisters became an integral part of the life of the town. During the Nazi and Soviet occupation of Poland, the Sisters invested great effort in preparing for the religious services - for the residents of the town, liturgical prayer became a beacon of hope amid the hopelessness of the occupation.

The Nazi terror in Nowogródek began with the 1942 extermination of the Jews. Of the 20,000 inhabitants of the town before the war, approximately half were Jews. The Germans murdered about 9,500 of the Jews in a series of "actions" and sent the remaining 550 Jews to slave labor camps. This was followed by a surge in Polish arrests, then the slaughter of 60 people, including two priests. This situation was repeated on 18 July 1943, when more than 120 people were arrested and slated for execution.

The Sisters unanimously expressed their desire to offer their lives in sacrifice for the imprisoned. Sister Maria Stella shared the Sisters' decision with their chaplain Father Zienkiewicz and rector, saying, "My God, if sacrifice of life is needed, accept it from us and spare those who have families. We are even praying for this intention." Almost immediately, the plans for the prisoners were changed - they were deported to work camps in Germany, and some of them were even released. When the life of Father Zienkiewicz was threatened, the Sisters renewed their offer, saying, "There is a greater need for a priest on this earth than for us. We pray that God will take us in his place, if sacrifice of life is needed."

Without warning or provocation, on 31 July 1943, eleven of the sisters were imprisoned, loaded into a van and driven beyond the town limits. The eleven nuns were killed on 1 August 1943 in the woods 5 km (3 mi) beyond Nowogródek, and buried in a common grave. After the execution, Sister M. Malgorzata Banas, the community's sole surviving member, located the place of the martyrdom, and remained the guardian of their common grave until her own death in 1966. The Church of the Transfiguration, known as Biała Fara, or "White Church", now contains the relics of the eleven martyrs.

San Lorenzo, first Phillipino Martyr and Saint.

Monday, October 5, 2009

St.John Ogilvie, Scottish Martyr

A portrait painted in the northern French town of Douai of Saint John Ogilvie, Roman Catholic martyr.

John Ogilvie claimed to be from a noble family in the North East and to have been raised as a Protestant. He was educated on the continent, converted to Roman Catholicism and was ordained as Jesuit priest at Paris in 1610. He travelled back to Scotland in 1613 disguised as a soldier, John Watson, one of three priests who returned as missionaries ut dedocerem haeresim (“to unteach heresy") in a country where the celebration of mass had been banned. However, in 1614 he was betrayed to the authorities in Glasgow, arrested and interrogated in prison there and in Edinburgh. After three trials, Ogilvie was convicted of high treason for refusing to accept the supremacy of King James in spiritual matters. He was hanged at Glasgow Cross on 10 March 1615.

In 1967, John Fagan, a former docker living in Easterhouse (the only parish in the world named after the martyr Ogilvie) made a remarkable recovery from stomach cancer. Claims were made for the miraculous intervention of John Ogilive and these were accepted by the Roman Catholic authorities after a lengthy investigation. In 1976, at a ceremony in Rome attended by over 4,000 people from Scotland, John Ogilvie was canonised by Pope Paul VI and became Scotland's first saint for over 700

The Catholic Martyrs of Uganda

Friday, October 2, 2009

Blessed Fr. Oleksa Zarytsky, Greek Catholic Martyr

“Blessed Fr. Oleksa Zarytsky was born in 1912 in the village of Biche, in the Lviv Region. In 1931, he entered the seminary in Lviv. He received his ordination to the priesthood from Metropolitan Andrei Sheptyts’kyi in 1936. In 1948, he was imprisoned for ten years and deported to Karaganda. After his early release in 1957, he was named Apostolic Administrator of Kazakhstan and Siberia, but was shortly thereafter imprisoned again for a three-year term. He died as a martyr for the faith on 30 October 1963 in the Dolynka concentration camp near Karaganda.”

