23 to 29 December 2012

The round up for 23 to 29 December is again fairly light, at least in terms of American saints.  Again, no beatifications of which I’m aware.

Sunday 23 December, the martyrdom in 1672 in Wisconsin of Jean Guerin.  He was a Jesuit donné — not a priest, but a layman bound to the service of the Jesuit mission in the New World, where and as the Order sent him.  He was nine years in Quebec and about twenty with the Order, and was considered a particularly saintly man.  He was a companion of Fr Menard and the date of his death is unclear, but he is believed to have been martyred by Fox Indians near what is now Oshkosh.  I’m not aware of a cause for his canonization.

For Monday 24 December, I have nothing.

Tuesday 25 December is, obviously, Christmas.  For the Old Calendarists, such as ROCOR, it is the Feast of S Herman of Alaska, the first glorified American (Orthodox) saint, who, in a show of how widespread is the recognition of his sanctity, was glorified simultaneously by ROCOR and OCA, and, in a show of how separated those communions were at the time, this was done in different ceremonies in different states.  I have seen it suggested that Orthodox who want to be able to celebrate on 25 December without being subsumed into the New Calendar Christmas can celebrate S Herman of Alaska instead.

For the Breton, 25 December is the anniversary of the repose in 1652 of Marie-Amile Picard.  From Guiclan, in Finistere, she was a stigmatist and mystic, one of a set of mystic Bretons from that era.  She was subject to polemics for and against her, and was brought to trial for witchcraft. The Bishop of Leon ruled she was a loyal and Christian ecstatic.  Her grave can still be seen in the Cathedral of S Pol-de-Leon.  She has never been canonized, and I’m not aware of a cause for her canonization, but she has long been the subject of a popular cult.

Wednesday 26 December, among the Breton, the repose in 1860 of the Venerable Servant of God Jean-Marie Robert de la Mennais.  Born in Saint-Malo, as a youth he helped priests who were fugitive from the Republic.  In 1801, not yet a priest, he helped reestablish the College de Saint-Malo, which had been closed in the Revolution.  He taught philosophy there.  He would go on to be a priest known for helping heal the monastic groups that had suffered under the Republic and for establishing the Brothers of Christian Instruction of Ploermel and the Daughters of Providence of Saint-Brieuc.  His heroic virtues were recognised in the pontificate of the Venerable Servant of God Pope Paul VI.  A miracle was sent to Rome from the Diocese of Buenos Aires in 2010, so we may see his beatification soon.

Thursday 27 December, again for the Breton, the anniversary of the martyrdom in 1994 of the Servant of God Alain Dieulangard, one of the Martyrs of Algeria.  He was one of the White Fathers.  In Algeria in the nineties, the Islamist uprising put all foreigners in danger.  These White Fathers, like the other Martyrs of Algeria, refused to leave their flocks.  About noon on 27 December, Fr Alain, with three fellow brothers (the Servants of God Fr Charles Decker, Fr Jean Chevillard, and Fr Christian Chessel), was gunned down in the courtyard of his monastery.  The diocesean phase of the cause for the recognition of martyrdom for the nineteen Martyrs of Algeria was opened in 2007, though when the cause has been finished I would expect all the martyrs to be collectively memorialised on 1 August.

Friday 28 December, the anniversary of the martyrdom in New Mexico on 1631 of Pedro Miranda.  A Franciscan priest, he was working at the Taos Pueblo.  It is believed there was resistance to the teaching of the friars against bigamy, and this resistance came to a bloody peak on 27 December when a band of the Native Americans killed some soldiers and, finding Fr Pedro at prayer, martyred him as well.  I am not aware of a cause for his canonization.

For Saturday 29 December, I have nothing.

All the saints and martyrs, ora pro nobis.

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