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Our Lady Queen of the Martyrs Pray for us

Our Lady Queen of the Martyrs Pray for us

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sts. Nicander, Bishop and Hermes

Roman Martyrology: At Myra in Lycia, in modern Turkey, Holy Martyrs Nicander, Bishop, and Hermes, a Priest.

A passio Metaphrastes not included in Menologion Simeon Logoteta, still unpublished, is the only extant document concerning these martyrs.

According to the news of sinassari Byzantine commemorating Nicander and Hermes, to 4 November, the first was bishop of Myra in Lycia, and the second priest ordained bishop by the Apostle Titus of Crete. There would therefore be in the first century. For their zeal to convert the inhabitants to the Christian faith, they were denounced to the governor of the city Libanius. They had them tie back of the horses broke into a gallop. Thus dragged to the ground, the Saints had all the skin torn wetting the soil with their blood. Later they suspended the easel, striking through a wooden board and they are exposed to fire. Since they were miraculously preserved from the flames, the tyrant ordered to plant their nails in the heart and guts. Still alive, were thrown into a grave and covered with earth. Martyrologies unknown to the medieval West, the two Martyrs were introduced to Licia always to November 4, from C. Baronius in the Roman Martyrology.

Author: Antonio Calisi

Source: Santi e Beati

Blessed Peter Vicev, Pavel (Joseph) Džidžov and Josaphat (Robert Matthew) Shishkov.

Roman Martyrology: At Sofia, Bulgaria, Blessed Peter Vicev, Pavel (Joseph) Džidžov and Jehoshaphat (Robert Matthew) Shishkov, priests of the Congregation of the Augustinians of the Assumption, who, unjustly accused of treason under an atheist regime and thrown into prison because they were Christians, in their mortal combat deserve to receive the reward of eternity, the faithful disciples of Christ.

Joseph Dzjidzjov was born in the Bulgarian town of Plovdiv July 19, 1919, to a Catholic family in the Latin rite. In 1926 he became a student of School of the Assumption St. Andrew in his native country. From 1931 to 1938 he studied in the College of St. Augustine, in the same city. On February 2, 1938 as a trainee recruit, he finally entered Noseroa, France, and assumed the religious name of Pavel.
He studied philosophy and theology in Lormoa, near Paris, until 1942, when he made his perpetual profession of vows.

Then forced by illness to return to Bulgaria, he continued his theological studies as an irregular student. On January 26, 1945 in Plovdiv, he was ordained a priest in the Latin rite. To Varna he was then sent, to study economics and social sciences, in order to delegations following the various activities relating to housing and economic management of the mission. Father Pavel, a very good student and active, exerted a positive influence on his comrades. With courage, he didn’t hide his anti-communist ideas and beliefs and then, for this reason, was kept firmly under control by the secret services of Bulgaria’s new leadership.

His superiors then entrusted him with the job of treasurer of the College St. Augustine in Plovdiv and later treasurer of the Eastern Vicariate. Constantly followed by the communist militia during the night of July 4, 1952, he was arrested in seminary recruitment of Plovdiv, together with Father Kamen Vicev. Pavel Dzjidjov figured second in the list of complaints.

For him and his brothers Kamen Vitchev and Josaphat Chichkov the death sentence was issued October 3, 1952, and were shot in the night between 11 and November 12, 1952 in Sofia, Bulgarian capital, along with Blessed Bishop Eugenio Bossilkov. The place of their burial in the cemetery of the city has never been discovered. The three priest martyrs were beatified by Pope John Paul II May 26, 2002.

Author: Fabio Arduino

Source: Santi e Beati

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Saint Jean-Charles Cornay

Jean-Charles Cornay was a French priest who, instead, was killed in contempt of faith in Tonkin (Vietnam). And in a very bloody: he was torn to pieces. He belonged to the Institute for Foreign Missions of Paris and had arrived in Macao. Precusagli the way to China, his goal, he remained in Tonkin. Here he was betrayed, falsely accused of fomenting an insurgency, tortured, and – after refusing to recant – sentenced to death in 1837 at age 28.

Roman Martyrology: In the fortress of Son-Tay Tonkin, now Vietnam, San Giovanni Carlo Cornay, priest of the Society for Foreign Missions of Paris, and Martyr, who, after cruel tortures, by decree of Emperor Minh M Ng was rendered into pieces and eventually beheaded for his Christian faith.

Many missionaries and indigenous Christians sprayed the Vietnamese earth with their blood, being killed for their faith in God. 117 of them, Tonkin Martyrs, were canonized in Rome June 19, 1988 by Pope John Paul II and among them was the French priest Jean-Charles Cornay.

Born in Loundun, in the French department of Vienne, 27 February 1809, his parents were Jean-Baptiste and Françoise Mayaud, they raised him and his two sisters in the faith. Subsequently he studied at the college of Saint-Louis, Saumur and later with the Jesuits of montmorillonite. He wast a regular student, humble and with a gentle character.

His vocation surprised his parents; when he expressed the desire to become a missionary he was met with reluctance and misunderstanding. He had to start his first battle at a time to respond positively to the call of God, opposing the opinion of parents, while affirming his filial love.

He spent a brief period at the Seminary of Foreign Missions of Paris, a period of uncertainty due to the revolution of July, in which the seminary was a target. Jean-Charles recorded it in his memoirs: “Hier on penetrate dans notre séminaire et l’on a affiché sept ou huit portant Mort aux billets Jésuites de la rue du Bac, et comme poignard a signature”.

His departure was sudden for Cornay replaced another missionary. His destination was to be Seu-Tchouan in China two thousand kilometers from the coast. He landed in Macau after six months of travel. Had to reach Tonkin, but the two guides sent to meet him never arrived. Jean-Charles Cornay finally arrived in Tonkin in 1831, the height of anti-Christian persecution.

As time passed, his hopes of reaching China one day decreased. He decided to remain in this land and on April 26, 1834 he was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop at Havard Hanio after a trip on the Red River disguised as Chinese. During the grueling period in which he exercised his ministry he was always calm, cheerful and characterized by a spirit of holiness.

In 1835 he was arrested by French missionaries and others against him, the authorities forged a charge of treason for having buried the weapons in a land they tilled. He was then locked in a series of bamboo cages, a torture very common in Vietnam at that time, and since he was young and had a beautiful voice was forced to sing for his persecutors, but he chose to sing the Salve Regina. Finally he was sentenced to death by the court subremo and, on the orders of Emperor Minh Mang, beheaded September 20, 1837 at the fortitude of Son Tay.

In his last letter to his parents, he wrote: “You will receive Lorsque cette lettre, mon cher père, ma chere mere, affligez ne vous pas de ma mort, en consentant à mon départ, vous avez déjà fait la plus grande partie du sacrifice. Under the terms of the award, his body was then “cut into pieces and [...] the head, after being exposed for three days, [...] thrown into the river.” The courageous example of Cornay determined the vocation of St. Theophane Venard. The Martyrologium Romanum today commemorates St Giancarlo Cornay, on the anniversary of his birth into heaven.

Author: Fabio Arduino

Source: Santi e Beati

Friday, January 29, 2010

Blessed Symeon Lukac

Greek Catholic. Born to a farm family. Entered the seminary in 1913; his studies were interruprted by World War I, but he graduated in 1919. Ordained in 1919. Taught moral theology at the seminary in Ivano-Franksivsk. Believed to have been secretly ordained a bishop in April 1945; the secrecy was necessitated by Soviet persecution of the Church. Arrested for his faith by Soviet secret police on 26 October 1949; held until 11 February 1955. Worked as a covert priest after his release. Imprisoned again in July 1962. Contracted tuberculosis and died in prison; martyr.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Ghassibe Kayrouz

I have only one request, forgive those who killed me (Ghasibe Kayrouz)

During the Lebanese civil war, a young man preparing to enter the seminary was killed. Ghasibe Kayrouz was born to a poor Maronite family near Beirut. From his childhood, the Catholic faith was introduced to him by the example of his parents who educated their children in a spirit of prayer and love to God.

After his father’s death, Ghassibe helps his family to survive by teaching religion to children in the countryside. It is at this point that Ghassibe’s extraordinary Faith reveals itself. It is in this love for God that he enters the Jesuit seminary in Beirut. Ghassibe’s Passion arrives upon his decision, one Christmas, to return to his native village. He never reaches his home, however, as he is captured and held hostage by a Muslim family who want to blackmail Ghassibe’s family for land. Ghassibe’s witness to Faith until death is provoked following his decision to knowingly make the sign of the Cross in this Muslim house. The Muslim men of the house, enraged by this, kill Ghassibe.

Later, after his death, his family discovered a letter which was written by Ghassibe himself. In it, they learned that even before his death, he had a premonition about his future martyrdom. It might probably have started when three of is friends were killed for their faith.

In the testament, he wrote, “I have only one request, forgive those who killed me.” He also offered his blood for the conversion of sinners in Lebanon and for peace, love, and reconciliation not only in Lebanon, but also in the whole world.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Blessed Władysław Findysz.

Ladislaus Findysz was born on 13th December 1907 in Krościenko Niżne, near Krosno (Poland) to Stanislaus Findysz and Apollonia Rachwał, peasants of long-standing Catholic tradition. The following day, 14th December 1907, he was baptised in the parish church of the Holy Trinity in Krosno, and so began for him the life of grace.

In 1919, on concluding his studies in the elementary school, run by the Felician Sisters (CSSF) in Krościenko Niżne, he entered the state-run grammar school. As a young pupil, Ladislaus joined the Marian Solidality. In May 1927 he sat the school leaving exams and joined in a retreat organised for school leavers. In the autumn of that year he moved to Przemyśl and entered the major seminary, beginning studies in philosophy and theology at the Institute there. His preparation for the priesthood was guided by the Rector, Blessed Father John Balicki. The high point of this formative period was priestly ordination, which Monsignor Anatol Nowak, Bishop of Przemyśl, conferred on Ladislaus on 19th June 1932, in his cathedral. After a month’s leave, on 1st August, Father Findysz took up his posting as assistant curate in the parish of Borysław (today in the Ukraine). On 17th September 1935 he was appointed curate in the parish of Drohobycz (also in the Ukraine), and on 1st August 1937 he was transferred to the parish of Strzyżów, again as curate, where on 22nd September 1939, he was appointed as parish administrator. Following this, on 10th October 1940, Ladislaus was appointed as curate in Jasło, and then on 8th July of the following year as administrator of the Parish of SS. Peter and Paul Apostles in Nowy Żmigród. A year later, on 13th August 1942, he became parish priest of this same parish.

Three years as pastor of Nowy Żmigród were marked by unfailing commitment to pastoral work and the painful experiences of the War. On 3rd October 1944, along with the rest of the town’s inhabitants, Father Ladislaus was expelled by the Germans. On his return, on 23rd January 1945, he committed himself to reorganizing the parish.

Father Ladislaus’ service continued after the War through the hard times of the communist regime. Father Findysz continued with the work of moral and religious renewal in the parish, giving his all to protect the faithful – especially the young – from the systematic and intensive atheism imposed by Communism. He also helped the inhabitants of the parish with material aid, regardless of their nationality or denomination. He saved numerous (Greek Catholic) families from Łemki, who were severely persecuted by the communist authorities, and threatened with expulsion from their place of residence without the slightest chance of reprieve. Father Findysz’s pastoral work put the communist authorities ill at ease. From 1946 onwards he was placed under surveillance by the secret services. In 1952 the academic authorities suspended him from teaching the Catechism in the secondary school. He was prevented from continuing his activity throughout the parish because, on two occasions (in 1952 and 1954), the district authorities rejected his request for permission to live within the border area where part of the parish was situated.

As far as the ecclesiastical authorities were concerned Father Ladislaus was considered a zealous parish priest, receiving recognition as an honorary canon in 1946, subsequently being accorded the privilege of the rochet and mantelletta in 1957. In the same year he was appointed as vice-dean of the Nowy Żmigród deanery, being appointed dean in 1962.

