Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 3 April – Blessed John of Jesus and Mary O.SS.T (1895-1937) Priest Martyr

Saint of the Day – 3 April – Blessed John of Jesus and Mary O.SS.T (1895-1937) Priest Martyr, Religious Priest of the The Order of the Holy Trinity and of the Captives, more commonly known as the Trinitarians, Musician – born as Juan Otazua y Madariaga on 8 February 1895 in Rigoitia, Vizcaya, Spain and died by being shot at dawn on 3 April 1937 in the cemetery of Mancha Real, Jaén, Spain.   He was 42 years Juan-de-Jesús-María-Juan-Otazua-y-Madariaga

Juan Otazua was born on 8 February 1895 in the small town of Rigoitia, in the province of Vizcaya Spain.

On 30 September 1913, he began his Novitiate with the Trinitarian Religious Order in the Sanctuary of Bien Aparecida (Cantabria).   He made his simple profession in said sanctuary, on 11 October 1914, then taking the name of John of Jesus and Mary.   He studied philosophy at the Bien Aparecida and Córdoba and theology at La Rambla.   He professed his solemn vows at the Trinidad house in Córdoba on 17 May 1918.   He was Ordained a Priest on 23 October 1921 in Madrid .

For many years he was a Priest of the house of the Trinity in Madrid and exercised his pastoral work in the Church of the Basques of San Ignacio de Loyola, in the now known Las Letras neighbourhood.   He was known for his excellent command of music , especially the cello.

In March 1936 the church of San Ignacio was burned down by the mobs, in the atmosphere of civil war, which led to the disintegration of the Trinitarian community and the distribution of the Religious to various convents in Spain.   However some of them were arrested and executed days later.   Fr John was sentenced to 20 years in prison.   Despite the sentence, on the night of 2 April 1937, militiamen took him out of prison and took him to the La Mancha Real cemetery, where they shot him the following morning.   Fr John was 42 years old.   His body was buried in a grave to avoid recognition.

Fr John of Jesus and Mary was Beatified by Pope Benedict XVI on 28 October 2007.   His Memorial is also celebrated with his fellow Trinatarian Martyrs on 6 November.

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY, YouTube VIDEOS

Memorials of the Saints – 3 April

Bl Alexandrina di Letto
St Attala of Taormina
St Benatius of Kilcooley
St Benignus of Tomi
St Burgundofara
St Chrestus
St Comman
St Evagrius of Tomi
Bl Francisco Solís Pedrajas
Saint or Blessed (conflicting reports?) Gandulphus of Binasco OFM (c 1200-1260)

Bl Iacobus Won Si-bo
St John I of Naples
Bl John of Penna
St Joseph the Hymnographer
Blessed John of Jesus and Mary/Juan Otazua Madariaga O.SS.T (1895-1937) Priest Martyr
Bl Lawrence Pak Chwi-deuk
St Luigi Scrosoppi Cong. Orat. (1804-1884)
About St Luigi:

A little Note about St Luigi – his Canonisation Miracle occurred in my Parish in Oudtshoorn!

Blessed Maria Teresa Casini (1864–1937)
Her life:
St Nicetas of Medicion
St Papo
Bl Piotr Edward Dankowski
St Richard of Chichester (1197-1253)

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 2 April – Blessed Vilmos Apor (1892–1945) Bishop Martyr

Saint of the Day – 2 April – Blessed Vilmos Apor (1892–1945) Bishop Martyr, Chaplain of the Order of Malta – born as Baron Vilmos Apor de Altorja on 29 February 1892 at Segesvár, Transylvania, Hungary and died by shooting on 2 April 1945 at Gyõr, Hungary. (Also known as – Vilhelm, Gulielmus, William).   Patronages – Abuse victims, Sexual abuse victims, Activists, Virgins, Military chaplains.

