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 7, 2010

Church is suffering in Iraq

CATHOLIC leaders in Iraq
have accused Western
nations and global agencies
like the UN of doing
nothing to protect the
Muslim country’s terrified
Christian minority.
“Christians are slaughtered
in their homes and churches,
and the ‘free’ world watches
in complete indifference,
responding only in a politically
correct, economically opportunistic
way,” said Syrian
Catholic Patriarch Ignace
Joseph III.
He was speaking after the
most ferocious assault yet by
Muslim radicals on the community.
The attack on
Catholics attending Sunday
evening Mass in Baghdad left
52 of them dead, including
three young priests, and 75
more injured.
Shortly before this, Iraqi
bishops at a synod in Rome
told of the terrorism and violence
Christians and other
minorities face: kidnappings,
bombings of churches,
schools and other properties,
and threats to Christian businesses,
as well as to their

Islamic extremists burst into
Our Lady of Salvation Church,
murdering the priests and taking
the congregation hostage.
A grenade was tossed into a
room where 60 parishioners
were huddling for safety.
As Iraqi forces stormed the
church, the Islamists surrounded
themselves with children
and blew themselves
and the children to bits, using
explosives hidden in suicide
A group linked to al-Qaeda
claimed responsibility for the
atrocity and warned that it
would open on Christians “the
doors of destruction and
rivers of blood.”
A few days after what Pope
Benedict called “a savage
act”, eleven car bombs aimed
at Christian shops and homes
in Baghdad exploded, killing
another 5 members of the
minority.Iraqi Christians say they are
in far greater danger now than
at any time in their long history.
They have been living in terror
since the bombing of their
places of worship began in
2004.In 1987 a census in Iraq
revealed there were 1.4 million
Christians still in the
country. Estimates put the figure
at between 500,000 and
800,000 today.

The coffins of two priests killed in the recent Islamist attack
on Catholics who were taking part in Sunday Mass in the
Syrian Catholic cathedral in Baghdad. Another priest and 49
laypeople died in the assault.

Source: Alive Newspaper

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

LINEN ON THE HEDGEROW: A cry for peace from a 3 year old, and then he is ...

LINEN ON THE HEDGEROW: A cry for peace from a 3 year old, and then he is ...: "3 year old Adam, shot through the mouth This is 3 year old Adam who was brutally martyred by Islamic fundamentalists on 31 October in Bagh..."

Monday, November 8, 2010

Blessed Jose Villanova: Priest and Martyr

Blessed José Villanova was born in Turís Tormo (Valencia) January 20, 1902 and was baptized two days later. He took his vows in Carabanchel Alto (Madrid) on 25 July 1920, and in 1929 was ordained a priest and spent teaching. He had a long but fruitful apostolate is not, is that in Salamanca in Madrid.
In the early months of the revolution he lived in hiding in Madrid, so he could continue to exercise his apostolate. He was discovered September 29, 1936, arrested and shot.

He was Beatified October 28, 2007 as one of the Blessed Spanish Salesians, Martyrs of Madrid and Seville.

The new blessed Salesians, the former provinces of Madrid and Seville, were grouped under a single title: “Enrique Saiz and 62 companion martyrs.” Of them 22 were priests, 18 coadjutor Salesians, 16 students, 3 candidates, 3 and 1 co-operated. None had been involved in political or ideological struggles. Salesians practiced only the politics of the Our Father. They died only because they were religious. Today, they are presented as an example of courage and steadfastness in the faith. All died forgiving their persecutors, as did Christ on the cross. The Church honors their memory and presents them as a model of fidelity and consistency.

Source: Santi e Beati


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Loyal to the Magisterium

Hi everyone, Christmas is just around the corner this year and Advent is beginning soon, how wonderful, nature is closing down and winter is just getting dressed and ready to show itself. I just wanted to drop in and say that I've been busy this past couple of weeks and months. I have also been lazy in blogging. I'm praying that will leave me soon. If my laziness was not bad enough as it is I've also started another blog on I've decided to do my best this winter in between my study to give both blogs my greatest attention.

I would appreaciate it if you could visit my other blog ( which is in its early stages ) and give it a look. If your interested, subscribe to that also.

The address is

God bless and remember, if you have any martyrs you dont see on this blog page, please do not hesitate to send them to me and I will put these blessed martyrs up straight away.

Pax Christi
Stephen Mc Eligott

Jacob Fernandez

"2006/11/26, Jacob Fernandez, a lay Catholic, who worked in a Religious Bookshop at the Shrine of Mount St Thomas in Chennai, in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu was murdered. He was attacked and killed for no reason in front of a crowd of terrified eyewitnesses present in the bookshop. Reportedly the assailant, in a state of violent excitement, demanded to see the parish priest and loudly claimed the Shrine area as Hindu property. The police said the suspect arrested was “mentally instable”, but local Catholics know the man as a fanatical extremist in contact with anti-social groups. Mr Fernandez was known as a devout Catholic who attended daily Mass at the Shrine and lived his life as a mission."


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

New French film 'Of Gods and Men'

"Of Gods and Men

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Xavier Beauvois
Produced by Pascal Caucheteux
Written by Xavier Beauvois
Etienne Comar

Starring Lambert Wilson
Michael Lonsdale

Cinematography Caroline Champetier
Editing by Marie-Julie Maille
Studio Why Not Productions
Distributed by Mars Distribution
Release date(s) 18 May 2010 (2010-05-18) (Cannes)
8 September 2010
Running time 120 minutes
Country France
Language French
Budget € 4 million

Of Gods and Men is a 2010 French drama film directed by Xavier Beauvois, starring Lambert Wilson and Michael Lonsdale. The original French title is Des hommes et des dieux, which means "Of Men and Gods". It centers around the monastery of Tibhirine, where Trappist monks lived in harmony with the largely Muslim population of Algeria, until seven of them were beheaded in a still unclear incident in 1996. The screenplay focuses on the time leading up to their death, with careful attention to authenticity. Principal photography took place at an abandoned monastery in Morocco.

The film won the Grand Prix at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. It became a big critical and commercial success in its domestic market. France submitted it for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 83rd Academy Awards."

Watch the trailer here:

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Saint Augustine Webster, Martyr Of England

Pictures do not seem to be working right now but I will do my best to get that back on track. In the meantime, please enjoy this short but powerful story of a great Martyr from England.

Pax Christi

"Saint Augustine Webster was an English Catholic martyr.
He was educated at Cambridge University. He became the prior of Our Lady of Melwood, a Carthusian house at Epworth, on the Isle of Axholme, North Lincolnshire, in 1531. He was imprisoned on the orders of Thomas Cromwell when he refused to take the Oath of Supremacy and was hanged, beheaded and quartered at Tyburn on May 4, 1535.
He was canonised in 1970 as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales"

Sunday, September 19, 2010

St.Januarius Feast day September 19th

Yearly on the first weekend of May (on Saturday) and on the 19th September amazement spreads through Naples Cathedral. There one can marvel at how the blood of the beheaded San Gennaro liquifies in its ampoule.

The day of the blood miracle is an important feast for Naples and the people celebrate it accordingly. The Cathedral is surrounded by stalls selling sweets, cobs and all kinds of curiosities and kitsch.

In advance a procession takes place, whereby holy figures are carried through Spaccanapoli. The silver bust of San Gennaro leads the procession, followed by holy Teresa, Lucia, Patricia and many more. The Neapolitans like to bet on the sequence of these holy statues, while applauding their favourite saint in the hope that these would get a place at front at the following procession.

At the subsequent service a centuries-old ritual takes place: the Saint’s silver bust is positioned next to the altar and the ampoule with blood is shown to the faithful by the „abate del tesoro“ and then slowly turned. Shortly after this, traditional prayers of the „parenti di San Gennaro“ (relatives of San Gennaro, a group of faithful women, sitting in the front row) are said. These prayers heighten ecstatically until the blood liquifies. The wild rejoicing of the faithful is crowned by the sound of the cathedral’s bells ringing. The crowd starts pushing its way through to kiss the ampoule of blood. This overcrowded service is attended by spiritual authorities, political dignitaries and hundreds of anticipating believers.

According to the people this blood miracle takes place, when no disaster is expected in the near future. For most of the natives of Naples the service has an oracle character. The absence of the miracle augurs tragedy for Naples and its surroundings. For instance in 1980 before the harsh earthquake took its toll on 2000 lives, the blood didn’t liquify.

The people of Naples rather have a personal than religious relationship with San Gennaro. They present him their wishes with love and expect them to be fulfilled.

The story of the blood miracle.
Saint Gennaro was the bishop of Benevento and was beheaded during the persecution of Christians by Diocletian in 305. According to the legend a woman collected and kept some of the martyr’s blood in an ampoule, after he died. In 313 the miracle occurred for the first time, after the Saint’s skeleton and the ampoule with blood were brought to Naples. The skeleton was placed to rest in the catacomb together with the ampoule. In the 9th century the remains and blood of S. Gennaro were in a small chapel, next to the church, where in the 14th century the cathedral was built.

There are numerous records on the liquefaction of the blood, dating from times before 1649 when they officially started recording this miracle. One of the descriptions of the procession dates from the year 1389. According to writings in 1528 the blood miracle didn’t take place. This was the year the pest broke out and Naples didn’t receive its raise from France.

There are hundreds of records of the liquefaction dating from the 16th Century.

This well-documented phenomenon is still regarded as unexplained by believers and sceptics alike. Noted parapsychologist Hans Bender defined it the paranormal phenomenon with the best and historical documentation; physicist Enrico Fermi seems to have expressed interest as well.

It is also one of the few recurrent non-medical, physical “miracles” that might be studied scientifically.


Monday, June 7, 2010

St.Boniface Bishop and Martyr

The earliest "Life" of Boniface, written by Willibald around 765, does not mention his place of birth but that at an early age he attended a monastery at Examchester. The vita written by Otloh of St. Emmeram (1062-1066) says that his birth was at Crediton, but it is not clear on what basis this was.

Winfrid was of a respected and prosperous family. Against his father's wishes that he devoted himself at an early age to the monastic life. He received his theological training in the Benedictine monasteries of Adescancastre, near Exeter and (presumably) Nursling, on the western edge of Southampton, under the abbot Winbert. Winfrid taught in the abbey school and at the age of 30 became a priest. He wrote the first Latin grammar produced in England.

In 716 AD, Winfrid set out on a missionary expedition to Frisia, intending to convert the inhabitants by preaching to them in their own language, his own Old English language being similar to Old Frisian. His efforts, however, were frustrated by the war then being carried on between Charles Martel and Radbod, king of the Frisians, and he returned to Nursling.

In 723, Boniface felled the holy oak tree dedicated to Thor near the present-day town of Fritzlar in northern Hesse. He did this with the Prophet Elijah in mind. Boniface called upon Thor to strike him down if he cut the holy tree. According to St Boniface's first biographer, Willibald (an Anglo-Saxon priest come to Mainz after Boniface's death, not to be confused with the saint),[2] Boniface started to chop the oak down, when suddenly a great wind, as if by miracle, blew the ancient oak over. When Thor did not strike him down, the people were amazed and converted to Christianity. All belief in Thor ended. He built a chapel from its wood at the site where today stands the cathedral of Fritzlar. Later he established the first bishopric in Germany north of the old Roman Limes at the Frankish fortified settlement of Büraburg, on a prominent hill facing the town across the Eder River.

He had never relinquished his hope of converting the Frisians, and in 754 he set out with a small retinue for Frisia. He baptized a great number and summoned a general meeting for confirmation at a place not far from Dokkum, between Franeker and Groningen. Instead of his converts, however, a group of armed inhabitants appeared who slew the aged archbishop. Boniface's hagiographer reports that the Frisians killed the saint because they believed the chests he carried with him contained gold and other riches, but were dismayed when they discovered that there were only the bishop's books contained within.

His remains were eventually buried in the abbey of Fulda after resting for some time in Utrecht, and they are entombed within a shrine beneath the high altar of Fulda cathedral. The forcible conversion of Germany up to the Elbe River was executed by Charlemagne, who destroyed the Saxons' independence, though not that of the Frisians, in the last decades of the eighth century.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Catholic Bishop Luigi Padovese stabbed to death

This is truly a sorrowful day for us all, and I have no doubt that he is in the Bosom of Jesus and Mary, may his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed through the Mercy of God, rest in Peace, Amen.

Pax Christi

Stephen <3

26 Passionists di Daimiel (Spain)

26 Passionists di Daimiel (Spain), almost all young students, shot in different groups and in different places (+ 1936). [1 October 1989].

At 11:30pm on the night of 21 July 1936 a group of armed men arrived at the Passionist monastery of Santo Cristo de la Luz in Daimiel, Spain.[1] The members of the community were gathered for prayer when the superior of the community, Father Niceforo of Jesus, upon hearing the armed men exclaimed

“Gethsemane – this is our Gethsemane. Our spirit is deeply distressed as it contemplates the daunting perspective of Calvary, as was that of Jesus, and so too our human nature, in its weakness, trembles, becomes cowardly… But Jesus is with us. I am going to give you He who is the strength of the weak.. Jesus was comforted by an angel; it is Jesus himself who comforts and sustains us… Within a few moments we will be with Christ… Citizens of Calvary, take heart! Let us die with Christ! It is my duty to encourage you and I myself am encouraged by your example.”[2]

Father Nicefore then gave the community absolution and Holy Communion. The Passionists were ordered out of the church and led to the local cemetery under armed guard. [1] One of the five survivors later remarked ;

“Our imagination ran wild as we saw the already dug graves. Would they bury us alive…or dead? The thought of death frightened us, but the idea of being buried alive was even more terrifying.”[3]

The armed men split the Passionists into groups and headed in different directions. The religious were set free but their movements had been observed by the Popular Front and information regarding their locations was sent to various armed fighters in the error using phrases such as

“The Passionists of Daimiel are going to going to pass through here. Fresh meat! Don’t let them get away…”[3]

On 23 July 1936, Father Niceforo and four others were shot dead, seven more survived but after suffering from their injuries were executed three months later by firing squad.[4] Nine others were placed on a train to Ciudad Real. They were put in gaol, accused of being religious who were killing people. Then they were led down the street to be mocked and stoned by crowds. These Passionists were shot dead and buried in a mass grave, their alleged crime written on their wrists ‘For being Passionist religious from Daimiel’.[4] Ten other Passionists tried to get to Madrid by train or walking. They were taken off the train at Urda station and there, on the morning of July 25, shot dead.[4] Two others, Father Juan Pedro of Saint Anthony and the elderly Brother Pablo Maria of Saint Joseph managed to walk to Carrion de Calatrava in Ciudad Real where they hid for two months. They were discovered and shot as they kissed their crucifixes and exclaimed “Long Live Christ the King!”[4]

Eye-witnesses reported that all of the Passionists had forgiven their murderers before they died. A witness to the murder of Father Niceforo reported that after being shot the priest turned his eyes to heaven then turned and smiled at his murderers. At this point one of them, now more infuriated than ever, shouted:

“What, are you still smiling?”[3]

With that he shot him at point blank range.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Blessed Jakob Gapp

Also known as
Jacob Gapp
13 August
Seventh child in the working class family of Martin Gapp and Antonia Wach. Received a basic education in his native town, then entered the Franciscan high school in Hall in 1910. Austrian soldier on the Italian front from May 1915 till he was wounded in 1916; received the silver medal of Courage Second Class. On 4 November 1918 he became a prisoner of war in Riva del Garda; released 18 August 1919.

Entered the Marianist novitiate at Greisinghof, Upper Austria in 1921. Assigned to the Marian Institute in Graz as a teacher and sacristan for four years, while preparing for the seminary. Made his profession at Antony, France on 27 August 1925. In September 1925 Jakob entered the International Marianist Seminary in Fribourg, Switzerland. Ordained by Bishop Marius Besson at Saint Nicholas Cathedral in Fribourg on 5 April 1930.

Back in Austria he worked as a teacher, director of religious education, and chaplain in Marianist schools till 1938. Economic conditions were terrible; Father Gapp collected food and other necessities from students, and gave his own heating coal to the poor.

Nazism was on the rise in Germany and Austria. Father Gapp saw the incompatibility of Nazism and Christianity, and began preaching this truth. When German troops arrived in Austria in March 1938, he left Graz. His superiors sent him home as they believed his anti-Nazi preaching would bring on the wrath of the Reich; but those institutions were already marked for destruction.

In Tirol he enjoyed the last moments of peace in his life. He was an assistant pastor in Breitenwang-Reutte for two months when the Gestapo, in October 1938, ordered him not to teach religion. Father Gapp taught uncompromising love for all men and women without reference to nationality or religion, and that "God is your God, not Adolf Hitler." In a sermon on 11 December 1938 he defended Pope Pius XI against the attacks of the Nazis, and directed the faithful of the parish to read Catholic literature instead of Nazi propaganda. He was advised to leave the country.

He escaped to Bordeaux, France, where he worked as a chaplain and librarian. In May 1939 he went to Spain where he served in the Marianist communities at San Sebastian, Cadiz and Valencia. The Gestapo had followed him, and in 1942 he received word of two people across the border in France who claimed to be Jews fleeing from Nazis in Berlin, and who wanted instruction in Catholicism. When he crossed into France to minster to him, they abducted him.

Father Gapp was arrested on 9 November 1942 in Hendaye, France, and brought to Berlin. On 2 July 1943 he was condemned to death for speaking against the Reich. Burial of his remains were denied as the Nazis feared he would be seen as a martyr, and his grave become a site of silent demonstration and rebellion. On the afternoon of 13 August 1943 he was advised he would executed that night. He wrote two moving farewell letters, and was martyred.

"Action is more important than theory!" -Father Gapp
26 July 1897 at Wattens, Austrian Tirol
guillotined at 7.08pm 13 August 1943 at Plotzensee Prison, Berlin, Germany; remains used for research at the Anatomical-Biological Institute of the University of Berlin
6 April 1995 by Pope John Paul II
24 November 1996 by Pope John Paul II
pending; if you have information related to the canonization of Blessed Jakob contact:
Haupstraße 3, 2100
Stetten, AUSTRIA


Saturday, May 29, 2010

St. Theodosia of Constantinople

St. Theodosia of Constantinople lived during the eighth century and was born in answer to the fervent prayers of her parents. After their deaths, she was raised at the women’s monastery of the Holy Martyr Anastasia in Constantinople. After distributing what remained of her parental inheritance to the poor, she became a nun. She also used part of the money to commission gold and silver icons of the Savior, the Theotokos, and St. Anastasia.