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Padre Pro

Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez, S.J. (January 13, 1891 – November 23, 1927) was a Mexican Roman Catholic Jesuit priest, executed during the persecution of the Catholic Church under the presidency of Plutarco Elías Calles after trumped up charges of involvement in an assassination attempt against former President Álvaro Obregón. Fr. Pro was beatified by John Paul II as a martyr on September 25, 1988.

The Following photographs are genuine and captured all that took place:

Monday, September 28, 2009

Fr.William Tirry

William Tirry (1609 – May 12, 1654) was a martyred Irish Roman Catholic priest who was beatified by Pope John Paul II for his loyalty to the church.

Tirry was born in County Cork, Ireland in 1608, the nephew of the bishop of Cork-Cloyne. He joined the Augustinian Order in Cork and studied in Valladolid, Spain and Paris, France. Upon completion of his education in Paris, he spent five years (1636–1641) in Brussels, Belgium.

He returned to Ireland in 1641, and in 1649 was chosen as Prior (local superior) of the Augustinian house in Skreen. This was the same year that marked the beginning of the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland. A law was enacted on January 6, 1653 declaring that any Roman Catholic priest in Ireland was guilty of treason. Tirry was forced into hiding alongside other priests, but was captured when three men reported his whereabouts for money.

William was imprisoned at Clonmel and refused to adopt the Protestant religion. He was executed by hanging on May 12, 1654. An account told by a friar who had been tried with William supplies some details of the day: "William, wearing his Augustinian habit, was led to the gallows praying the rosary. He blessed the crowd which had gathered, pardoned his betrayers and affirmed his faith. It was a moving moment for Catholics and Protestants alike''

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The 25 Mexican Martyrs

In the 20th Century, our neighbors to the South risked Martyrdom rather than give into the demands of the Masonic government
to become a State church. Priests were outlawed, and if found tortured and martyred; Bishops were exiled as non-persons
because they refused to reject the Papacy and give allegiance to the State. Although these Priest-Martyrs knew to
remain in Mexico meant a sure Martyrdom, they chose death, so that while they were able they could bring the
Sacraments to the faithful. These are true stories taken where the Martyrs lived and died for the Faith.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Fr.Maximilian Kolbe

Maximilian Kolbe (January 8, 1894–August 14, 1941), also known as Maksymilian or Massimiliano Maria Kolbe and “Apostle of Consecration to Mary,” born as Rajmund Kolbe, was a Polish Conventual Franciscan friar who volunteered to die in place of a stranger in the Nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz in Poland.

Father Ragheed Ganni

ROMA, June 5, 2007 – They killed him on the Sunday after Pentecost, after he had celebrated Mass in his parish church, dedicated to the Holy Spirit, in Mosul.

They killed Father Ragheed Ganni, a Chaldean Catholic priest, together with three subdeacons who were with him – Basman Yousef Daud, Wahid Hanna Isho, and Gassan Isam Bidawed. The assailants led Bidawed’s wife away, and struck down the four men in cold blood. Then they placed vehicles loaded with explosives around their corpses, so that no one would dare to approach them. It was late in the evening before the police in Mosul were able to defuse the explosives and collect the bodies.

The Chaldean Church immediately mourned for them as martyrs. Benedict XVI prayed for them from Rome. Father Ragheed was one of the most limpid and courageous witnesses of the Christian life in a country among the most afflicted.

He was born in Mosul 35 years ago. After graduating from the local university with an engineering degree in 1993, from 1996 to 2003 he studied theology in Rome at the Angelicum, the Pontifical Saint Thomas Aquinas University, pursuing a license in ecumenical theology. Apart from Arabic, he spoke fluent Italian, French, and English. He was a correspondent for the international agency “Asia News,” of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions.

