Blessed Aquaviva and his Companions were Jesuit priests. He was the son of the Duke of Atri, related to the family of St. Aloysius Gonzaga, and nephew of Claud Aquaviva, the fifth general of the Jesuits. He was admitted at the age of eighteen, in 1568, and after being ordained priest at Lisbon was sent to Goa, in India. Father Aquaviva was one of the two chosen for the mission at Fatehpur Sikri, near Agra, and he worked till 1583 in strenuous efforts to convert Akbar and his subjects, but had no success. He was then put in charge of the Salsette mission, north of Bombay. He and four companions, Father Pacheco, Father Berno, Father Francisco and Brother Aranha, together with other Christians, set out for Cuncolim, the heart of Hindu opposition in that mission, intending to choose there a piece of ground for a church and to plant a cross thereon. They were met with armed force by the villagers. Blessed Rudolf and Blessed Alfonso were killed praying for their murderers, and the other two priests were likewise slain outright. Blessed Francis was left for dead, but found living the next day; he was given a chance to venerate an idol, and on refusing was tied to a tree and shot with arrows. It was not till 1741 that Pope Benedict XIV declared the martyrdom proved, and even then the formal beatification did not take place till 1893. Their feast day is July 27th.
Martyr whose Apologia, or defense of the faith, is considered one of the most priceless documents of the early Church. Apollonius was a Roman senator who was denounced as a Christian by one of his ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
Elizabeth Bayley Seton was the first native born American to be canonized by the Catholic Church. Born two years before the American Revolution, Elizabeth grew up in the "cream" of New York society. She was a prolific reader, and read everything from the ... continue readingMore Female Saints
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The name Gabriel means "man of God," or "God has shown himself mighty." It appears first in the prophesies of Daniel in the Old Testament. The angel announced to Daniel the prophecy of the seventy weeks. His name also occurs in the apocryphal book of Henoch. He was the ... continue reading
When Alfred Bessette came to the Holy Cross Brothers in 1870, he carried with him a note from his pastor saying, "I am sending you a saint." The Brothers found that difficult to believe. Chronic ... continue reading
By Justin Soutar
During his visit to the United States this coming September, Pope Francis will canonize Blessed Junipero Serra, the heroic 'Apostle of California.' Once that happens, the Golden State will have its own patron saint and the Church will have another great missionary role ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes