Blessed Peter Rene Roque, a devoted Breton priest, was born at Vannes in the year 1758. After his studies in the seminary of that city he was ordained in 1782, and for a while became chaplain to the Dames de la Retraite; but four years later he went to Paris to join the Congregation of the Mission of St. Vincent de Paul. Even before his noviceship was completed he was sent to act as professor of theology in his native town, and there when the Revolution broke out he showed the utmost heroism in devoting himself to every form of apostolic work. He refused to take the Constitutional Oath which was offered him and for some time lived disquised and in hiding. In the end, having been betrayed by some miscreant, he was arrested by the revolutionaries; but even confinement in gaol did not put an end to his activities, for he found means to write in defence of religion and to render numberless services. both bodily and spiritual, to his fellow prisoners. On being sentenced to death, Father Roque fell on his knees and gave fervent thanks to God. He was guillotined on March 1, 1796, and as soon as peace was restored to the Church an episcopal process was begun with a view to his beatification. This came about in 1934, and in the same year his remains were enshrined in Vannes cathedral.
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By Justin Soutar
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