Hear the voice of a Christian Martyr singing a hymn in Arabic to the Blessed Mother, while watching a slideshow of his funeral mass. Hear the angelic voice of Father Ragheed Ganni

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Archbishop Oscar Romero

As archbishop, he witnessed ongoing violations of human rights and started a group which spoke out on behalf of the poor and victims of the Salvadoran civil war. In many ways Romero was closely associated with Liberation Theology and he openly condemned both Marxism and Capitalism.[2] In 1980, he was assassinated by a right-wing group headed by former major Roberto D'Aubuisson as he finished giving his homily. This provoked an international outcry for reform in El Salvador. After his assassination, Romero was succeeded by Monsignor Arturo Rivera.

Romero was killed by a shot to the heart on March 24, 1980, while celebrating Mass at a small chapel located in a hospital called "La Divina Providencia", one day after a sermon where he had called on Salvadoran soldiers, as Christians, to obey God's higher order and to stop carrying out the government's repression and violations of basic human rights. According to an audio-recording of the Mass, he was shot while holding up the Eucharist. When he was shot, his blood spilled over the altar.

St.George the great martyr

The martyrdom of Saint George, by Paolo Veronese, 1564.It is likely that Saint George was born to a Christian noble family in Nicomedia, during the late third century between about 275 AD and 285 AD, and he died in Lydda, Palestine.His father, Geronzio (Latin Gerontius), was a Roman army official from Cappadocia and his mother was from Palestine. They were both Christians and from noble families of Anici, so by this the child was raised with Christian beliefs. They decided to call him George, meaning "worker of the land". At the age of 14, George lost his father; a few years later, George's mother, Policronia (Polychronia), died. Eastern accounts give the names of his parents as Anastasius and Theobaste.

Then George decided to go to Nicomedeia, the imperial city of that time, and present himself to Emperor Diocletian to apply for a career as a soldier. Diocletian welcomed him with open arms, as he had known his father, Geronzio—one of his finest soldiers. By his late 20s, George was promoted to the rank of Tribunus and stationed as an imperial guard of the Emperor at Nicomedeia.

In the year AD 302, Diocletian (influenced by Galerius) issued an edict that every Christian soldier in the army should be arrested and every other soldier should offer a sacrifice to the Pagan gods. But George objected and with the courage of his faith approached the Emperor and ruler. Diocletian was upset, not wanting to lose his best Tribune and the son of his best official, Geronzio. George loudly renounced the Emperor's edict, and in front of his fellow soldiers and Tribunes he claimed himself to be a Christian and declared his worship of Jesus Christ. Diocletian attempted to convert George, even offering gifts of land, money and slaves if he made a sacrifice to the Pagan gods. The Emperor made many offers, but George never accepted.

Recognizing the futility of his efforts, Diocletian was left with no choice but to have him executed for his refusal. Before the execution George gave his wealth to the poor and prepared himself. After various torture sessions, including laceration on a wheel of swords in which he was resuscitated three times, George was executed by decapitation before Nicomedia's city wall, on April 23, 303. A witness of his suffering convinced Empress Alexandra and Athanasius, a pagan priest, to become Christians as well, and so they joined George in martyrdom. His body was returned to Lydda for burial, where Christians soon came to honour him as a martyr.

St. Sebastian the martyr

The details of Sebastian's martyrdom were first elaborated by Ambrose of Milan, in his sermon (number XX) on Psalm 118. Ambrose stated that Sebastian came from Milan and that he was already venerated there in the fourth century.According to Sebastian's fifth-century Acta Sanctorum,[1] still attributed to Ambrose by the seventeenth-century hagiographer Jean Bolland, and the briefer account in Legenda Aurea, he was a man of Gallia Narbonensis who was taught in Milan and appointed as a captain of the Praetorian Guard under Diocletian and Maximian, who were unaware that he was a Christian.

Sebastian was reportedly known for having encouraged in their faith two Christian prisoners due for martyrdom, Mark and Marcellian, who were bewailed and entreated by their family to forswear Christ and offer token sacrifice. His aura cured a woman of her muteness, and the miracle instantly converted 78 persons.According to tradition, Mark and Marcellian were twin brothers and were deacons. They were from a distinguished family and were both married, living in Rome with their wives and children. The brothers refused to sacrifice to the Roman gods and were arrested. They were visited by their father and mother, Tranquillinus and Martia, in prison, who attempted to persuade them to renounce Christianity.