In 1963 he began the pastoral activity of the “Conciliar Works of Charity” (a sort of Vatican Council spiritual support). He sent letters of exhortation to parishioners living in irregular religious and moral situations, encouraging them to reorder their Christian lives. The communist authorities reacted very severely to this activity and accused him of forcing the faithful to participate in religious rites and practices. On 25th November 1963, after being interrogated by the Procurator of the Voivodeship of Rzeszów, he was arrested and imprisoned in Rzeszów Castle. From 16th to 17th December 1963 his trial took place in the Voivodeship tribunal in Rzeszów, and he was condemned and given a custodial sentence of two years and six months. The motivation for the investigation, the accusation and the subsequent condemnation of Father Findysz was rooted in the Decree of “Protection of the Freedom of Conscience and Denomination” of 5th August, 1949. This, however, was simply an instrument in the hands of the communist authorities to restrict, and ultimately eliminate, “faith” and the Catholic Church from public and private life in Poland. Father Findysz was also publicly discredited, libelled and condemned through specially edited publications in the press. He was kept in the Rzeszów Castle prison where he suffered from malnutrition as well as being subjected to physical, psychological and spiritual humiliation. On 25th January 1964, he was transferred to the central prison in Montelupich Street in Cracow.

Just before being arrested in September 1963, Father Ladislaus underwent a serious operation in Gorlice hospital to remove his thyroid gland, and the state of his health remained uncertain due to the risk of complications. He convalesced under the care of the medics whilst waiting for a second surgical intervention planned for December of the same year – this time to remove a cancerous growth in the oesophagus. Without doubt, the interrogation, trial and imprisonment had serious implications for the state of Father Findysz’s health and he had to be cared for in the prison hospital. Due to a lack of proper care and the requisite medical expertise his health did not improve, but above all because the planned surgery to remove the cancerous growth of the oesophagus and a blockage of the stomach was postponed. In reality, he was condemned to a slow death. The illness ran its course as indicated in the results of medical examinations undertaken in the prisons of Rzeszów and Cracow. Indeed, the very first clinical examination undertaken by the prison doctor on 9th December 1963 already revealed an abscess in the throat with a suspected tumour of the oesophagus.

From the outset of Father Ladislaus’ condemnation to a custodial sentence, his lawyer, and the diocesan curia of Przemyśl, sought recourse to the Procurator and the Tribunal of Rzeszów, petitioning for the suspension of his arrest on grounds of the precarious state of his health and the risk of death. The requests were refused. They were, however, accepted by the Supreme Court in Warsaw as late as at the end of February 1964.

Given the serious state of his health, Father Ladislaus returned to Nowy Żmigród from prison on 29th February 1964. Manifesting great patience and submission to God’s will, he remained in the presbytery, bearing the sufferings of his illness as well as exhaustion. In April he was admitted to the specialist hospital in Wrocław. In spite of the treatment the clinical tests confirmed the diagnosis of a cancerous growth between the oesophagus and the stomach. Further medical examination confirmed that Father Findysz’s tumour, given its advanced state of growth, was no longer operable. Suffering with his pulmonary emphysema, and a relapse into severe anaemia which meant that death was close at hand, he returned home.

During the summer months he took part in the spiritual retreat for priests in the major seminary of Przemyśl. This was to be his last retreat in preparation for death.

On the morning of 21st August 1964, after having received the Sacraments, he died in the presbytery of Nowy Żmigród, and on 24th August was buried in the parish cemetery. Monsignor Stanislaus Jakiel, the Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Przemyśl, presided at the funeral, together with 130 priests and many faithful.

On 27th June 2000, following numerous requests from the faithful, Monsignor Kazimierz Górny, Bishop of Rzeszów, began the diocesan process for the beatification of the Servant of God Ladislaus Findysz. The acts of the diocesan inquest were sent to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Rome on 18th October 2002.

During the Roman stage of the cause for beatification the theological consulters and then the members of the Congregation – Cardinals, Archbishops and Bishops – recognised that the Servant of God, Father Ladislaus Findysz, was arrested and condemned by the authorities of the Communist regime on account of his proclamation of the Gospel. What’s more, his imprisonment and the physical and spiritual suffering he endured were directly responsible for his death. This being the case, it is necessary to recognise Father Findysz as a Martyr for the faith. This proposal was presented to the Holy Father and was duly approved by him. Then on 20th December 2004, in the presence of His Holiness Pope John Paul II, the decree of the Congregation for the Cause of Saints was promulgated, recognising Father Ladislaus Findysz as a Martyr for the faith. The Apostolic Letter, with which His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI inscribed him in the Roll of Blessed, was solemnly published in Warsaw on 19th June 2005 at the conclusion of the National Eucharistic Congress.

