Posted in FRANCISCAN OFM, MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 14 April – Blessed Lucien Botovasoa O.F.S. (1908-1947) Martyr

Saint of the Day – 14 April – Blessed Lucien Botovasoa O.F.S. (1908-1947) Martyr, Layman, Father, Multi-lingual Schoolteacher, Catechist, Franciscan Tertiary, Musician and Singer.  Blessed Lucien was born in 1908 in Vohipeno, Madagascar and died by being beheaded with a sword between 10pm and midnight on 14 April 1947 on the banks of the Mattanana River near Ambohimanarivo, Manakara, Madagascar.   He was wearing his tertiary “uniform” – khaki shirt and trousers with a black cord for a belt.   His body was tossed into the river.

img-Blessed-Lucien-Botovasoa

Bl Lucien was a Madagascan Roman Catholic schoolteacher and a professed member from the Secular Franciscan Order.   He served as a teacher for his entire life and was dedicated to both the religious and secular education of children.   His thirst for the religious life led him to discover the Secular Franciscan Order in 1940 and he became part of it;  he rallied others to know Saint Francis of Assisi and enter the order themselves.   Botovasoa likewise adopted the Franciscan charism for himself through his fasting and clothing habits.

Botovasoa’s murder came during a period of tumult in Madagascar and his cause for canonisation opened on 11 October 2011 under Pope Benedict XVI in which he became titled as a Servant of God.  Pope Francis confirmed in mid-2017 that Botovasoa was killed in hatred of his faith and decreed that he was to be beatified;   it shall be celebrated in Vohipeno, Madasgascar tomorrow, the Third Sunday of Easter, 15 April 2018.

bl lucient beatification.

Lucien Botovasoa was born in 1908 in Vohipeno, a rural town in the southeast of Madagascar, the province of Fianarantsoa.

In 1918 he began studies in the state school and then proceeded to the Jesuit College of St Joseph in Ambozontany.   In 1928 he concluded the studies and was awarded the teaching diploma and in the same year became a parish teacher in Vohipeno, making his own the motto of the Society of Jesus:  Ad maiorem Dei gloriam.

On 10 October 1930 he married Suzanna Soazana in the parish church of Vohipeno and on the following 12 September was born Vincent de Paul Hermann, the first of their eight children, of which only five survived.   The Servant of God was an excellent teacher, working not only as the village teacher but also in the parish, with generous availability to the needy.   In addition to Malagasy, he knew French, Latin, German, and Chinese.   He was an exceptional musician and appreciated as a singer, becoming also the director of the parish choir.   He was also an athlete and is described as always smiling and joyful.lucien_botovasoa_foto

In 1940 the Servant of God stumbled upon the Rule of the Franciscan Third Order and it became for him a text for study and meditation.   He decided to take up himself this following of Christ, with investiture in the habit of the Franciscan Third Order on 18 December 1944.   He thus began to live a poor life of Franciscan spirituality, characterised by a deep piety and by the burning desire to bring the gospel everywhere.

After the Second World War, in the years 1946-1947, there grew in Madagascar the desire for independence from France.   In 1946, as supporter of independence, Tsimihoño, from the Clan of Ambohimanarivo, became king (Mpanjaka).   At Vohipeno there were also violent clashes between the two factions.   On 30 March 1947, Palm Sunday, the parish church was burned and so began the king’s hunt for the ‘Christian teacher,’ Lucien Botovasoa, who was respected by both the Catholics and others in Vohipeno.  Lucien was commanded to appear, or his family would be massacred.

The Servant of God, realising what was happening, entrusted his wife and children to his brother and returned to Vohipeno.   Around nine o’clock in the evening of 17 April 1947, his brother André and two cousins, under threat of death, were charged with arresting Lucien.   Brought to the house of the king Tsimihoño, he was condemned to death without any trial.   Arriving at the place of execution he knelt and was beheaded while he was praying for his murderers.    His body was thrown in the river.

Bl Lucien, pray for us!

snip - bl lucien

Author:

Passionate Catholic. Being a Catholic is a way of life - a love affair "Religion must be like the air we breathe..."- St John Bosco Prayer is what the world needs combined with the example of our lives which testify to the Light of Christ. This site, which is now using the Traditional Calendar, will mainly concentrate on Daily Prayers, Novenas and the Memorials and Feast Days of our friends in Heaven, the Saints who went before us and the great blessings the Church provides in our Catholic Monthly Devotions. "For the saints are sent to us by God as so many sermons. We do not use them, it is they who move us and lead us, to where we had not expected to go.” Charles Cardinal Journet (1891-1975) This site adheres to the Catholic Church and all her teachings.

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