He became famous for protesting against the persecution of the Hungarian Jewish population and for his steadfast commitment to the poor.   His outreach also extended to abuse victims with a particular emphasis on the protection of women – it would be this latter point that saw him sustain fatal injuries leading to his death.   The Bishop dedicated himself to being an opponent of both communism and Nazism and used his sermons as a chance to condemn them, at a great personal risk to himself.   He was a beloved figure in his Diocese where people hailed him as a great saint upon learning of his death which came as a profound shock and loss to the Diocese he had served during the course of most of the VILMOS APOR

Vilmos Apor de Altorja was born in 1892 as the sixth of eight children to the nobles Baron Gábor Apor (1851–98) and Countess Fidelia Pálffy ab Erdöd (1863–1934);  one was stillborn and three died in their childhoods.   One sister was Gizella and another was Henrietta who was his junior and an elder brother was Gábor.   His elder brother served in World War I but later became a Hungarian delegate to the Vatican until his resignation in 1944 in protest of the German occupation of his homeland.   His father died in his childhood due to complications from diabetes.   His mother was strict but caring and imparted sage religious instruction to her children.   He served as an altar server during his childhood and his love for the Priesthood intensified to the stage where he harboured an interest in becoming a Priest himself.   Bishop Miklós Széchnyi was his uncle.

Year one of his initial education saw him teach Henrietta how to read and she often got him to instruct her in catechism.   He even asked his mother once for a chalice and missal for Christmas.   He attended high school at a Jesuit-run school in Kalksburg where his desires to become a Priest intensified further, despite his initial homesickness.   Apor liked Latin as well as historical studies and received outstanding marks in these subjects, while a treatise on the historical Church, earned him a prize.    He also liked tennis and swimming.   He then transferred to another Jesuit school at Kalocsa.

He decided to begin his studies for the Priesthood despite his mother’s wish that he wait a little while longer – she consented at Christmas in 1909 – and the local Bishop was delighted to receive him in 1910.   The Bishop sent him to Innsbruck for further studies with the Jesuits in 1910, where he later received a doctorate in theological studies, the rector there was a relative of his.   He was made a subdeacon on 22 August 1915 and was elevated to the diaconate on 23 August.

He received his Ordination to the Priesthood on 24 August 1915 and he celebrated his first Mass on 25 August, with his mother and sisters, Henrietta and Gizella, in attendance. Gabor could not be there because he was on the battlefront and was unable to obtain leave.    Vilmos was first sent to Gyula on 31 August 1915 and he preached his first sermon on the following 8 September.   On 27 March 1916 he opened an office for the protection of women that became a predominant focus for him on his pastoral mission while on 4 January 1917 he was sent as a chaplain to the Italian front before being transferred as such to Austria and then back to Gyula at the start of 1919 at the end of the war.BL Wilhelm_Vilmos_Apor

Pope Pius XII appointed him as a Bishop in 1941 and he received his Episcopal Consecration a month later.    His brother, Gabor, paid for his new Episcopal vestments.  He took formal possession of his new Episcopal See on 2 March 1941.   On 25 February 1941 – in a unanimous decision – the town council of Gyula made him an honorary citizen, due to his commitment to it’s people and his strong and tireless activism.   He became noted for his strong dedication to the poor and his tireless commitment to a range of social justice issues.

In summer 1944 he wrote to the Hungarian Primate Jusztinian Serédi to persuade him to take a strong stance against the government.   He also appealed to the Gestapo headquarters in Berlin in an attempt to free the Jews of his Diocese from the ghetto and negotiated with the Nazi command to spare the town from a siege.   The introduction of racial laws sought to further make matters worse and so the bishop spoke out for those affected from racial slurs and other forms of persecution.   He provided supplies to those Jews being deported through his Diocese and also sheltered those made homeless after air raids in the Episcopal palace while he himself withdrew to a small room for himself.

On the afternoon of 28 March 1945 – Good Friday – as Soviet troops reached his Diocese he offered safe haven to numerous women and children in his residence and also protected women who feared being raped.   Four or five drunken Soviet soldiers arrived with the intention of bringing 100 women to their barracks but Apor had them well-hidden in the cellar.   He refused to give them up and a long altercation saw an officer making threats with his gun and soon gave chase to a girl who came out of her hiding place, the girl screamed “Uncle Vilmos!  Help!” and he ran to her defense and shouted at them:  “Out! Get out of here!”   The officers turned to leave but one officer turned around and opened fire with a machine gun that shot him three times.   Apor suffered a first shot that grazed his forehead as well as a second in the right sleeve of his cassock and the third that perforated his abdomen.   Meanwhile the soldiers became frightened and fled the vilmos apor protecting

He lent on the arms of two of his aides and walked towards the cellar with blood coming from his forehead.   A doctor administered first aid and his sister, Gizella, aided the doctor in placing her brother on a stretcher.   But getting to the hospital took longer due to checkpoints and had to stop several times, since the Russians wanted to inspect the ambulance, the blanket had to be taken off him on these occasions so the Russians could see there was no hidden treasure.   Professors Jung and Petz – who had known Apor – performed the operation which seemed to be successful and saw a slight improvement on Holy Saturday when he received the Eucharist, with his sister at his side.   He thanked God for having accepted his sacrifice and for the fact that the women he protected were still safe.   On Easter his condition deteriorated due to an infection – he made his confession and was given the Anointing of the Sick.   He remained lucid with his sister and Doctor Jung at his side, in addition to the nurses and the parish priest.

He died from his injuries not long after, in the afternoon of 2 April 1945, Easter Monday. István Sándor witnessed a stretcher on 3 April being carried from the hospital and saw the bishop’s remains as it was being transported.   The funeral was put on hold due to conflict in the area but was carried out within a week of his death.   His remains were buried in a Carmelite church as his confessor was the Carmelite priest Erno Szeghy.   His remains were later relocated to the Diocesan Cathedral.   St Pope John Paul II visited his tomb in 1996.

1280px-tomb of bl vitmor aGyőr_Apor_Vilmos_sírja
Blessed Vilmos Apor’s tomb carved by the Hungarian sculptor Sándor Boldogfai Farkas (1907–1970)

The theologian and cardinal-elect Hans Urs von Balthasar was his nephew.   St Pope John Paul II had named him as Cardinal in 1988  . He died, however, in his home in Basel on 26 June 1988, two days before the ceremony which would have granted him that position, therefore, he is often called “Cardinal” and is also a Servant of God.

St John Paul II confirmed on 7 July 1997 that Blessed Vilmos was killed “in odium fidei” (in hatred of the faith) and thus approved his Beatification.   The pope presided over his Beatification on 9 November 1997 in Saint Peter’s vilmos apor statue

Today, there stands a statue in District XII of Budapest in Hungary in his honour and the place itself has been named Apor Vilmos tér according to the Hungarian standard of name order.

The Collect of the Mass of the Order of Malta on the Memorial of Blessed Vilmos

Almighty and Eternal God,
through your grace, Bishop Vilmos,
by courageously shedding his blood for his flock,
earned a martyr’s crown.
Grant that we, despite the difficulties of our daily lives,
may do Your will and offer our good works
for the salvation of our brothers and sisters.
We ask this through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.  Amen

statue of bl vilmos apor

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY, YouTube VIDEOS

Memorials of the Saints – 2 April

St Francis of Paola O.M. (1416-1507) (Optional Memorial)st francis paola my snip
St Francis’s Life:

St Abundius of Como
St Agnofleda of Maine
St Appian of Caesarea
St Bronach of Glen-Seichis
St Constantine of Scotland
St Ðaminh Tuoc
Bl Diego Luis de San Vitores-Alonso
St Ebbe the Younger
St Eustace of Luxeuil
St Francis Coll Guitart
St John Payne
Bl Leopold of Gaiche
St Lonochilus of Maine
St Musa of Rome
Bl Mykolai Charnetsky
St Nicetius of Lyon
St Pedro Calungsod (1654–1672) MartyrST+Pedro+Calungsod
His Life and death:

St Rufus of Glendalough
St Theodora of Tiria
St Urban of Langres
St Victor of Capua
Blessed Vilmos Apor (1892–1945) Bishop Martyr

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 30 March – Saint Marie-Nicolas-Antoine Daveluy MEP (1818-1866) Bishop Martyr

Saint of the Day – 30 March – Saint Marie-Nicolas-Antoine Daveluy MEP (1818-1866) Bishop Martyr, Missionary of the Paris Foreign Missionary Society, Apostolic Vicar to Korea – commonly known as St Antoine Daveluy – born on 16 March 1818 in the parish of Saint-Leu, Amiens, Somme, France and died by beheading on Good Friday, 30 March 1866 at the Galmaemot naval base, Boryeong, Chungcheong-do, South Korea, he was 48,  along with two French priests, Pierre Aumaître and Martin-Luc Huin and two lay catechists, Lucas Hwang Sŏk-tu (Bishop Daveluy’s personal assistant) and Joseph Chang Chu-gi.   Additional Memorial – 20 September as one of the Martyrs of Mgr_marie nicholas antoine Daveluy

Antoine Daveluy was born 16 March 1818 in Amiens, France.   His father was a factory owner, town councilman and government official.   The members of his family were devout Catholics and two of his brothers became priests.   He entered the St Sulpice Seminary in Issy-les-Moulineaux himself, in October 1834 and was Ordained a Priest on 18 December 1841.