This is the first successful cause for beatification based on the martyrdom of a Servant of God who was the victim of the Communist Regime in Poland. What’s more, this is the first cause for beatification in the Diocese of Rzeszów.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Saint Albert, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem

Born to a wealthy and promininent noble Italian family. Well educated, especially in theology and law. Ordained, he served as canon to Holy Cross Abbey in Mortara, Italy. Abbey prior. Bishop of Bobbio, Italy in 1184. Bishop of Vercelli. Mediated disputes between Pope Clement III and Frederick Barbarossa, and for his efforts was named Prince of the Empire. Papal legate to Northern Italy. Negotiated peace between Parma and Piacenza in 1199. Helped formulate the Rule for Saint Borcard and his hermits. This Rule later was adopted as the Rule for the Carmelites, and thus Albert is considered a cofounder of the order. Patriarch of Jerusalem in 1205 under Pope Innocent III, a position that generally led to conflict with the Muslims, and martyrdom. Since his lands were wholly in the hands of Saracens, he established his see city at Akka (Acre). Held the office nearly ten years. Well known for his involvement in both state and church matters, and as a peacemaker to the Frankish factions in his see. Summoned to serve in the General Council of the Lateran, but murdered before he could attend.

Friday, January 22, 2010


Deacon of Saragossa, and martyr under Diocletian, 304; mentioned in the Roman Martyrology, 22 Jan., with St. Anastasius the Persian, honoured by the Greeks, 11 Nov. This most renowned martyr of Spain is represented in the dalmatic of a deacon, and has as emblems a cross, a raven, a grate, or a fire-pile. He is honoured as patron in Valencia, Saragossa, Portugal etc., is invoked by vintners, brickmakers, and sailors, and is in the Litany of the Saints. His Acts were read in the churches of Africa at the end of the fourth century, as St. Augustine testifies in Sermon 275. The present Acts (Acta SS., III Jan., 6) date from the eighth or ninth century, and were compiled from tradition. Anal. Boll., I, 259, gives another life. All agree in substance with the metric life by Prudentius (P.L., LX, 378). He was born at Saragossa; his father was Eutricius (Euthicius), and his mother, Enola, a native of Osca. Under the direction of Valerius, Bishop of Sargossa, Vincent made great progress in his studies. He was ordained deacon and commissioned to do the preaching in the diocese, the bishop having an impediment of speech. By order of the Governor Dacian he and his bishop were dragged in chains to Valencia and kept in prison for a long time. Then Valerius was banished, but Vincent was subjected to many cruel torments, the rack, the gridiron, and scourgings. He was again imprisoned, in a cell strewn with potsherds. He was next placed in a soft and luxurious bed, to shake his constancy, but here he expired.

His body was thrown to be devoured by vultures, but it was defended by a raven. Dacian had the body cast into the sea, but it came to shore and was buried by a pious widow. After peace was restored to the Church, a chapel was built over the remains outside the walls of Valencia. In 1175 the relics were brought to Lisbon; others claim that they came to Castres in 864. Cremona, Bari, and other cities claim to have relics. Childeric I brought the sole and dalmatic to Paris in 542, and built a church in honour of St. Vincent, later called St-Germain-des-Prés. Regimont, near Bezières, had a church of the saint as early as 455. Rome had three churches dedicated to St. Vincent; one near St. Peter's, another in Trastevere, and the one built by Honorius I (625-38) and renewed by Leo III in 796. A pilaster found in the basilica of Salona in Dalmatia shows an inscription of the fifth or sixth century in honour of the saint (Rom. Quartalschrift, 1907, Arch. 135).

Thursday, January 21, 2010


According to tradition, Saint Agnes was a member of the Roman nobility born c. 291 and raised in a Christian family. She suffered martyrdom at the age of twelve or thirteen during the reign of the Roman Emperor Diocletian, on January 21 304.

The Prefect Sempronius wished Agnes to marry his son, and on Agnes' refusal he condemned her to death. As Roman law did not permit the execution of virgins, Sempronius had a naked Agnes dragged through the streets to a brothel. As she prayed, her hair grew and covered her body. It was also said that all of the men who attempted to rape her were immediately struck blind. When led out to die she was tied to a stake, but the bundle of wood would not burn, whereupon the officer in charge of the troops drew his sword and beheaded her, or, in some other texts, stabbed her in the throat. It is also said that the blood of Agnes poured to the stadium floor where other Christians soaked up the blood with cloths. She did not want to marry but wanted to have God in her life.

