A Catholic Monthly Magazine

September Saints

Saint1Saint John Gabriel Perboyre (1802-1840)

John Gabriel Perboyre was born in Montgesty, France, in 1802, into a family which gave three other religious to the Church. John’s younger brother, Louis, felt called to the seminary, and John was asked to accompany him to help him adjust.  Like his uncle and brother, Peter joined the Vincentians and was ordained in 1826. Louis applied to be sent to China, but died en route, so John asked to take his place.

After acclimatising and learning the language, John began visiting small communities in Nanyang, then transferred to Hubei, where he suffered much in body and spirit. A persecution of Christians was decreed by the Manchurian Emperor Quinlong. On 15 September 1839, John with three other missionaries was surprised by a column of soldiers. John hid but a traitor revealed his whereabouts and he was arrested.

A series of trials began during which he was held kneeling on rusty iron chains, hung by his thumbs and hair from a rafter, beaten with bamboo canes. After four different tribunals and twenty interrogations, he was brought before the Viceroy who demanded confessions, admissions and accusations against others. When John told him for the last time, “I would rather die than deny my faith”, the sentence of death by strangulation was pronounced in September 1840. His body was brought back to France, but his heart remained in China.

Saint John, help us to discern God’s will for us.

(Source: Internet – various)

Saint2The Child Martyrs of Tlaxcala (d. 16th century)

The land of Mexico is the location of many savage persecutions of the faith from very soon after Christianity was introduced. The child martyrs of Tlaxcala – Cristobalito, Antonio and Juan - are believed to be the first laymen to be martyred in the New World.

Cristobalito was born in Atlihuetza about 1514, the son of an influential native resident and one of his sixty wives. He was sent to the Franciscan mission school nearby, where he learned the faith and was baptised a Catholic. Zealous in the faith, he tried to convert his family and admonished his father for his dissolute lifestyle and his drunkenness. His pagan father, none too pleased, had his son beaten with clubs and finally set on fire for his faith in about 1527.

Antonio was born in Tizatlan, about 1516, the son of a local senator. He was baptised at the Franciscan mission at Tlaxcala and was very devout. The Dominican priest Bernardino de Minaya was an ardent champion of the Indian peoples in the face of the Spanish who treated them as slaves. Father Bernadino was to make a journey to Oaxaca to spread the faith among the Indians. Antonio, although aware of the danger into which he was venturing, volunteered to accompany Father Bernardino into Oaxaca. He was clubbed to death at Cuauhtinchan, near Puebla, in 1529.

Juan was also born in Tizatlan, and appears to have been a servant to Antonio’s family. When Antonio was baptised and all through his education, Juan was at his side. This faithful lad accompanied Antonio and the Dominican missionary to Oaxaca. Having shared his friend’s life, he shared his death also, and probably died while trying to save his master and friend.

All three of the Child Martyrs of Tlaxcala were revered immediately after their deaths. The missionaries gathered up their remains and placed them in the mission church grounds as the local Christians honoured them as true martyrs of the faith in the New World.

Pope John Paul II beatified the three child martyrs at the basilica of Our Lady of GuaDiocesan Archives of Lilleupe in Mexico City, Mexico, on May 6, 1990. The Holy Father praised ‘these sons of Mexican soil’, declaring that they inspired countless generations of Mexico in the panorama of faith throughout the centuries.

Blessed child martyrs, obtain for us a strong faith.

(Source: Internet – various)

Saint3Saint Regina (d. 2nd century)

Regina, a virgin martyr, was, according to her legend, born in Autun, France, to a pagan named Clement. Her mother died at her birth and her father repudiated her. She then went to live with a Christian nurse who baptised her. Regina helped out by tending the sheep. She communed with God in prayer and meditated on the lives of the saints. She was betrothed to the proconsul Olybrius, but refused to renounce her faith to marry him, for which she was tortured and was beheaded at Alesia in the diocese of Autun.

Saint Regina, teach us to love God even to death.    

(Source: http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=204)


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