Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 6 November – Saint Jean-Théophane Vénard, M.E.P. (1829-1861) Martyr

Saint of the Day – 6 November – Saint Jean-Théophane Vénard, M.E.P. (1829-1861) Martyr, Missionary – born on 21 November1829 at Saint-Loup-sur-Thouet, Diocese of Poitiers, France – martyred on 2 February 1861 in Tonkin, Vietnam.   St  Théophane was a French Catholic missionary to Indo-China.   He was a member of the Paris Foreign Missions Society.   He was Beatified in company with thirty-three other Catholic martyrs, most of whom were natives of Tonkin, Cochin-China, or China.    StPope John Paul II Canonised him, with nineteen other martyrs, in 1988 (their combined memorial is 24 November).header Theophane_Venard

Théophane Vénard studied at the College of Doué-la-Fontaine, Montmorillon, Poitiers, and at the Paris Seminary for Foreign Missions which he entered as a sub-deacon. Ordained a priest on 5 June 1852, he departed for the Far East on 19 Sept.   After fifteen months at Hong Kong he arrived at his mission in West Tonkin (northern Vietnam).   At the time, it was illegal to proselytise in Vietnam.

Shortly after Father Vénard’s arrival, a new royal edict was issued against Christians and bishops and priests were obliged to seek refuge in caves, dense woods and elsewhere. Father Vénard continued to exercise his ministry at night and, more boldly, in broad day. On 30 November 1860, he was betrayed and captured.   Tried before a mandarin, he refused to apostatise and was sentenced to be beheaded.   He remained a captive until 2 February and during this interval lived in a cage, from which he wrote to his family beautiful and consoling letters, joyful in anticipation of his crown.   His bishop, Monsignor Retord, wrote of him at this time:  “Though in chains, he is as gay as a little bird”.6BEST42px-Jean-Theophane_Venard

He wrote these words in a farewell to his father:

“All those around me are civil and respectful and a good number love me.

From the great mandarin down to the last soldier, they all regret that the laws of the country condemn me to death.

I have not had to endure any torture, like so many of my brothers.

One light saber blow will separate my head from my body, like a spring flower that the master of the garden picks for his pleasure.

Let us all try to please our sovereign Lord and Master by the gift and the fragrance He has given us.   

I wish you, dear father, a long, quiet and virtuous life.   Carry gently the cross of this life, like Jesus did, until the day of the peaceful passing.   Father and son will meet again in paradise.   I, little ephemeral, I will go there first.   Goodbye.

Your very devoted and respectful son

J Théophane Vénard”


On the way to martyrdom Father Vénard chanted psalms and hymns.   To his executioner, who coveted his clothing and asked what he would give to be killed promptly, he answered:   “The longer it lasts the better it will be”.   His head, after exposure at the top of a pole, was secured by the Christians and is now venerated in Tonkin.   The body rests in the crypt at the motherhouse of the Paris Foreign Mission Society in Paris, France.

The cause of his beatification was introduced at Rome in 1879 and he was declared Blessed, 2 May 1909.   He was Canonised on 19 June 1988 by St Pope John Paul II.2 theophane

AA RELICS 1024px-Venard_remains_MEP
Remains of St Théophane Vénard at the Paris Foreign Missions Society.


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. This Site is placed under the Patronage of my many favourite Saints and especially, St Paul. "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. PLEASE ADVISE ME OF ANY GLARING TYPOS etc - In June 2021 I lost 95% sight in my left eye and sometimes miss errors. Thank you and I pray all those who visit here will be abundantly blessed. Pax et bonum! 🙏

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