A few days after Agnes' death, a girl named Emerentiana was found praying by her tomb; she claimed to be the daughter of Agnes' wet nurse, and was stoned to death after refusing to leave the place and reprimanding the pagans for killing her foster sister. Emerentiana was also later canonized.

Agnes' bones are conserved in the church of Sant'Agnese fuori le mura in Rome, built over the catacomb that housed Agnes' tomb. Her skull is preserved in a side chapel in the church of Sant'Agnese in Agone in Rome's Piazza Navona.

An early account of Agnes' death, stressing her steadfastness and virginity, but not the legendary features of the tradition, is given by Saint Ambrose.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

St.Fabian Pope and Martyr.


Pope (236-250), the extraordinary circumstances of whose election is related by Eusebius (Church History VI.29). After the death of Anterus he had come to Rome, with some others, from his farm and was in the city when the new election began. While the names of several illustrious and noble persons were being considered, a dove suddenly descended upon the head of Fabian, of whom no one had even thought. To the assembled brethren the sight recalled the Gospel scene of the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Saviour of mankind, and so, divinely inspired, as it were, they chose Fabian with joyous unanimity and placed him in the Chair of Peter. During his reign of fourteen years there was a lull in the storm of persecution.

Little is known of his pontificate. The "Liber Pontificalis" says that he divided Rome into seven districts, each supervised by a deacon, and appointed seven subdeacons, to collect, in conjunction with other notaries, the "acta" of the martyrs, i.e. the reports of the court-proceedings on the occasion of their trials (cf. Eus., VI, 43). There is a tradition that he instituted the four minor orders. Under him considerable work was done in the catacombs. He caused the body of Pope St. Pontianus to be exhumed, in Sardinia, and transferred to the catacomb of St. Callistus at Rome. Later accounts, more or less trustworthy, attribute to him the consecration (245) of seven bishops as missionaries to Gaul, among them St. Denys of Paris (Greg. of Tours, Hist. Francor., I, 28, 31). St. Cyprian mentions (Ep., 59) the condemnation by Fabian for heresy of a certain Privatus (Bishop of Lambaesa) in Africa. The famous Origen did not hesitate to defend, before Fabian, the orthodoxy of his teaching (Eusebius, Church History VI.34). Fabian died a martyr (20 Jan., 250) at the beginning of the Decian persecution, and was buried in the Crypt of the Popes in the catacomb of St. Callistus, where in recent times (1850) De Rossi discovered his Greek epitaph (Roma Sotterranea II, 59): "Fabian, bishop and martyr." The decretals ascribed to him in Pseudo-Isidore are apocryphal.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

St. Peter Ramirez Esqueda

He was born in Mexico in San Juan de los Lagos, Jalisco (Diocese de San Juan de los Lagos) April 29, 1887. As a priest he devoted himself with special care and passion to the catechesis of children. He founded various centers of study and a school for the catechetical formation. When he was in prison he was beaten so severely that a wound opened on his face. A soldier, after hitting him, said, “Now you will be sorry that you are a priest.” But Father Pedro answered, “No, not even a moment, and I miss just watching the sky.” On November 22, 1927 they pulled him out of jail for justice, children surrounded him and father Esqueda repeated insistently: “Do not neglect to study the catechism, nor any reason to leave out the Christian doctrine.” They three shots were fired. He is remembered along with the Mexican saints and martyrs of the twentieth century.

Roman Martyrology: In the city of Teocaltitlán in Mexico, St. Peter Esqueda Ramírez, Priest and Martyr, who, during the persecution in Mexico was thrown into prison for his priesthood, and finally shot.

The 25 Mexican Martyred Saints (Christopher Magallanes Jara and 24 fellows), by the will of John Paul II, immediately after Canonization, were placed in the Roman Calendar on May 21 as an optional memorial. The Martyrologium Romanum commemorates each Saint and Blessed separately, each on the anniversary of martyrdom.