When Leo the Isaurian ascended the throne, he issued an edict that holy icons be destroyed everywhere. Above the Bronze Gates at Constantinople was a bronze icon of the Savior, which had been there for more than 400 years. In 730, the iconoclast Patriarch Anastasius ordered that the icon be destroyed.

The Virgin Martyr Theodosia and other women rushed to protect the icon and toppled the ladder with the soldier who was carrying out the command. The women then stoned Patriarch Anastasius.

Emperor Leo ordered the women to be beheaded. St. Theodosia, an ardent defender of icons, was thrown in prison. She was given one hundred lashes a day for over one week. On the eighth day, she was led through the city, being beaten along the way. Ultimately, one of the soldiers stabbed her in the throat with a ram’s horn, and she received the crown of martyrdom.

Following the Triumph of Orthodoxy over iconoclasm she was recognized as a martyr and saint, and The body of the holy virgin martyr was reverently buried by Christians in the St. Euphemia Monastery in Constantinople, near a place called Dexiokratis. The tomb of St. Theodosia was glorified by numerous healings of the sick

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


He was born on July 1, 1903 in Stanislaviv (Ivano-Fraankivsk’). His parents were Volodymyr and Anne (nee Theodorowych) who were catechists. In 1920 he entered the Major Seminary in Lviv.

While he was a deacon, he received his religious vocation. He made his novitiate in Holosko near Lviv. He made his first profession in August, 1925. Soon after he was ordained by Bishop Joseph Bocian to the priesthood.

The young Redemptorist was a teacher at the Redemptorist Minor Seminary at Zboisk until 1928. Then he became a missionary for seven years in the area of Volyn working for Church union with the Orthodox and serving the Ukrainian Catholics from Halychyna who lived there. In 1935 he returned to Halychyna and was very active as a missionary.

In 1943, Velychkovsky became the local superior in the house in Ternopil.

The second occupation of the communist soviets in Halychyna brought with it terror and persecution of the Church. In March 1945 he was arrested by the communists in Ternopil. He was taken to Kiev where for almost two years he underwent a terrible process of interrogation. The courts of Kiev sentenced him to the maximum penalty of death by a firing squad. After he spent three months on death row, his sentence was then commuted to ten years of hard labour. This took place in Vorkuta labour camps above the Arctic Circle.

In 1955 Fr. Velychkovsky returned to Lviv.

In 1959 he was appointed as Bishop, and in 1963 he was ordained as bishop by Metropolitan Slipyj in a hotel room in Moscow. Through him the hierarchy of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Ukraine was maintained throughout the time of the underground church.

In 1969 he was arrested for "organising secret theological courses in Ternopil" and also because he was listening to Vatican radio. He was sentenced to three years of hard labour in lager camps. During this time he went through severe torture and his health was destroyed.

Bishop Vasyl Velychkovsky was released in spring of 1972 and soon after died in Winnipeg on July 30, 1973.

Blessed Vasyl's relics were enshrined in St. Joseph's Ukrainian Catholic Church in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on September 22, 2002.

If you would like more information about Blessed Vasyl, please contact our shrine office at:
204-338-7321 or visit Bishop Velychkovsky Martyr’s Shrine at

Monday, May 10, 2010

Blessed Nicholas Charnetskyj

Dear Blog readers, just yesterday I had been to one of the most Holy Liturgies I have ever had the pleasure to attend. It was the Greek Catholic Church of Ukraine, it takes place on Thomas Lane, behind St.Marys Pro Cathedral just off O'Connoll Street in St.Kevins Oratory, the Liturgy begins at 16:00 every Sunday. It was our ( both I and my Wife ) first ever Eatern Rite Mass with my Ukrainian brothers and sisters, so we were unsure about the different practice within their Liturgy. A guide offered to help us out ( I forget his name at this moment ) and explained to us the Different Icons, and he showed me Blessed Nicholas among Many, and when he mentioned he was a Martyr, I told him about my blog and how I am always looking for a Martyr to place upon my blog. It is great the way God finds me new Martyrs for my blog, so the following is the story of Blessed Nicholas Charnetskyj, his bringing the ukrainian church to Ireland and also his Martyrdom for the Faith.

I would also like to on this occasion, ask Blessed Nicholas, to pray for the full unity of both east and west with Rome, and for the Greek Catholic Church in Ukraine and around the world Amen. I would also like to ask your prayers for Fr.Serge who celebrated the Mass I attended just yesterday.

In June 2001, Bishop Nicholas Charnetskyj was one of five Redemptorists among 27 martyrs beatified by Pope John Paul during his visit to the Ukraine. Fr Brendan McConvery, C.Ss.R., who lectures in scripture at Maynooth University and the Kimmage Institute, tells the story of Bishop Nicholas’s heroic suffering for the faith.

During his visit to the Ukraine last June, Pope John Paul beatified 27 martyrs and ‘confessors of the faith’, representing the countless members of the Greek Catholic Church of that country who witnessed to the faith during the darkest days of the Soviet occupation. They included eight bishops, seven diocesan priests, eight priest-religious, three sisters and one layman. The religious included five Redemptorists. One of them, Bishop Nicholas Charnetskyj visited Ireland to represent his church at the Eucharistic Congress in Dublin in 1932.

Outwardly, the Ukrainian Catholic Church (also known as the Greek Catholic Church) resembles the Russian Orthodox Church. It has retained a married clergy. The Byzantine liturgy is celebrated in the Old Slavonic language. Western Catholics are usually struck by the length of the Sunday celebration. A typical parish mass can last about 11/2 or two hours. Everything is sung in beautiful, unaccompanied polyphonic singing. The churches are richly decorated with icons. But what distinguishes the Greek Catholics from the Orthodox is that they have been in communion with Rome since the 17th century.

Redemptorists in the Ukraine

The Redemptorists went to the Ukraine from Belgium at the beginning of the 20th century. They were one of the first religious communities founded in the Latin church to work among the Greek Catholics of Eastern Europe. The Redemptorists adopted the Greek Catholic way of celebrating the liturgy, and devoted themselves to their traditional apostolate of parish missions. They soon attracted young Ukrainian men, and within a few years there was a flourishing Redemptorist community.

Several diocesan priests joined the Redemptorists. Among them was Nicholas Charnetskyj. Born in 1884, he spent the first years of his priesthood as a seminary professor and spiritual director. He entered the Redemptorists in 1919 and was professed the following year. Pope Pius XI appointed him Apostolic Visitor for the Ukrainians in Volynia in 1931, and he was consecrated as bishop in the Redemptorist church in Rome. During the ceremony, his bishop’s mitre fell to the ground, but the new bishop swept away the embarrassment of the server with a joke: “Maybe it’s a sign that I’m going to lose my head like St Josephat” (the martyred bishop who brought the Ukrainian Church back to unity with Rome). Events were to prove it an accurate prophecy.

The following year, Bishop Nicholas came to Ireland to attend the Eucharistic Congress in Dublin. One of the purposes of a Eucharistic Congress is to show the universality and diversity of the church’s faith in the Eucharist through a number of solemn liturgies in different rites. Bishop Nicholas was chosen as celebrant of the Pontifical liturgy in the Byzantine Rite at the Jesuit Church in Gardiner Street, Dublin. While in Dublin, he stayed with the Redemptoristine Sisters at their convent in St Alphonsus Road. He visited most of the Redemptorist houses in Ireland, celebrating Mass each day in the distinctive Greek Catholic Rite.


On his departure, he asked the sisters to remember in their prayers the persecuted church of Russia. Within a few years, the persecution was beginning to touch the Ukraine. The Russian occupation of 1939 led to the closure of churches and the dispersion of religious communities. Bishop Nicholas remained at his post in Lviv. The situation was not improved by the arrival of the Germans two years later, and Bishop Nicholas was held under close confinement.

When the Russians returned in 1944, the Ukrainian Catholic Church was declared to be illegal and its members to belong henceforth to the Orthodox Church. The first step in the dissolution was the arrest of all the Greek Catholic Bishops. Bishop Nicholas was charged with collaboration with the Nazis and with being an agent of the Vatican. He was tortured cruelly but bore his sufferings with great humility. One of his chief torturers was so impressed by the bishop’s humility that he asked his forgiveness. Bishop Nicholas gave him absolution and the kiss of peace.

Labour camps

Bishop Nicholas was sentenced to five years in a labour camp, one of the notorious gulags that Alexander Solzhenitsyn has described in such horrifying terms in The Gulag Archipelago. Since he steadfastly refused to admit to any crime, a further 10 years were added to his sentence. Under the Soviet system, prisoners were moved frequently from one camp to another to prevent anyone on the outside from learning too much about the system. During his years of detention, Bishop Nicholas passed through about 30 labour camps. It has been estimated that he spent a total of 600 hours under torture and interrogation. Nevertheless, he found ways even in the camps of continuing his work as a pastor, comforting other prisoners with a kind word or a verse of scripture.