His first assignment was as an assistant Priest in Roye.   Despite poor health, he joined the Paris Foreign Missions Society on 4 October 1843.   He departed for East Asia on 6 February 1844, intending to serve as a Missionary in the Ryukyu Islands of Japan.   He arrived in Macau, where he was persuaded by the newly appointed Apostolic Vicar of Korea, Jean-Joseph-Jean-Baptiste Ferréol, to accompany him there instead.  st marie nicholas antoine daveluy young The two were joined by St Andrew Kim Taegŏn, a Korean Seminarian who had been studying for the Priesthood in Macau.   They first traveled to Shanghai, where Bishop Ferréol ordained Father Kim on 17 August 1845.   The three priests then made a stormy crossing by sea to Korea, arriving in Chungcheong Province in October.

Father Daveluy began work as a Missionary in Korea.   Two years later, he was in charge of the Seminary.   He then took over the administration of a district, while doing it, he scrupulously prepared a Chinese-Korean-French dictionary, translated several Korean works of history and chronology and revised the books of the Faith.

On 13 November 1855, Pope Pius IX appointed him titular Bishop of Akka and coadjutor to Bishop Siméon-François Berneux, who had been appointed Apostolic Vicar in 1854 after the death of Bishop Ferréol in 1853.   He was Consecrated by Bishop Berneux on 25 March 1857.

In 1859 he completed various works for the instruction of Christians, as well as, the the annals of the country’s first Martyrs and wrote biographical notes on most Korean confessors.   In the same year, he embarked on a three-month trip to search for and interview, the living witnesses to the persecution of 1801.   In October 1802, he sent his work on the history of the mission to the Motherhouse of the Missionary Society in Paris. It is thanks to these documents, often literally reproduced, that Mr Dallet wrote the History of the Church of Korea which, must very largely, be attributed to Bishop Daveluy.

Korea_Shrine_of_Sinri_07_st marie nicholas antoine duvaley (14215559772)
Residence of Bishop Antoine Daveluy between 1845 and 1866 in the village Sin-ri (rural part of Dangjin)

After Bishop Berneux was executed during a campaign by the Korean government against Christians, Bishop Daveluy became Apostolic Vicar on 8 March 1866.

He was promptly arrested on 11 March.   Imprisoned and tortured, he staunchly defended his Catholic faith.   When he appeared before his judges, he was able, thanks to his in-depth knowledge of the Korean language, to make several long apologetic explanations for Christianity.   Perhaps for this reason but above all, because of his dignity as grand master of the Faith in their eyes, he had to suffer more frequently and more severely than his companions – whipping the legs, blows with wooden batons and puncturing with the sharpened rods.

Finally, the court imposed a death sentence against the three prisoners.   St Antoine asked to be executed on Good Friday, 30 March.   But the king was then sick and numerous sorcerers, assembled in the palace, made to cure him by superstitious ceremonies;  moreover, he was soon to celebrate his marriage.   It was feared that the torture of the Europeans would harm the effect of the spells and that an outpouring of human blood in the capital, would be an unfortunate omen for the royal wedding.   This is why, the regent prescribed that the beheading of the condemned be committed on the peninsula of Syou-yeng, twenty-five miles south of Seoul.

The Bishop and his Priests were led on horseback to the designated place.   Their hearts overflowed with joy and, to the astonishment of the officials and the curious, they addressed fervent thanksgiving to God, singing psalms and hymns.   On Maundy Thursday, 29 March they had arrived fairly close to Syou-yeng.   Archbishop Daveluy heard the officials chatting among themselves, deciding to delay the immolation of the confessors and first to parade them through the neighbouring town.   Touched by a strong desire to die on the anniversary of the Saviour’s death, he interrupted them:  “No, he cried, what you are saying is impossible.  You will go tomorrow, right to the place of execution, because it is tomorrow that we must die.”   The prisoner was obeyed and the next day, Good Friday, 30 March 1866, was the day of their Martyrdom.