Monday, January 18, 2010

St. Archelais, St. Thecla and St. Susanna

St. Archelais, St. Thecla and St. Susanna were Christian virgins of the Romagna region of Italy. During the persecution by Diocletian in the third century, these holy virgins dressed themselves in men’s clothing, cut their hair and went to the Italian province of Campagna. Settling in a remote area, they continued to pursue an ascetical life of fasting and prayer. They received the gift of healing from God, treated the local inhabitants, and converted many pagans to Christ.

When the governor of the district heard of these healings, he had the holy women brought to Salerno. He threatened St. Archelais with torture and death if she did not offer sacrifice to idols. With firm hope in the Lord, the saint refused and denounced the folly of worshipping soulless statues. The governor ordered the saint to be torn apart by hungry lions, but the beasts meekly lay at her feet. In a rage, the governor ordered the lions to be killed, and locked the holy virgins in prison.

In the morning, having suspended St. Archelais from a tree, the torturers began to rake her with iron utensils and pour hot tar on the wounds. The saint prayed even more loudly, and suddenly a light shone over her and a voice was heard, “Fear not, for I am with you.”

St. Archelais was defended by the power of God. When they wanted to crush her with an immense stone, an angel pushed it to the other side, and it crushed the torturers instead. A judge ordered the soldiers to behead the holy virgins, but the soldiers did not dare to put their hands upon the saints. Sts. Archelais, Thekla and Susanna then said to the soldiers, “If you do not fulfill the command, you shall have no respect from us.” Thus, the holy martyrs were beheaded in 293.

Rome Reports

Sunday, January 17, 2010

St.Margeret Clitherow English Martyr

John Pridmore reformed east end gangster talks about St Margeret Clitherow,English Martyr, in Dublin Nov 2007 at Youth Rosary Rally

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Blessed Martin Lumbreras Sanchez Perez Peralta and Melchiorre

Spanish Blessed Martin of St. Nicholas Lumbreras Peralta, professed priest of the Order of Augustinian Recollects, was Martyred with his brother Melchior of Saint Augustine Sanchez just arrived in the Japanese city of Nagasaki, were closed in a dark cell, and then burnt. John Paul II beatified them April 23, 1989.

Roman Martyrology: At Nagasaki in Japan, and Melchiorre Blessed Martin Lumbreras Peralta Sánchez Pérez, Priests and Martyrs of the Order of Saint Augustine, who just arrived in this city were arrested and thrown into a dark cell, and finally burned at the stake.

Martin was born in Zaragoza Lumbreras a noble family in 1598. He took the habit of an Augustinian convent in Recollet Borja, taking vows in Zaragoza in 1619. Three years later, in July, 1622, he set out from Cadiz to the islands of the Philippines, where he arrived the following year, accompanied by thirteen Augustinian Recollect missionaries. Led to the withdrawal was particularly cloistered and his superiors assigedn him to the convent of Manila, in the first place as sacristan major, then for a period of eight years as novice master. In recent years, he greatly promoted the cult of the Virgin of Pilar, to which he dedicated a picture and an altar in the church of S. Nicola.

His desire was still hidden Japan: live and die for the Christian community, as proven at that time. In a letter dated August 4, 1631 he announced his desire to the vicar general, and exactly one year later, on August 4, 1632, he departed from Manila for Japan in the company of Fr Melchior of Saint Augustine who would be his constant companion until his martyrdom. Both arrived in Nagasaki eight days later.

Melchiorre Sanchez was born in Granada in 1599. At the age of nineteen he professed his religious vows in the convent of Augustinian Recollects of his hometown. In 1621, he departed for the Phillipines in the company of twenty-three other Augustinian Recollect missionaries, arriving in Manila in July of 1622. He learned the Tagalog dialects and Hisaya and exercised the apostolate in the recently opened missions of Mindanao, without a doubt the most difficult of the archipelago. He also spent some time in Manila as a preacher of the Spaniards until August 4, 1632, when he made his desire to go to Japan.

From that moment his life took place beside Martin.

Enmities had arisen between the Chinese traders, who had led them there, one of them denounced their entry into the territory to the governor of Nagasaki. Informed of the betrayal, the missionaries immediately sought a way to the mountains, where they met Father Domenico Equicia, who introduced them and instructed them in the idiom of the country. However, their stay in the mountains did not last long because their anxiety soon pushed them down in a city where, discovered and recognized by government agents, they were taken November 3, 1632, when they still had not taken place three months after their arrival.