When his health finally broke, Bishop Nicholas was released in 1956 and permitted to return to Lviv to die. He was able to spend his last days in a hired room with a Redemptorist brother as a companion. Despite serious ill-health, he resumed his work as bishop. He devoted much of his remaining energy to training future priests to work in ‘the underground church.’ Each of these priests needed a civil job as a cover for their secret lives as priests. Some were factory workers, doctors, engineers by day. For small groups of believers meeting in secret, they celebrated Mass and conferred the sacraments.

Death and funeral

Bishop Nicholas died on 2 April, 1959. Despite the outlawed status of his church, the faithful crowded into the room where he died for a solemn funeral liturgy around his body, clothed in his Redemptorist habit and bishop’s stole. It was accompanied to its last resting place by a Latin Catholic priest. It was to be more than another 30 years before the dark night of Soviet terror came to an end.

By a miracle of grace and the heroism of men like Bishop Nicholas, the church in the West Ukraine survived. The Redemptorists, like the other religious communities, went underground. New members were received and trained in such secrecy that even their families had no idea they were religious or priests. All had daytime jobs. One brother, who had been forced to leave his community, heard of a job as a night-watchman in a former Redemptorist monastery which had been turned into a factory. For many years, it had been a well-known centre of pilgrimage in honour of Our Lady. The brother applied for the job. Each night, he made a circuit of the building saying the 15 decades on the long Redemptorist rosary, which was the only part of his habit he had been able to keep. He was, he said, keeping it safe for Our Lady until she reclaimed her own. He had the happiness of seeing the monastery and church returned to the Redemptorists.


Saturday, May 8, 2010



''A Catholic Priest has been murdered near the City of Mumbai. Police are currently trying to establish the reason for the killing of Fr.Peter Bombacha, who was 74 and well known to his local community and all faiths. Reacting to news of the killing, the Bishop of Vasai, Msgr Felix Machado described the Priest as ''a Priest full of faith, serving the Church and the people without discrimination of caste or creed, he forgot himself to serve the most poor and abandoned.


"In an apparent attack by Muslims, two Christian journalists have been killed in the country. The Pair, Nathan Dabak, who was an assistant editor at ''the Light bearer'' Christian newspaper, and Sunday Gyang Bwede, a reporter with the same paper, were stabbed to death in the flash point of Jos. Youths linked with the Hausa community are suspected of carrying out the crime as the journalists mobile phones have apparently been used to boast of the crimes by the young killers.''


An American Priest has been killed. Fr Esteban Woods, originally from Washington state was found dead at his home in Bolivar, apparently from stab wounds; he had been tied up before he died. Parishioners has become concerned for their Priest when he failed to open the Church doors for morning worship.''

Source: Irish Catholic Newspaper.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Blessed Titus Brandsma

Anno Sjoerd Brandsma was born February 23, 1881 in the village of Oegeklooster near Bolsward in Friesland, as a son of Titus Brandsma, dairy farmer and Tjitsje Postma. At the age of 11, he asked his father's permission to enter the Franciscan minor seminary in Megen to begin preparatory studies. Anno was a frail boy and not blessed with the strong constitution typical of his people. He was a willing worker but could never handle the heavy farm work Frisian children customarily performed. Titus and Tjitsje, although concerned about his health, gave him permission to try the seminary and Anno left home in 1892, when he was 11 years old.

During his six-year stay Anno was known for his intelligence as well as his sense of humor. His classmates nicknamed him "Shorty." In his third year at the seminary he developed a severe intestinal disorder and lost a considerable amount of weight. The friars ordered a special diet for him, featuring cream, eggs, butter and other foods that enabled him to regain his lost weight. Anno soon recovered his health and returned with renewed energies to his studies. His superiors, however, not satisfied that he was strong enough for the rigors of Dutch Franciscan life, suggested that he seek a gentler form of life. The rejection hurt, but Anno accepted it with grace and resiliency.
Anno Brandsma joined the Carmelite fathers at Boxmeer on September 17, 1898. He chose his father’s name, Titus and making his first vows in 1899.

From the beginning of entering the Carmelite Monastery, Titus showed an extraordinary gift for journalism and writing. He translated the works of Saint Teresa of Avila from Spanish to Dutch, publishing them in 1901. Titus was ordained a Catholic Priest on June 17, 1905, and after further studies at the Roman Gregorian University, graduated on October 25, 1909 with a doctorate in philosophy. Father Titus Brandsma spent his early Ministry in education where he joined the faculty of the newly founded Catholic University of Nijmegen in 1923. His interest in mysticism ultimately led him to France, Germany, the United States, Italy, Spain and in 1935 he was named by the Dutch Hierarchy as National Spiritual Advisor to Catholic Journalists.

In 1935 he wrote against anti-Jewish marriage laws, which brought him to the attention of the Nazis. Titus later wrote that no Catholic publication could publish Nazi propaganda and still call itself Catholic; this led to more attention. Continually followed by the Gestapo, the Nazi attention led to his arrest on 19 January 1942. For several weeks he was shuttled from jail to jail, abused, and punished for ministering to other prisoners. Titus Brandsma was deported to the Dachau concentration camp in April 1942. There he was overworked, underfed, and beaten daily; he asked fellow prisoners to pray for the salvation of the guards. When he could no longer work, he was used for medical experiments. When he was no longer any use for experimentation, he was murdered. He died July, 26, 1942 by injection with a deadly drug that, ten minutes later, took his life at Dachau concentration camp; his executioner was a nurse who had been raised Catholic, but left the Church.

Titus Brandsma is honored as a martyr within the Roman Catholic church. He was beatified on 3 November 3, 1985 by Pope John Paul II. His canonizing is pending. In 2005, Titus Brandsma was chosen by the inhabitants of Nijmegen as the greatest citizen to have lived there.


Friday, April 30, 2010

Blessed Antonia Mesina

10. Antonia Mesina, lay woman (+ Orgosolo, Nuoro 1935). At the age of 16, while gathering wood, she was killed by a prowler who tried to rape her. [4. October 1987).


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Kang Wan Suk

Columba Kang Wan-suk was born out of wedlock in 1761, to a noble family in Naepo, Chungcheong-do. Ever since her childhood she was remarkably wise and honest, and avoided any kind of wrong doing. Philip Hong Pil-ju who was martyred in 1801 was her step-son.
When she grew up, she became the second wife of Hong Ji-yeong, who lived in the Deoksan region. Soon after their marriage, she heard about the Catholic religion and became interested in it. She obtained some Catholic books which she read and came to realize the greatness of the Catholic faith. She believed that `God is the Master of heaven and earth, and what the name of this religion signifies is right, therefore, its doctrine must be true.`
Thereafter, Columba Kang believed her religion with passion and practiced self-denial. Such a life was sufficient to win her the admiration of many people. At the risk of putting herself in great danger, she took care of Catholics in prison during the Sinhae Persecution of 1791. While doing this work she herself was imprisoned once. She taught the catechism to her mother-in-law and her step-son, Philip Hong and introduced them to the Church. Despite all her efforts, she failed to convert her husband who mistreated her because of her faith. He finally left her and lived with a concubine.
One day, Columba Kang came to know that Catholics in Seoul were well versed in the catechism. After having consulted with her mother-in-law and her step-son Philip Hong, she moved to Seoul. She contacted the believers in Seoul and associated with them. When the Korean Catholics started a movement to invite priests, she provided financial support to those who were engaged in it.
Columba Kang was baptized by Father James Zhou Wen-mo who came to Korea at the end of 1794 and committed herself to helping his apostolate. Father James Zhou, on recognizing the high quality and sincerity of Columba Kang, appointed her as catechist, to take care of the believers.
Then, when the Eulmyo Persecution broke out in 1795, Columba Kang offered her house to Father James Zhou as a refuge. Her house was relatively safe because the social custom of Korean society, at that time, banned investigation of a house of the noble class, whose landlord was a woman. After that Columba Kang often moved for the safety of Father James Zhou. Everywhere she moved, her house served as a place of gathering for the faithful. It was at Columba Kang`s house that Agatha Yun Jeom-hye led the community of women virgins.
Columba Kang was able to influence many people and introduce them to the Church because she combined knowledge with wisdom and quick wit. Among them were people from different classes of society including noble women, widows, servants and maids. It was thanks to Columba Kang that Mary Song and her daughter-in-law Mary Sin, relatives of the royal family, received the Sacrament of Baptism from Father James Zhou. For such apostolic activities of Columba Kang the believers unanimously said, "Kang Wan-suk advised people with such wisdom and grace that even many devout male believers were inspired. It was like when one strikes the gong, sound follows."
When the Shinyu Persecution broke out in 1801, Columba Kang was immediately reported to the government office for her religious activities. Consequently, she was arrested in her house on April 6 (February 24, by the Lunar calendar) with the other believers who were there and was taken to the Police Headquarters in Seoul. Even in such a time of crisis Columba Kang was concerned about the safety of Father James Zhou.
To find out the whereabouts of Father James Zhou they tortured Columba Kang six times, but it was in vain. Her faith in God was so firm that even the executioners were moved and they exclaimed; "This woman is not a human being, but a god." During the three months she was imprisoned, Columba Kang never neglected her religious duties, and prepared herself for martyrdom by encouraging her companions in prison to be faithful to their belief and trust in God.
Columba Kang was condemned to death on July 2, 1801 (May 22, by the Lunar calendar). She was beheaded outside the Small West Gate in Seoul with her fellow believers and died a martyr. Columba Kang was 40 years old.
The Justice Ministry charged her with the following crimes:

"Kang Wan-suk was imbued with the Catholic religion and propagated it widely. She hid Father James Zhou for six years, and invited men and women of all classes to her house and instructed them in Catholicism."