Sebastian ended up converting Tranquillinus and Martia, as well as Saint Tiburtius, the son of Chromatius, the local prefect. Nicostratus, another official, and his wife Zoe were also converted. According to the legend, Zoe had been a mute for 6 years. However, she made known to Sebastian her desire to be converted to Christianity. As soon as she had, her speech returned to her. Nicostratus then brought the rest of the prisoners; these 16 persons were also converted by Sebastian.Chromatius and Tiburtius became converts; Chromatius set all of his prisoners free from jail, resigned his position, and retired to the country in Campania. Mark and Marcellian, after being concealed by a Christian named Castulus, were later martyred, as were Nicostratus, Zoe, and Tiburtius.

Diocletian reproached Sebastian for his supposed betrayal, and "he commanded him to be led to the field and there to be bounden to a stake for to be shot at. And the archers shot at him till he was as full of arrows as an urchin (hedgehog),"[4] leaving him there for dead. Miraculously, the arrows did not kill him. The widow of Castulus, Irene of Rome, went to retrieve his body to bury it, and found he was still alive. She brought him back to her house and nursed him back to health. The other residents of the house doubted he was a Christian. One of those was a girl who was blind. Sebastian asked her "Do you wish to be with God?", and made the sign of the Cross on her head. "Yes," she replied, and immediately regained her sight. Sebastian then stood on a step and harangued Diocletian as he passed by; the emperor had him beaten to death and his body thrown in a privy. But in an apparition Sebastian told a Christian widow where they might find his body undefiled and bury it "at the catacombs by the apostles."

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Roman Catholic Priest Shot Dead In Pakistan

A Roman catholic priest was shot and killed in eastern Pakistan early on Saturday, police said.

No one took immediate responsibility for the shooting death of Father George Ibrahim sometime after midnight in Ranala Kot, a small village about 300 km from Islamabad.

No arrests have been made. Gunmen broke into his home and shot him, police said.

Ibrahim had received several death threats, according to Shahbaz Bhatti, head of the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance. The threats appeared linked to a school that had been returned to the Roman Catholic Church by the province.

"He wanted to denationalise the school, which had been the property of the church and when he got it back he received threats saying 'you will pay a price for the school," Bhatti said in a telephone interview.

It was not known who made the threats, but Bhatti feared it was extremist Muslim groups, who have been blamed for previous attacks against Christians in Pakistan.

Bhatti said that Pakistan's minority Christian community has been targeted by extremist groups since the 2001 start of the US-led war on terror in Afghanistan because Christians here are associated with the United States, which is seen as a mostly Christian country.

The killing comes less than 24 hours after suicide attackers massacred 44 Shiite Muslims in a mosque in southwestern Baluchistan province. Three suicide attackers also died in the attack.

American Nun Shot Dead In Amazon

A 74-year-old American nun was shot to death early on Saturday in Brazil's Amazon jungle, where she worked for decades to defend peasant farmers and the rain forest from illegal loggers and ranchers.

Two gunmen approached US missionary Dorothy Stang and shot her three times in the back at a settlement of landless peasants, 50 km from the town of Anapu in the state of Para, police and fellow religious workers said.

"She had no fear; this was her life, her fight," Ze Geraldo, a ruling Workers Party (PT) federal deputy, told Reuters by telephone after helping bring her body back to Anapu, where he said she would be buried, after an autopsy.

Having shot her in the back, a gunman fired a fourth shot to her head when she fell to the ground, then fled into the jungle, according to Mr Geraldo.

President Luiz Inacio Lula dispatched ministers and police teams to carry out a "rigorous" investigation.

"Two hired gunmen have now been identified and there are other people involved," Human Rights Minister Nilmario Miranda said in an interview on national television. He used the word "pistoleiro," used in Brazil to describe a contract killer.

