25 November to 1 December 2012

There are no beatifications scheduled for the week of which I’m aware, but watch next weekend for an unusual Sunday beatification.

Sunday 25 November, the Feast of Christ the King.

Also 25 November, the martyrdom in 1542 of Juan de la Cruz, one of the protomartyrs of New Mexico.  A Franciscan priest, he accompanied Fr Juan de Padilla, protomartyr of the United States.  He and a companion stayed behind in New Mexico, and Fr Juan was eventually killed with arrows.  The exact date of his death is disputed.  I am not aware of a cause for his canonization.

Also 25 November the martyrdom in 1950 of Patrick Byrne.  A Maryknoller, he was the first Bishop (Apostolic Delegate) of Korea.  When the Korean War broke out, he was captured in Seoul.  Despite being in his sixties the Communists forced him into the same death march to which all their prisoners were being subjected.  He contracted pneumonia and died near the Yalu River.  I am not aware of a cause for his canonization.

Monday 26 November and Tuesday 27 November I have nothing.

Wednesday 28 November, the martyrdom in 1729 of Paul du Poisson.  A Jesuit priest, he was martyred in Natchez, Mississippi, while ministering to the sick during an uprising of Native Americans.  I’m not aware of a cause for his canonization.

Also 28 November, the martyrdom in 1886 of Charles John Seghers, protomartyr of Alaska.  Born in Belgium, his personal holiness seems in no doubt, but his martyrdom was peculiar.  He was serving as Bishop of Oregon, which at that time covered much more ground than it does today.  In Rome, he was sent back to his previous diocese in Canada with particular exhortation to see to Alaska.  The Bishop made enemies of the whites, apparently, who resented the arrival of Jesuits and establishment of missions as these put an end to their exploitation of the native populations.  A fur trader who had been guiding the Bishop, apparently without warning one morning, shot him through the heart.  He was arrested, convicted, imprisoned and served his time for manslaughter.  When he was released, someone shot him in his turn.  While I am aware of no cause for his canonization, Bp Gannon very much wanted to have one opened and he was not alone in the hierarchy in calling Bp Seghers a martyr.

Also on 28 November, the martyrdom in Wisconsin in 1974 of Marcellus Cabo.  A Franciscan priest, he had the misfortune of being caught up in the anti-Catholic bigotry that unfortunately attended parts of the Native American rights movement in the seventies.  While there was speculation his death was a robbery gone bad, his killer was an associate of a movement that preached hatred of Catholics.

Thursday 29 November, the repose in New York in 1980 of the Servant of God Dorothy Day, co-founder of the Catholic Workers movement.  Her cause is on its way to Rome with the universal endorsement of the American hierarchy.

Also 29 November, for the Bretons, the repose in Quebec in 1956 of the Servant of God Victor Lelievre.  Born in Brittany, he arrived in Quebec in 1903.  A priest with the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, he, like Dorothy Day, is known for his work among the workers, founding the House of Jesus the Worker and helping establish a movement called Christian Syndicalism in Quebec.  For whatever reason, the Anglosphere doesn’t seem to have had much of such movements as Christian Syndicalism, a system of trade unionism with non-Marxist roots, parallel in a way to Christian Democracy.  In Canada and Europe, however, it is a small but real strain within the workers’ movement.  His cause was sent to Rome in 2006.

Friday 30 November, the martyrdom in 1544 of Juan de Padilla, protomartyr of the United States.  A Franciscan priest from Andalusia, he accompanied Coronado into America, but when Coronado decided the Cities of Gold didn’t really exist, Fr Padilla remained among the Native Americans.  His martyrdom is also somewhat curious.  He had been staying in a town to some effect; conversions were said to be happening well.  He left to travel to a new town, but the Natives from the town where he had been set out after a day to pursue him.  Why is unclear; perhaps they feared he would bring the power of his God to another tribe, perhaps they wanted the power in his sacred vessels.  In any case, when he realised he and his party were being pursued and why, he sent the Portuguese and Indians with whom he was travelling to take the children and flee and he knelt down in prayer to await the pursuers.  They were sufficiently distracted with killing the friar that the others were able to escape with their lives.  I am not aware of a cause for his canonization, but popular devotion to him is documented in the southwest.

Also 30 November, though the actual date of his repose in 1743 is unclear, worthy of mention is Juan Jose Padilla.  Also a Franciscan priest, in New Mexico, he is often confused with his more famous namesake.  Juan Jose Padilla was not martyred but is rumored to be incorrupt and to have a coffin that simply refuses to stay under the dirt.  It is a curious story well known enough in its day that each text that mentions Juan de Padilla adds a mention that he was not Juan Jose Padilla.  There is no cause for his canonization of which I am aware, and the reports I have seen indicate, while there was popular veneration at his gravesite, this was a mistaken identity and the popular piety had as it’s object the protomartyr.

Saturday 1 December, I have nothing.

All the saints, ora pro nobis.

All the martyrs, ora pro nobis.

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