In response, Columba Kang made her final statement as follows:

"I have learned about Catholicism, and it is my belief that `I shall go to the world of bliss (i.e., paradise) if I give my life for God, willingly.` Therefore, I do not have the slightest intention of changing my mind and betraying the teaching of the faith even if I have to die."

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Arshed Masih

» 03/24/2010 21:08
Rawalpindi, Christian burned alive is buried. Police suspected of setting him on fire
by Fareed Khan
Arshed Masih's funeral was held today amid tight security. The silence of the Pakistani media and government on the matter. AsiaNews sources denounce the attempt at misdirection and reveal the last words of the victim: "The police set me on fire" following the instructions of the Muslim employer. In the past his wife repeatedly raped by officers.

Rawalpindi (AsiaNews) - the funeral of Arshed Masih, a 38 year-old Pakistani Christian, burned alive because he refused to convert to Islam was held today in Rawalpindi, under tight security. Hundreds of people attended the funeral, including members of civil society and NGO representatives. So far the police have arrested none of the alleged perpetrators and neither have steps been taken by the Federal Government or Ministry of minority groups. Meanwhile, more details have emerged on the crime: a well-informed source has told AsiaNews that police officers were the ones to set fire to the man, on the "instructions" of Arshed Masih.

The 38 year-old Pakistani Christian, married and father of three children, aged7 to 12, died on 22 March following the serious injuries sustained during the assault. He suffered burns on 80% of his body excluding any possibility of salvation. The violence of his assailants was sparked by the man’s refusal to convert to Islam.

Peter Jacob, executive secretary of the Justice and Peace of the Catholic Church of Pakistan (NCJP), confirmed to AsiaNews, his "strongest condemnation of this act brutal" and underlined that "a team has reached Rawalpindi and launched a parallel investigation into the facts”. He adds that "soon will we release a report, after proper verification of all elements”. The activist denounces, with regret, the silence of the Pakistani media about the incident and the lack of initiatives from the federal government and the Ministry of minority groups.

Meanwhile, rumours have begun circulating that Arshed Masih set fire to himself to protest against repeated violence and torture of his wife Martha Arshed, by police. The abuse allegedly took place in the police station, where the woman was summoned several times by officers after a complaint of theft by Sheikh Mohammad Sultan, the employer of the Christian couple. In the house of wealthy Muslim businessman cash for a value of 500 thousand rupees (about 6 thousand dollars) has disappeared.

Christian sources for AsiaNews in Pakistan deny this version, noting that some "elements" are casting doubt on the sexual violence and overturning the facts "to exonerate the employer and the police." An eyewitness, present in the hospital when Arshed Masih - still conscious - recounted the events to the investigators, says that "it was the police to set fire" to the man. The victim also added that "the police carried out the instructions of Sheikh Mohammad Sultan, at the scene along with other extremists."

Since 2005 Arshed Masih and his wife had worked and lived on the estate of the late Sheikh Mohammad Sultan. The pressure on them to renounce Christianity had lately become incessant. The owner had come so far as to threaten "dire consequences", to persuade them to embrace Islam. The couple were also accused of a recent theft by the owner who has promised to drop the complaint for their conversion. reports that the Muslim businessman has declined to comment on the crime. However some eyewitnesses have seen him near the place where the accident occurred, but it is unclear whether he actively participated in the attack. Their children - adds the site - are sleeping in the hospital because they are homeless. The mother is still in shock and is unable to speak.,-Christian-burned-alive-is-buried.-Police-suspected-of-setting-him-on-fire-17975.html

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Murder Of Sister Cecilia Moshi Hanna

On August 15, 2002 three armed assailants entered the Sacred Heart of Jesus Monastery in Baghdad Iraq and found a solitary Assyrian nun preparing to quietly retire to her room. Seventy-one year old Sister Cecilia Moshi Hanna was brutally attacked by the dagger wielding assailants and repeatedly stabbed to death. Sr. Cecilia’s neck was slit and her head severed from her body.

According to an August 24 press release by an Iraqi-based women’s organization, the Assyrian Women’s Union, Sr. Cecilia had belonged to the Order of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and had devoted her life to ministering to the poor and ill. Earlier on the evening of the attack, Sr. Cecilia had been at her family home in Baghdad until 9 p.m. Sr. Cecilia’s family had suggested that she stay at the family home rather than venture out into the night. However, Sr. Cecilia insisted on returning to the convent so as not to leave it unattended. Ordinarily, three nuns would have resided in the convent, but on that night none of the others were present.

It is widely believed that the three assailants had broken into the convent with the intention of murdering all three nuns normally living there. When only Sr. Cecilia was found, all three attackers apparently turned their assault upon the defenseless seventy-one year old woman. Sr. Cecilia succumbed to the flurry of knife stabbings, alone, in her room. On the following day, normally a special day of retreat for nuns throughout Iraq, Sr. Cecilia’s fellow nuns gathered for their annual event. Noting Sr. Cecilia’s atypical absence, the nuns searched only to discover Sr. Cecilia’s blood soaked and beheaded corpse lying in her room.

The very nature of the slitting and beheading is believed to be a prototypical signature of Islamic extremist putting of “infidels” to the sword. By killing Sr. Cecilia the day before a nationwide Christian spiritual retreat, the killers apparently hoped to maximally terrorize and horrify the Iraqi Christian community.

The murder of Sr. Cecilia is only the most recent in a series of Islamist attacks against Assyrian Christian civilians1, places of worship, and clergy. In the northern UN “Safe Haven,” attacks against Assyrian Christian villages (AINA, 10-16-1999), leaders (AINA, 02-19-2001, 08-19-1997) as well as Christmas-time bombings of convents (AINA, 12-25-1999) have been previously reported. In the government controlled area, widespread harassment of Christians as a backlash against US military threats against Iraq has been reported by visitors from the region. Assyrian Christians are often conveniently associated with their co-religionists in the West as enemies of Iraq. The Iraqi government has done nothing to quell the rising anti-Christian sentiment in Iraq. In fact, some have suggested complicity in fomenting Islamic fury by the regime as evidenced by the stricter enforcement of regulations on Christian religious institutions as well as the recent banning of certain Christian names.

Suspicion has been growing on Iraqi complicity in Sr. Cecilia’s murder as well since no official outcry or condemnation has been seen from the government, even following an unusually strongly worded letter by the Chaldean Patriarch Mar Raphael BeDaweed I, wherein he stated “I condemn strongly this criminal and inhumane act on one of our Chaldean nuns in Baghdad, and demand from the officials to work seriously in tracking down and punishing those criminal thugs…”. The government reportedly has one assailant in custody, but has made no further investigation or public statement of support for the Assyrian Christian community. One observer noted that the government’s motivation may have been to warn the West of the threat facing Christians in Iraq by Islamists in the event war was perpetrated upon Iraq. Referring to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, the same observer also noted, though, that “such scheming would only be sensical in the insanely convoluted musings of a madman.”

Sr. Cecilia’s own family history is concurrently a testament of a family’s sacrifice and hardship as well as a metaphor for the Assyrian community’s grim history of persecution and displacement within Iraq and the region as a whole. Sr. Cecilia was born in Aradin in the historically Assyrian heartland of northern Iraq. During the Kurdish tribal insurrection of the 1960’s, Aradin as well as dozens of Assyrian villages caught in the crossfire between Iraqi governmental and Kurdish rebel gunfire were severely devastated. Sr. Cecilia’s family as well as thousands of others were forced to move to Mosul (ancient Nineveh). The family later moved to Baghdad where Sr. Cecilia continued to serve the Chaldean Church community.

The tragic irony in the murder of Sr. Cecilia remains, though, her service to the Christian communities in the parishes of St. Shmooni and St. Sultamahdukh in Iraq. St. Shmooni along with her seven children and St. Sultamahdukh were themselves martyrs of the Church of the East. Cecilia sadly continues in the seemingly endless line of holy woman martyrs in the Church of the East. The martyred and beloved Sr. Cecilia will herself likewise be remembered for her tireless and unending dedication to the service of all humanity in the name of Jesus Christ.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Blessed Agnese Phila, Lucia Khambang and 4 companions

Blessed Phila Agnese, Lucia Khambang and 4 companions

Protomartyrs of Thailand

m. Songkhon (Thailand), December 26, 1940

Roman Martyrology: In the village of Song-Khon in Thailand, Blessed Martyrs Phila Agnese and Lucia Khambang, virgin of the Sisters Lovers of the Cross, and Agata Phutta, Cecilia Butsi, and Maria Viviana Hampai Phon, shot in the local cemetery because they refused to deny their Christian faith.

Christianity was introduced to Thailand in 1881 and in 1940 the Catholic faithful were already seven hundred. In the four years following, the French missionaries were forced to leave the country during the grip of war between Thailand and French Indochina. As is usual in such circumstances, national unity was regarded as a priority and instead “downgraded” danger to religious pluralism.

Songkhon The village, located on the shores of the Great Mekong River border with Laos, was the scene in 1940 of the glorious martyrdom of seven indigenous Christians: Filippo Siphong Onphitak, Phila Agnese, Lucia Khambang, Agata Phutta, Cecilia Buts, Bibiana Khamphai and Mary Phon.

religious Agnese Phila
Ban nahi (Thailand), 1909 – Songkhon (Thailand), December 26, 1940

Agnese Phila (in the Margaret) was born in 1909 in the village of Ban pay nahi, daughter of Joachim and Anna Thit Son Chum. The family then emigrated in the Christian village of Viengkhuk, where the Blessed received the baptism in 1924. Her godmother was the aunt of the famous Sister Lucia of Fatima. On December 7 she made her entry into the Congregation of the Lovers of the Cross at Siengvang in Laos. Two years after the Nov. 26 entry, her postulancy began Nov. 10 and in 1927 she entered the order with the name of Agnes the novitiate, which culminated with the occupation on November 16, 1928. In 1932 he was sent as a teacher at the school in Songkhon, where she was killed on December 26, 1940.

religious Lucia Khambang
Viengkhuk (Thailand), Jan 22, 1917 – Songkhon (Thailand), December 26, 1940

Lucia was born in the Khambang Christian village of Viengkhuk Jan 22, 1917, daughter of James and Mary Mag Dam Li. She was christened on March 10, while on June 4, 1925, when she was only eight years old, she received the sacrament of Confirmation and received for the first time the Holy Communion. On September 3, 1931 she entered the Congregation of the Lovers of the Cross. A postulant for three years, she began the novitiate on October 8, 1935 that lasted two years. Issued her profession to Siengvang in Laos on October 15, 1937. At the beginning of 1940 she was sent as a teacher Songkhon, where she was killed on December 26, 1940 at just twenty-years old.

Agata Phutta secular
Bi Keng Ban Pho (Thailand), 1881 – Songkhon (Thailand), December 26, 1940

Agata Phutta was born in the village of Bi Keng Ban Pho in 1881 from a pagan family. Only daughter, she converted to Christianity at thirty and was baptized and confirmed on March 3, 1918 in Siengvang. Being unmarried, she decided to serve in the kitchens of missions Songkhon, Mong Seng, Pkasè and again Songkhon, where she lived when she was also killed on December 26, 1940 at fifty-nine years of age.

Cecelia Butsi girl lay
Songkhon (Thailand), Dec 16, 1924 – Songkhon (Thailand), December 26, 1940

Cecilia Buts, daughter of Amato and Sinuen Thep Agata, was born at Songkhon December 16, 1924 and was christened after only two days. Officer to the kitchen of the mission, hers was a joyful and courageous character. The first day of martyrdom, during a meeting before the church, she declared herself Christian despite the death threats suffered by the police. She was then killed on December 26, 1940, at just sixteen.

Bibiana Khamphai girl lay
Songkhon (Thailand), Nov 4, 1925 – Songkhon (Thailand), December 26, 1940

Bibiana Khamphai was born in Songkhon November 4, 1925, daughter of Benedict and Lon Monica Di. She was baptized and confirmed less than two months after Dec. 28. A teenager with irreproachable conduct, good Christian, assiduous about the sacraments, attended the mission Songkhon, was also killed on December 26, 1940, at just fifteen years of age.

Maria Phon girl lay
Songkhon (Thailand), Jan 6, 1925 – Songkhon (Thailand), December 26, 1940

Maria was born in Phon Songkhon on January 6, 1926 to parents John the Baptist and Catherine Tan Pha. Just six days after birth was already baptized and confirmed. She lived with an aunt named Mary and attended the local mission. Particularly diligent in the Eucharist and other sacraments, was also killed on December 26, 1940, not yet fifteen.

But even hours dwell on all the events that led these women to spread Christian Thai their blood for Christ. The evening after the killing of the catechist Philip Siphong Onphitak the news is sparse at Songkhon, causing great sadness. The soldiers, hoping to convert the faithful, but had not calculated the presence of both religious Agnes Phila and Lucia Khambang, who realized that soon would come the time to give them the very witness of their faith.

Lu tried by every means to persuade the nuns to abandon their religion, but failed several attempts on the evening of Christmas summoned the entire village before the church, to communicate that he had received the order to destroy the Christian religion at the cost of killing faithful. During the night the sisters then wrote a letter to Lu arguing they were ready to die rather than deny Christ. Lu later returned to in the early afternoon asking: “So, your God, abandoned, yes or no?”. They argue: “No, not ever leave.” Lu invited the then descend to the river, but Sister Lucia and Sister Agnes, understanding his intention, preferred to be shot in the cemetery. Here, kneeling against a tree trunk, they were executed with young Cecilia, Bibiana and Mary. They were then buried in Songkhon.

The beatification of these seven Thai martyrs, was celebrated in Rome by Pope John Paul II on October 22, 1989 following the recognition of their heroic martyrdom which took place on September 1, 1988.

Author: Fabio Arduino

SOURCE: Santi e Beati

Friday, April 2, 2010

St.Gianna Beretta Molla

"Saint Gianna Beretta Molla (October 4, 1922 – April 28, 1962) was an Italian pediatrician, wife and mother who is best known for refusing both an abortion and a hysterectomy when she was pregnant with her fourth child, despite knowing that continuing with the pregnancy could result in her death. She was canonized as a saint of the Catholic Church in 2004."

Mother and Martyr, who laid down her life for Christ when faced with the Choice of aborting her Child to save her own life, she refused, and when she gave birth to her child she passed away into paradise a week later.

St.Gianna Beretta Molla is one of the Many Saints and Martyrs within the Catholic Church who understood the true meaning of Christs words and received them well When he said ''Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends.'' ( John:15:13 )

By her Giving up her life for Christ and his little ones, St.Gianna really did live the true meaning of a womans role within the Church and Sacrament of Matrimony, one of which was to nurture and ( by the Grace of God ) give life, not take it.

Pax Christi
Stephen <3

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

St.Peter, Prince of the Apostles

In the epilogue of the Gospel of John, Jesus hints at the death by which Peter would glorify God,[Jn. 21:18–19] saying "'…when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and take you where you do not want to go.'" This is understood as a reference to Peter's crucifixion.

According to the 1911 Catholic Encyclopedia, St. Peter labored in Rome during the last portion of his life, and there ended his life by martyrdom. The death of St. Peter is attested to by Tertullian at the end of the second century, and by Origen in Eusebius, Church History II.1. Origen says: "Peter was crucified at Rome with his head downwards, as he himself had desired to suffer".

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Blessed Enrique Saiz Aparicio, Salesian Priest and Martyr

He was born in Ubierna (Burgos) on December 1, 1889 and was baptized the following day. At 16, feeling the inclination to the religious and priestly life, he was admitted to the novitiate of Sarrià (Barcelona) and professed September 5, 1909. He was ordained at Salamanca, July 28, 1918. It was his field of apostolate colleges of Campello, Barcelona, Madrid and Salamanca, he was Director of Salamanca in Madrid, and then the student Theological Carabanchel Alto (Madrid), where he was surprised by the revolution. He distinguished himself for piety, zeal and dedication to the priesthood. Was more cautious, fatherly and understanding, while requiring the fulfillment of duty, which he gave the example. With sustained effort and continuous gained great amiability, constancy of character and spirit of mortification. Back in 1934, feeling closer to the revolution, he was preparing the minds of his martyrdom. On July 20, 1936 the House of Carabanchel Alto was attacked by militants. Don Enrique offered to die for everyone, but his offer was not accepted. All were jailed and destined for death. Then put back in freedom, the Servant of God sought a shelter for each and continued his interest in the fate of all. October 2, 1936, the militia, knowing the Priest, imprisoned him, and around 10 in the evening shot him. He was Beatified October 28, 2007.

In the vast inhuman massacre that was the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), the number of victims exceeded one million, striking persons of every class and every faith. By now, historians have recognized that within this terrible massacre, in the territories then called “red zone” in the hands of anarchists and the social community, there was a real persecution against Christians. The lay faithful only because Christians, were killed tens of thousands massacred and 4148 diocesan priests, 12 bishops, 283 nuns, 2365 religious (priests and brothers) for a total so far acknowledged that martyrs 6808 with destruction of many churches. Religious Every family gave its toll with a more or less high number of victims: the family of the Salesians of Don Bosco in this list is present with 97 members, belonging to three flourishing ‘ provinces’ of the Salesians and a ‘inspectors’ of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, divided as follows: 39 priests, 26 assistants, 22 clerks, 5 Salesian cooperators, 3 prospective Salesians and the Daughters of Mary Help. Salesian Martyrs are grouped into three local families: Valencia, Seville and Madrid. Those of Valencia were declared blessed in 2001.

The group of 42 martyrs of Madrid, is the largest headed by Salesian priest, Don Enrique Saiz Aparicio, who was born in the Ubierna on December 1, 1889 in the province of Burgos. He spent his childhood amid significant family difficulties, which affected the formation of his character, after having attended Salesian studying some houses, he made his first profession in 1909 in Barcelona – Sarria. After his studies in philosophy, he alternated his job as an educator between Salamanca and Madrid, excelling in literary qualities and no lack of evidence and concerns because of his tough character, even though he went dominating as he came closer to priestly ordination, which he received in 1918. There followed six years of intense activity between Salesian always Salamanca and Madrid, and was later first director of the College of Salamanca, and then those Carabauchel and Atocha in Madrid. His character changed completely becoming hard serene, charitable; he intensified his ascetic preparation, his spiritual direction, his inner life, his preaching in particular Eucharistic-Marian. And in the task of animating the Community and the aspirant Salesian Carabachel Alto on the outskirts of Madrid, he was surprised by the outbreak of the Civil War. Father Enrico Saiz Aparicio for some time seemed to have the martyrdom, in fact he told his brother: If God wanted me to Mars, back one step in front of the divine will; I will accept martyrdom with serenity . On the afternoon of July 20, 1936, The aspirant was stormed by gunmen red; Father Saiz gathered the kids in the hall and gave them his blessing Mary Help of Christians, then waved a white handkerchief headed toward the attackers, saying: “If you want blood, here I am. But you do not harm the boys. The aspirants were returned to their families and father and eight Salesians Saiz, with the usual tactics of the militia, were left free to be re-arrested outside the house and then eliminated one by one. Don Enrique Saiz was executed October 2, 1936, aged 47, the other Salesian martyrs, mostly young novices and students to Mohernando, were arrested during those six months at the end of 1936 and killed in varying days and places, a large group died December 6 1936. The blood of martyrs is the seed of new Christians and in the next 40 years, the Salesian Family, underwent a very large flowering of vocations to Salesian in Spain. The process for beatification of the 42 Salesian Martyrs in Madrid, began on December 7, 1957. Recently, this case was merged with that of the group of martyrs Salesians of Seville, formerly called Servant of God Antonio Luque and 20 Torrero comrades. The new joint process, thus including all 63 Martyrs Salesian in Madrid and Seville.

The beatification ceremony took place in Rome on 28 October 2007, under the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI.

Author: Antonio Borrelli

Source: Santi e Beati

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Blessed Ladislaus (Wladyslaw) Bladzinski, Priest and Martyr

Blessed Wladyslaw Bladzinski, priest of the Congregation of St. Michael the Archangel, was born in My_latycze, Ukraine, January 6, 1908 and died at Gross-Rosen, Germany, September 8, 1944. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II in Warsaw (Poland) June 13, 1999 with 107 other Polish martyrs.

Roman Martyrology: In Gross-Rosen locations in Germany, Bladzinski Blessed Ladislaus, a priest of the Congregation of St. Michael and martyr, at the same time the enemies of the Church deported from his native Poland in a stone quarry, where he was later killed.

Source: Santi e Beati

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Blessed Pierre-Louis de La Rouchefoucauld-Bayers, Bishop and Martyr

Blessed Pierre-Louis de La Rouchefoucauld-Bayers, Bishop and Martyr
Le Vivier, Blanzaguet, France, October 12, 1744 – Paris, September 2, 1792

Pierre-Louis de La Rouchefoucauld-Bayers was born in “Le Vivier” Blanzaguet, parish St-du-Cybard d’Eyrat, 12 October 1744. He was son of Messire Jean de La Rochefoucauld, lord of Maumont, Magnac, bars, and other places Vivier, knight of the military orders of Notre-Dame du Mont-Carmel and St-Lazarre de Jérusalem, and Marguerite des Escots. His parents intended him to have an ecclesiastical career, Pierre-Louis was appointed in 1770 prior to commendatory Nanteuil, becoming the general agent of the Clergy in 1775. He was then appointed Bishop of Saintes in 1781. In this city he organized a relief fund against fire.

“ On 24 March 1789, he was elected deputy of the clergy to the States General for the “Sénéchaussée de Saintes. He sat among the ranks of minorities and demonstrated hostility to reform, and after the session took refuge with his brother Francois-Joseph, Bishop of Beauvais, his sister abbess of Notre Dame de Soissons. But the French Revolution was still raging and they were discovered. Francois-Joseph was arrested on August 13, while Pierre-Louis asked partegiare his imprisonment and refused to flee from the Carmelite house in Paris a few days before the massacre. Right here, in fact, it happened on September 2, 1792, the massacre of 95 Christian martyrs much hatred to their faith, led by two brothers and another bishop, Jean-Marie du Lau.

“ Along with other victims of religious persecution who died in those days in Paris, for a total of 191 people, Pierre-Louis de La Rouchefoucauld-Bayers was beatified by Pope Pius XI on October 17, 1926.
Author: Fabio Arduino

Source: Santi e Beati

Saturday, February 27, 2010

St.Blandina Virgin and Martyr

"She belongs to the band of martyrs of Lyons who, after some of their number had endured the most frightful tortures, suffered a glorious martyrdom in the reign of Marcus Aurelius (177) and concerning whose death we have the touching report sent by the Church of Lyons to the Churches of Asia Minor (Eusebius, Church History V.2). The fanaticism of the heathen populace in Lyons had been excited against the Christians so that the latter, when they ventured to show themselves publicly, were harassed and ill-treated. While the imperial legate was away the chiliarch, a military commander, and the duumvir, a civil magistrate, threw a number of Christians, who confessed their faith, into prison. When the legate returned, the imprisoned believers were brought to trial.

Among these Christians was Blandina, a slave, who had been taken into custody along with her master, also a Christian. Her companions greatly feared that on account of her bodily frailty she might not remain steadfast under torture. But although the legate caused her to be tortured in a horrible manner, so that even the executioners became exhausted "as they did not know what more they could do to her", still she remained faithful and repeated to every question "I am a Christian and we commit no wrongdoing." Through fear of torture heathen slaves had testified against their masters that the Christians when assembled committed those scandalous acts of which they were accused by the heathen mob, and the legate desired to wring confession of this misconduct from the Christian prisoners.

In his report to the emperor the legate stated that those who held to their Christian belief were to be executed and those who denied their faith were to be released; Blandina was, therefore, with a number of companions subjected to new tortures in the amphitheater at the time of the public games. She was bound to a stake and wild beasts were set on her. They did not, however touch her. After this for a number of days she was led into the arena to see the sufferings of her companions. Finally, as the last of the martyrs, she was scourged, placed on a red-hot grate, enclosed in a net and thrown before a wild steer who tossed her into the air with his horns, and at lastkilled with a dagger. Her feast is celebrated 2 June."


Friday, February 26, 2010

St.Francis Jaccard, Priest and Martyr

Roman Martyrology: In the fortress of Quang-Tr in Annam, now Viet Nam, the holy martyr Francis Jaccard, a priest of the Society for Foreign Missions of Paris, who, under Emperor Minh Ming, for Christ, suffered imprisonment and beatings and died, finally, strangled.

He was born in Onion (now dioc. Annecy) on Sept. 6. 1799 and then completed his studies in the seminaries of Melanie and Chambery, came in 1821 in the Foreign Missions of Paris. Ordained a priest, he was sent to the mission of Cochin China, and appointed Metropolitan General, took up residence at Phuong-Ru. Denounced by a treacherous pay (14 July, 1827), when he saw the village surrounded by soldiers, managed to hide in the thick of a forest of bamboo, but then, seeing no escape and ruin on the other hand, fearing that if he was not found, the fury of the troops would be unleashed upon the faithful, came out of hiding and surrendered to the soldiers. Conducted to Hue, he was charged with various translations and was able to earn the esteem of so deeply attached to the court, which obtained permission for him to return to his missionary work, while continuing to deal with any translation requirements. But he always lived in a state of alert because the prosecution did not promise in place a secure life. While, in fact, he was in the Christian village of Duong-Son, the pagans of the nearby village of Lao Cai-accused him of having led his people to rob, which is perfectly true. But the prefect did not accept his defense and informed the king, which put the punishment.

Past court to court, he was first sentenced to death and then his sentence was commuted to exile in the province of Ai-Lao (1833), then at Cam-Lo.

But here’s a novel question: the school is open from Candah Di-Loan aroused the ire of the king, who ordered its destruction, promoting, at the same time, surveys to find out what part he ad the Jaccard. Mandarins recognized him innocent, but no other questions, told him to apostate, his refusal to do so resulted in the Canga and chains being imposed and he was dragged to the prison in Quang-Tri, where he found his future companion in martyrdom, Tommaso Thien. There he had to undergo many floggings until he could no longer stand. Later the tongs were burning in the thighs thickened, thus burning his flesh to the bone, finally, on Sept. 20. 1838 he suffered death by strangulation, along with Thien.