The mandarin who presided over their torture enjoined the martyrs to bow down to him.   It is the custom in Korea for convicts to salute those who kill them.   Daveluy replied that he would greet in the French manner and he refused to kneel.   A brutal push threw him face down.   Another horrific incident marked the death of the holy Bishop, who was beheaded first.   The executioner had not set the price for his bloody work.   After striking the condemned man with the first blow of his saber, which cut his neck deeply, he stopped and refused to continue, unless he was promised a large sum. The avarice of the mandarin resisted these pretensions.   Employees of the prefecture had to be brought together to make a decision.   The discussion lasted a long time, the victim struggled on the ground in convulsions of agony, finally the deal was concluded and two new saber strokes delivered the soul of the witness of Jesus Christ.

The bodies of the Martyrs, buried in the sand at the very place of execution by pagans in the neighbourhood, were collected by Christians the following June and buried in the district of Hong-san, 3 miles from the coast.   Transferred elsewhere as a result of various circumstances, they were exhumed in March 1882 by order of the preacher, Fr Blanc and in the following November they were sent to Nagasaki (Japan), in order to be protected from any profanation.   They were brought back to Korea when there was no longer any fear of persecution and since 1900 they have been buried in the Seoul Cathedral.

Reliquary of saint Anthony Daveluy in Amiens Cathedral

Bishop Daveluy was a stubborn zealous worker.   He was also distinguished by his spirit of renunciation and mortification, as much as by his perseverance and humility. Unfortunately, due to this humility, his important dictionary and most of his writings  had not been sent to the Motherhouse and they were destroyed during the persecution.

All five were Canonised on 6 May 1984 by St Pope John Paul II, along with Father Kim, Bishop Berneux and 96 other Korean martyrs.


The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord and Memorials of the Saints – 25 March

The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord – 25 March

Our Lady of Betania:
The name Betania means Bethany in Spanish. It was originally given this name by Maria Esperanza and was the site of their farm, in Venezuela. Apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary were reported and eventually a small chapel was built here and the faithful began to gather, especially on Feast Days but throughout the year.

St Alfwold of Sherborne
St Barontius of Pistoia
St Desiderius of Pistoia
St Dismas
St Dula the Slave
Bl Emilian Kovch (1884-1944) Priest, Martyr
About St Emilian:

Bl Everard of Nellenburg
Bl Herman of Zahringen
St Hermenland
St Humbert of Pelagius
Bl James Bird
Bl Josaphata Mykhailyna Hordashevska
St Kennocha of Fife
St Lucia Filippini
St Marie-Alphonsine/Mariam Sultaneh Danil Ghattas (1843-1927)

St Matrona of Barcelona
St Matrona of Thessaloniki
St Mona of Milan
St Ndre Zadeja
Bl Pawel Januszewski
St Pelagius of Laodicea
Bl Placido Riccardi
St Procopius
St Quirinus of Rome
Bl Tommaso of Costacciaro

262 Martyrs of Rome: A group 262 Christians martyred together in Rome. We know nothing else about them, not even their names.


Quote/s of the Day – 24 March – Bl Didacus Joseph and St Óscar Romero

Quote/s of the Day – 24 March – The Memorial of Blessed Didacus Joseph of Cadiz OFM Cap (1743–1801) and Saint Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez (1917–1980) Martyr

“By means of our penances
we should atone for the sins of our fellowmen
and thus preserve ourselves
and them from eternal death.   
It would hardly be too much
if we shed the last drop of our blood
for their conversion.”

Blessed Didacus Joseph of Cadiz (1743–1801)

by means of our penances bl didacus joseph 24 march 2020

“If we are worth anything,
it is not because we have
more money or more talent,
or more human qualities.
Insofar, as we are worth anything,
it is, because we are grafted onto Christ’s life,
His cross and resurrection.
That is a person’s measure.”

if we are worth anything - st oscar romero 24 march 2020

“There are many things
that can only be seen, 
through eyes that have cried.”

St Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez (1917–1980)


thee are many things - eyes that have cried - st oscar romero 24 march 2020