Ms Stang's fellow missionaries had long feared such news.

"Sister Dorothy", as she was known, was originally from Ohio. She worked with peasant families to prevent them from fleeing illegal loggers and ranchers in the Trans-Amazonian highway region, some 700 km south-west of state capital of Belem.

She negotiated with hired gunmen to prevent attacks on settlements, frequently reported human rights abuses and taught locals how to use the forest in a sustainable way.

Brazil's government compared Stang's killing to that of legendary Amazon environmental activist Chico Mendes, who was gunned down in 1988 and became a martyr in the fight to protect the world's largest rain forest and its people.

Stang, who had lived in Brazil for more than three decades, recently won a human rights award from a Brazilian lawyers group. The state of Para named her woman of the year.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The 26 Japanese Martyrs

The shogunate and imperial government at first supported the Catholic mission and the missionaries, thinking that they would reduce the power of the Buddhist monks, and help trade with Spain and Portugal. However, the Shogunate was also wary of colonialism, seeing that in the Philippines the Spanish had taken power after converting the population. The government increasingly saw Roman Catholicism as a threat, and started persecuting Christians. A situation inflamed by their discovery that the Christian daimyo and Portuguese were engaging in the slave trading of Japanese women.[1] [2][dubiousdiscuss] Christianity was banned and those Japanese who refused to abandon their faith were killed.

On February 5, 1597, twenty-six Christians—six European Franciscan missionaries, three Japanese Jesuits and seventeen Japanese laymen including three young boys—were executed by crucifixion in Nagasaki. These individuals were raised on crosses and then pierced through with spears.

Persecution continued sporadically, breaking out again in 1613 and 1630. On September 10, 1632, 55 Christians were martyred in Nagasaki in what became known as the Great Genna Martyrdom. At this time Roman Catholicism was officially outlawed. The Church remained without clergy and theological teaching disintegrated until the arrival of Western missionaries in the nineteenth century.

While there were many more martyrs, the first martyrs came to be especially revered, the most celebrated of which was Paul Miki. The Martyrs of Japan were canonized by the Roman Catholic Church on June 8, 1862 by Blessed Pius IX and are listed on the calendar as Sts. Paul Miki and his Companions, commemorated on February 6. Originally this feast day was listed as Sts. Peter Baptist and Twenty-Five Companions, Martyrs, and commemorated on February 5.[3]
Drawn from the oral histories of Japanese Catholic communities, Shusaku Endo's acclaimed novel Silence provides detailed accounts of the persecution of Christian communities and the suppression of the Church.

The Thirty Franciscan Martyrs of Široki Brijeg

Thousands of pilgrims visit the Franciscan Monastery in Široki Brijeg every year, about one hour distant from Međugorje (Medjugorje). On 7th February 1945 the Communist soldiers arrived and said “God is dead, there is no God, there is no Pope, there is no Church, there is no need of you, you also go out in the world and work.” The communists forgot that the Franciscans were working, most of the Franciscans were teaching in the adjoining school. Some of the Franciscans were famous professors and had written books. The communists asked them to remove their habits. The Franciscans refused. One angry soldier took the Crucifix and threw it on the floor. He said, “you can now choose either life or death.” Each of the Franciscans knelt down, embraced the Crucifix and said, “You are my God and my All.” The thirty Franciscans were taken out and slaughtered and their bodies burned in a nearby cave where their remains lay for many years. Today they are buried inside the Franciscan church. In our Gospel today Jesus said, “if anyone declares himself for me in the presence of men, I will declare myself for him in the presence of my Father in heaven.” The thirty Franciscan martyrs of Široki Brijeg are a powerful example of declaring oneself in the presence of others for Jesus. They lived something else Jesus also said in the Gospel, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; fear him rather who can destroy both body and soul in hell.”
Witnessing to Jesus and following God’s way helps others who are lacking courage to follow Jesus. One of the soldiers in the firing squad at Široki Brijeg later said, “Since I was a child, in my family, I had always heard from my mother that God exists. To the contrary, Stalin, Lenin, Tito had always asserted and taught each one of us: there is no God. God does not exist! But when I stood in front of the martyrs of Široki Brijeg and I saw how those friars faced death, praying and blessing their persecutors, asking God forgive the faults of their executioners, it was then that I recalled to my mind the words of my mother and I thought that my mother was right: God exists!” That soldier converted and now he has a son a priest and a daughter a nun. As I said, witnessing to Jesus and following God’s way also helps others in the crowd who are lacking the courage to follow Jesus.