The bodies of the martyrs were buried in them were, side by side, and in 1847 the relics were transported to Paris in the seminary of Foreign Missions. He was beatified by Pope Leo XIII on May 27. 1900. Canonized on June 19, 1988 by Pope John Paul II, together with 117 other Martyrs of Tonkin.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Blessed Joseph Fenollosa Alcayna

Roman Martyrology: At Sagunto in Spain, Martyr Fenollosa Alcayna Joseph, Priest, who, during the persecution of the faith, spilled his blood for Christ.

He was Beatified by Pope John Paul II on March 11, 2001, as one of 233 Blessed Spanish Martyrs of Valencia, as part of the group known as Jose Aparicio Sanz and 73 companions, Priests and Laity of the Archdiocese of Valencia.

Source: Santi e Beati

Thursday, February 18, 2010


In St. Matthew's Gospel, we read of St. Simon or Simeon who is described as one of our Lord's brethren or kinsmen. His father was Cleophas, St. Joseph's brother, and his mother, according to some writers, was our Lady's sister. He would therefore be our Lord's first cousin and is supposed to have been about eight years older than He.

No doubt he is one of those brethren of Christ who are mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles as having received the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. St. Epiphanius says that when the Jews massacred St. James the Lesser, his brother Simeon upbraided them for their cruelty.

The apostles and disciples afterwards met together to appoint a successor to James as bishop of Jerusalem, and they unanimously chose Simeon, who had probably assisted his brother in the government of that church. In the year 66 civil war broke out in Palestine, as a consequence of Jewish opposition to the Romans.

The Christians in Jerusalem were warned of the impending destruction of the city and appear to have been divinely ordered to leave it. Accordingly that same year, before Vespasian entered Judaea, they retired with St. Simeon at their head to the other side of the Jordan, occupying a small city called Pella.

After the capture and burning of Jerusalem, the Christians returned and settled among the ruins until the Emperor Hadrian afterwards entirely razed it. We are told by St. Epiphanius and by Eusebius that the church here flourished greatly, and that many Jews were converted by the miracles wrought by the saints. When Vespasian and Domitian had ordered the destruction of all who were of the race of David, St. Simeon had escaped their search; but when Trajan gave a similar injunction, he was denounced as being not only one of David's descendants, but also a Christian, and he was brought before Atticus, the Roman governor.

He was condemned to death and, after being tortured, was crucified. Although he was extremely old - tradition reports him to have attained the age of 120 - Simeon endured his sufferings with a degree of fortitude which roused the admiration of Atticus himself. His feast day is February 18


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

St. Piato

Roman Martyrology: At Seclin in Gallia Belgica, now in France, St. Piato, revered as a Priest, Evangelist and Martyr of the territory of Tournai.

The Roman Martyrology, 1 Oct., Says that Piato was a priest who, starting in Rome, arrived in Gaul, with Quentin and his companions, to preach the Gospel.

Having been assigned Tournai as a field of his apostolate, there he was martyred during the persecution of Maximin. This news comes from Usuard, which, by its wording, was inspired to passive Piatonis, which we discuss later, and says that Piato was fellow of St. Dionysius. The name of this saint is also found in some supplement to the martyrology Geronimo must add that in 1922 the Roman Martyrology and not including Piatonis Piata Piatonis or that it was the usual spelling.

However, wait until the seventh century. for historical information on the saint in question. In the Life of St. Eligius, Bishop of Noyon-Tournai, his disciple Remembrance (d. 684) – unless it is an interpolation of more recent times – said that he discovered the body of St. Eligius Quentin who had been martyred with nails and, after much effort, also found the body of Piato, in the village of Seclin (North) in the territory of Mélantois. The bishop showed the crowd the long nails that had also been extracted from the body of this martyr, was buried the remains and build a mausoleum.

In the sec. VI develops a tradition, still valid at the end of the century. VIII, that the Belgica II was evangelized by some martyrs: Victorian, Fusco, Quentin and Luciano, Crispin and Piato. At their departure from Rome with St. Dionysius of Paris and his comrades was ordained Priest and sent from this region of Tournai.

We need to come to sec. X to find the first biography of Piatano, but once again the editor has copied the Life of St. Lucian of Beauvais, subject to change. According to this account, Piato, after his sermon in the region of Tournai, was arrested by the prefect Rizio-launch (character created second Delehaye, by law) with Quentin and his justice: a sword to slice off the top of the skull.

We note that this passage makes no mention of execution for nails mentioned in the Life of St. Eligius, but adds that the martyr was buried in Seclin (North), near Lille, and his tomb was built a Basilica.

The law was later expanded, “Piato converted thirty thousand pagans. After the punishment the body of the Martyr saint arose, he took with his own hands on top of his head cut off, went from Tournai, and guided by angels, took the place of decapitation, until Seclin, where he was buried, Piato thus belongs the ranks of the saints cefalofori.

Piato became the patron saint of Tournai and his name is found in the ancient litanies. At the time of the Norman invasion, his relics were transferred to St-Omer (news that is disputed by F. Lot), then to Chartres and then to Tournai. The body was later returned to Seclin, but this is unlikely because at Chartres in sec. XII claimed to possess the whole body on the other hand a survey of the relics carried in Seclin in 1853 noted the existence of only a few bones.

At Chartres the casket of Piato underwent various vicissitudes: the seal in silver and decorated since 1750 was stolen during the Revolution and sent to Paris, while the relics remained in the cathedral. In the district of the city there is also a parish dedicated to this Martyr.

In the crypt beneath the choir of the collegiate church of Seclin and dating at best the SEC. XIII preserves a sarcophagus of the Gallo-Roman city that has been identified with the tomb of Piato.

It was also suggested that the Saints of Chartres and in Tournai owe their existence to a relic of St. Piato, Martyr of Andra.

Author: Rombaut Van Doren

Source: Santi e Beati

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Saint Leonardo de Porto Maurizio

It is this saint to whom we owe the credit for having conceived the Via Crucis. Ligure (1676-1751), was the son of a sea captain. Born in Porto Maurizio, Imperia today, he studied in Rome at the Collegio Romano, then entered the retirement of St. Bonaventure, on the Palatine Hill, where he would wear the Franciscan habit. Posted in Corsica by the Pope to restore harmony among the citizens, he was able to obtain, despite the serious divisions among the inhabitants, an unthinkable embrace. The theme of the Cross was at the center of his preaching drew crowds to repentance and Christian piety. Alfonso Maria de Liguori called him “the greatest missionary of our century.”

Roman Martyrology: In Rome in the convent of Saint Bonaventura on the Palatine Hill, St. Leonard of Port Maurice, Priest of the Order of Friars Minor, who, full of love for souls, engaged all his life in preaching, in publishing books of devotion and to visit in over three hundred missions in Rome, Corsica and Northern Italy.

Young Franciscan Leonardo had asked to be a missionary in China. Cardinal Colloredo had replied: “Your China will be Italy.”

And at the end of the seventeenth century, Italy had enough misery and misfortune enough to be considered mission territory.

Leonardo was a student in Rome, when a friend suggested going to hear a sermon. A few steps, they found that a hanged man dangling from the gallows. “This is the sermon,” said the two young men.
A few days later, the son of a sea captain of Porto Maurizio, Liguria, followed by two figures of monks who climbed to the convent of San Bonaventura on the Palatine Hill, where he donned the habit of the Franciscans called “the riformella” or “displaced” .

Devoting himself to preaching, perhaps remembering that torture hanging from the gallows, including Leonardo was always in mind the other execution, hanging on the Cross. Therefore, his favorite theme was that of the Via Crucis, typically Franciscan devotion to which he gave the largest spread.

His preaching had something dramatic and tragic, often by torchlight and voluntary torture, which underwent between Leonardo, now placing his hand on the torch lit, now scourging blood.

Immense crowds flocked to hear him and be impressed by his fiery speech, which re-called to repentance and Christian piety. “He is the greatest missionary of our century,”said St. Alphonsus de Liguori. Often, the entire audience, during his sermons, burst into sobs.

He preached throughout Italy, but the region of Tuscany was beaten because of the cold Jansenism, he wanted to fight first of all with the fervor of his heart, then with his themes more effective, namely the Name of Jesus, the Madonna and the Via Crucis.

In a visit to Corsica, the island’s troubled robbers fired their muskets into the air, shouting: “Viva friar Leonardo, long live peace.”

Back in Liguria, was launching a galley, named in his honor, San Leonardo. But he was gravely ill, the sailors said: “The boat is water.”

Consumed by the missionary labors, he was finally recalled to Rome, where, with his impassioned sermons, which also assisted the Pope, he prepared the spiritual climate for the Jubilee of 1750. On that occasion, he planted the Via Crucis at the Colosseum, declaring that place sacred to the martyrs.

Historians have also demonstrated that the Colosseum was never martyred Christians, but the preaching ~ in good faith – of San Leonardo prevented the further destruction of the monument, hitherto regarded as a quarry of good stone.

It was his last effort. He died the following year, and San Bonaventura al Palatino it took the soldiers to hold back the crowd who wanted to see the Holy priest and take away his relics. “We lose a friend on earth – the Pope Lambertini said – but we gain a protector in heaven.”

It was he who suggested the definition of the Marian dogma of the Immaculate Conception, through consultation letters with all the pastors of the Church.

Source: Parish Archives