The government tried, in the name of the emperor, to make them renounce Christianity, but to no avail. Irritated signed the death warrant that was executed on December 11.

On the stake, both missionaries went there after being tied loosely to the poles, so that if they could have changed their mind to escape the torment. Melchior died four hours after the start of execution, while Martin, to the amazement of the spectators, held out for eighteen hours.
Their martyrdom was immediately reported. Already in 1633 the Bishop Diego Valente was the first to receive news from Macao, where Portuguese traders testified to the martrydom of twenty-two. Some years later, in 1637, Pedro de San Juan, the governor of Macao put in place a broader testimony, Portuguese merchants of thirty-six, thirty-two of whom were present for martyrdom. Only in 1920 but was issued the decree introducing the process of Apostles.

Following the approval, on November 28, 1988, of their martyrdom, they were Beatified in Rome by Pope John Paul II April 24, 1989.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Fr. Aloysius Liguda

"Not much is known about the death of Fr. Aloysius Liguda. According to eye-witnesses he was drowned along with nine other prisoners on December 9, 1942, in the concentration camp at Dachau. But his Calvary was a long one, since he endured nearly three years of suffering before his death. He was arrested in Gorna Grupa in February, 1940, and he passed through two different concentration camps (Stutthof and Sachsenhausen) before his detention at Dachau. He experienced forced labor, hunger, beatings, and other inhuman treatment, but his presence was a support to other prisoners. His spirit of tranquility and his sense of humor helped many to endure the brutal ity of the concentration camp. Even in the most trying situations he found words of encouragement or a joke to share with others. He remained faithful to his religious missionary vocation in the midst of torture and disdain for human dignity until his martyrdom.

Aloysius Liguda was born in Winow, not far from Nysa. He was the sixth of seven children. His family was deeply religious, and this had an enormous influence on his life. The nearness of the SVD mission house in Nysa helped him to identify his vocation, and at the age of 15 he joined the minor seminary. World War I interrupted his education, since he was called to military service. He saw action in Flanders and in France, and by the end of the war he held the rank of sergeant. After the war he returned to Nysa to finish his studies there. In 1920 he was accepted into the novitiate at St. Gabriel, Austria. At final vows he requested an assignment to China or Papua New Guinea. But the superiors sent him to Poland, where he arrived in 1928 (one year after his ordination).

Before his perpetual vows in 1926 his prefect wrote about him: “His intellectual ability is very good. He could be well suited for the teaching profession.” So it was no surprise that he was directed toward teaching. After receiving Polish citizenship and passing the entrance examinations for the university, he studied Polish literature and contemporary history. His obligatory two years of student teaching were done at the minor seminary in Gorna Grupa. He was quite appreciated for his teaching, which he thoroughly enjoyed. His students at Gorna Grupa remembered him as a good, kind and always well-prepared teacher. One of them wrote that he still fondly remembered him as somebody “who used to bring joy, a smile and tranquility to every class.” In addition to his full teaching load, Fr. Liguda was frequently asked to give spiritual conferences and to serve as a confessor for various religious communities. He was known and appreciated as a retreat master and spiritual director. Already at the time of his first appointment he had a desire to do retreat work. Some of his conferences and homilies were published, and they continued to have an influence among young people long after his death. In his first years at Gorna Grupa he published Audi Filia (Listen, Daughter), a collection of Sunday sermons to students at a girls’ secondary school. It became a kind of bestseller in homiletics. Two other books followed: ‘Bread and Salt’ and ‘Forward and Higher’.

Fr. Aloysius was also quite aware of the importance of formation in religious life, and he had a special interest in the youth apostolate. His charisma and his intellectual preparation helped him to communicate well with young people.

Fr. Aloysius had a remarkable sensitivity for justice, and he was known for defending others who were in desperate situations. In the concentration camps he was not afraid to continue this defense of others, which of course brought upon him beatings and other sadistic punishments. He was 44 when he died — the oldest of our four martyrs.

Fr. Aloysius was beatified by Pope John Paul II on June 13, 1999, together with three companions from the Society of the Divine Word, as part of a group of 107 Polish martyrs of the Second World War."