Charles De Foucauld

CHARLES DE FOUCAULD (Brother Charles of Jesus) was born in Strasbourg, France on September 15th, 1858. Orphaned at the age of six, he and his sister Marie were raised by their grandfather in whose footsteps he followed by taking up a military career.
He lost his faith as an adolescent.His taste for easy living was well known to all and yet he showed that he could be strong willed and constant in difficult situations. He undertook a risky exploration of Morocco (1883-1884). Seeing the way Muslims expressed their faith questioned him and he began repeating, “My God, if you exist, let me come to know you.”
On his return to France, the warm, respectful welcome he received from his deeply Christian family made him continue his search. Under the guidance of Fr. Huvelin he rediscovered God in October 1886.He was then 28 years old. “As soon as I believed in God, I understood that I could not do otherwise than to live for him alone.”

A pilgrimage to the Holy Land revealed his vocation to him: to follow Jesus in his life at Nazareth.He spent 7 years as a Trappist, first in France and then at Akbès in Syria. Later he began to lead a life of prayer and adoration, alone, near a convent of Poor Clares in Nazareth.
Ordained a priest at 43 (1901) he left for the Sahara, living at first in Beni Abbès and later at Tamanrasset among the Tuaregs of the Hoggar. He wanted to be among those who were, “the furthest removed, the most abandoned.” He wanted all who drew close to him to find in him a brother, “a universal brother.” In a great respect for the culture and faith of those among whom he lived, his desire was to “shout the Gospel with his life”. “I would like to be sufficiently good that people would say, “If such is the servant, what must the Master be like?”
On the evening of December 1st 1916, he was killed by a band of marauders who had encircled his house.
He had always dreamed of sharing his vocation with others: after having written several rules for religious life, he came to the conclusion that this “life of Nazareth” could be led by all. Today the “spiritual family of Charles de Foucauld” encompasses several associations of the faithful, religious communities and secular institutes for both lay people and priests.

St.Oliver Plunkett.

Oliver Plunkett was born in Loughcrew in County Meath, Ireland on November 1, 1625. In 1647, he went to study for the priesthood in the Irish College in Rome. On January 1, 1654, he was ordained a priest in the Propaganda College in Rome.
Due to religious persecution in his native land, it was not possible for him to return to minister to his people. Oliver taught in Rome until 1669, when he was appointed Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of Ireland. Archbishop Plunkett soon established himself as a man of peace and, with religious fervor, set about visiting his people, establishing schools, ordaining priests, and confirming thousands.
1673 brought a renewal of religious persecution, and bishops were banned by edict. Archbishop Plunkett went into hiding, suffering a great deal from cold and hunger. His many letters showed his determination not to abandon his people, but to remain a faithful shepherd. He thanked God "Who gave us the grace to suffer for the chair of Peter." The persecution eased a little and he was able to move more openly among his people. In 1679 he was arrested and falsely charged with treason. The government in power could not get him convicted at his trial in Dundalk. He was brought to London and was unable to defend himself because he was not given time to bring his own witnesses from Ireland. He was put on trial, and with the help of perjured witnesses, was sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn. With deep serenity of soul, he was prepared to die, calmly rebutting the charge of treason, refusing to save himself by giving false evidence against his brother bishops. Oliver Plunkett publicly forgave all those who were responsible for his death on July 1, 1681. On October 12, 1975, he was canonized a saint. His feast day is July 11.