3 to 9 February 2013

The round up for 3 to 9 February.

So far as I know, still no beatifications.

Sunday 3 February, the repose in Baltimore of the Servant of God Mary Elizabeth Lange.  Of Haitian ancestry, she was born either in Haiti or in Cuba.  She came as an adult to Maryland where there was a large community of Catholics from the Caribbean.  It was illegal at the time to educate the free Blacks, but she did so anyway and, with the backing of the Church, established the first American order of religious women, the Oblate Sisters of Providence, for the purpose of continuing this education.  Currently about eighty sisters are in her Order.  Her cause was passed on to Rome in 2006.

Also Sunday 3 February, the martyrdom of John P. Washington.  He was an army chaplain and priest on the USAT Dorchester.  In the Atlantic in 1943, a German submarine hit the ship.  A famous story came of it, that of the Four Chaplains or the Immortal Chaplains.  Four ministers were on board:  Fr Washington, a rabbi, a Reformed minister, and a Methodist minister.  They all four ministered to the troops as the ship was going down, following the call to lay down their lives for their flocks to the point that each of the four gave away his life jacket and then they went down together, praying.  I am not aware of a cause for his canonization.

Also Sunday 3 February, the repose in 1997 of Luke John Neumann Hooker, a little boy and a problematic case.  But he is held to be a saint by some, even if there is no official cause.

Also Sunday 3 February, among the Breton, the repose in Morbihan in 1951 of the Servant of God Yvonne-Aimee of Jesus.  Foundress of the Augustinian Sisters of the Mercy of Jesus, she is said to have been a mystic and a wonderworker, but there is no doubt of the following:  During the Occupation, she used her convent to minister to the wounded of the Germans and the Resistance alike, and for this she was arrested by the Gestapo and honored by the French and the Church.  The cause for her canonization is open but apparently not well developed.  In 2009 the Bishop of Vannes renewed the call for the process to be investigated by the Vatican.

Monday 4 February, the approximate date of the martyrdom in China in 1938 of Gerard Donovan.  A Maryknoll priest from Pittsburgh, he was the first of their order to be martyred and so, contrary to their usual practice, his relics were returned to America.  During the period between the world wars, when China was a failed state and bandits were roaming the land, he was abducted from his mission apparently to be ransomed.  When his ransom was not paid, he was killed.  I am not aware of a cause for his canonization but the Maryknollers count him among their martyrs.

Also Monday 4 February, the execution of Claude Newman.  An African American man in the American South in the first half of the twentieth century, he killed his grandmother’s abusive boyfriend, took the money and ran.  Eventually, he was caught and sent to death row.  Here is where his story becomes interesting as, from prison conversations, he came to be attracted to the signs of the Church.  At this point, the Blessed Virgin appeared to him, though he did not know who she was, and told him to seek a priest.  He would go on to be baptized Catholic and die in the electric chair shriven and repentant.  After his death, he and the Blessed Virgin would appear together to another prisoner, effecting his own conversion.  I am not aware of any cause for his canonization.

Tuesday 5 February, the repose of the Servant of God Jean Martin Eyraud.  The American South has no canonized saints, but it has many examples of holiness.  Jean Martin Eyraud came from France and was a priest in the Archdiocese of New Orleans  renowned for his piety and for his service both to his flock and to his fellow priest.  His cause was opened in 2001 and remains in the early stages.

Also Tuesday 5 February, among the Breton, the memorial of the Servants of God Pierre Jean-Baptiste Besnard and his 84 Companion Martyrs of the Archdiocese of Rennes.  Martyred between 1793 and 1800, these priests, monks, deacons, laymen and -women are Rennes’s contribution to the Martyrs of the French Revolution.  Their cause for canonization was opened in 1935 and I really don’t know why the Spanish Martyrs are being investigated so much more quickly than the French.  The names may be found here:  http://newsaints.faithweb.com/martyrs/MFR06.htm

Wednesday 6 February, I have nothing.

Thursday 7 February, the repose in Rome in 1920 of the Servant of God Francis Joseph Parater.  A young seminarian from Virginia, he was in Rome studying.  He was reputed an example of holiness and his cause was sent on to Rome in 2007.

Also Thursday 7 February, the martyrdom in 1985 in Wisconsin of John Rossiter, Ferdinand Roth and William Hammes.  The first a priest and the following laymen, they were shot by a young man with a shotgun who apparently objected to the liturgical reforms that allowed girls to read in Mass.  I am not aware of a cause for their canonization.

Friday 8 February, among the Breton, the martyrdom in 1945 in Germany of the Servant of God Eugene Lemoine.  From Saint-Brieuc, he is the only Breton I’m aware of in the collective cause of the Fifty Martyrs of France of the Apostolate Within the Service du Travail Obligatoire (though Bl Marcel Callo was also part of the organization).  He was a Jocist, one of the Young Christian Workers, though not all his brother-martyrs were.  During the Occupation, starting in 1942, the Nazis deported a number of Frenchmen to work as slave laborers in Germany to make up for the manpower shortage caused by the war.  Many of those deported never returned, and Eugene Lemoine is one of the fifty such in the collective cause, opened in Paris in 1992 and still in the diocesean phase.

Sunday 9 February, the martyrdom of Juan Bautista de Segura and his 7 Companions from the Jesuit Missions of Virginia, the protomartyrs of Virginia.  They were workers in the Ajacan Mission, near what is now Richmond, Virginia, an undefended mission and probably the furthest north Spanish mission.  They were actually massacred in two groups, on 5 and 9 February of 1571; their names were Luis de Quiros, Gabriel de Solis, Juan Bautista Mendez, Juan Bautista de Segura, Gabriel Gomez, Sancho Zeballas, Pedro Mingot Linares, and Cristobal Redondo, all either Jesuits or novices.  The diocesean phase of their cause was opened in 2002.

That is all.

All the saints, ora pro nobis.

All the martyrs, ora pro nobis.

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