Catechist and Martyr (ca. 1803-1837)
+ Francis Xavier (Phanxicô Xaviê Cần) was born in Sơn Miêng, Hà Đông, Vietnam.
+ A layman and catechist, he worked alongside the missionaries of the Paris Foreign Mission Society.
+ Arrested and imprisoned because of his Christian Faith, he was offered his freedom if he would denounce Christ. He refused and was strangled to death on November 20, 1837, in the prison at Ô Cầu Giấy, Hà Nội.
+ Saint Francis Xavier Can Nguyen was canonized with other Vietnamese martyrs in 1988.
For prayer and reflection
“For the law of God this holy man engaged in combat to the death. His faith was founded on solid rock; he feared no wicked threats.”—From Evening Prayer I of the Common of One Martyr in the Liturgy of the Hours
On this day we also remember Saint Edmund. Crowned king of East Anglia in 855, he was remembered as a model, pious ruler. He was killed by invading Danish warriors in 869 or 870. Because he is said to have courageously died at the hands of non-Christian invaders, he was hailed as a martyr and honored as a saint. His relics were enshrined Beaudoriceworth, which later came to be known as Bury St Edmunds. His shrine and relics were destroyed in 1539 during the English Reformation. Saint Edmund is honored as a patron saint of England and has often been invoked during pandemics.
O God, who were pleased to give light to your Church by adorning blessed Francis Xavier Can Nguyen with the victory of martyrdom, graciously grant that, as he imitated the Lord’s Passion, so we may, by following in his footsteps, be worthy to attain eternal joys. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal: Common of Martyrs—For One Martyr)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.