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St. John de Britto

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Feastday: February 4
Patron of Portugal, Roman Catholic Diocese of Sivagangai
Birth: 1647
Death: 1693

Jesuit martyr in India. He was a native of Lisbon, Portugal, was dedicated at birth to St. Francis Xavier, and was a noble friend of King Pedro. He entered the Jesuits at the age of fifteen. In his effort to promote conversions among the native Indian people as a missionary to Goa, he wandered through Malabar and other regions and even adopted the customs and dress of the Brahmin caste which gave him access to the noble classes. In 1683, John had to leave India but returned in 1691. Arrested, tortured, and commanded to leave India, he refused and was put to death. Pope Pius XII canonized him in 1947.


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