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Wednesday 02 December |
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Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores

Established the Christian presence in the Mariana Islands.

DIEGO LUIS DE SAN VITORES

Public Domain

Jesuit Missionary to Guam (1627-1672)

His life

+ Diego Luis was born to a noble family in Burgos, Spain. In 1640, he entered the Society of Jesus and was ordained in 1651.

+ Fulfilling his long-time dream of being a missionary, Diego Luis was granted permission to serve in the Philippines. As he was making his way there, the ship carrying him stopped in Guam and Diego Luis vowed to return there.

+ In 1665, he persuaded King Philip IV to establish a new mission in Guam. This became a reality in 1668. Diego Luis established the first Catholic church in Guam in 1669.

+ After years of serving with limited success and the death of a friendly local chief who had supported the missionaries, members of the Chamorro (an indigenous tribe) rose against the missionaries who refused the protection of Spanish soldiers.

+ Blessed Diego Luis was martyred on April 2, 1672. Killed with him was his assistant, a Filipino lay catechist, Saint Pedro Calungsod. After the murders, the Christian Faith spread quickly throughout Guam.

+ Blessed Diego Luis was beatified in 1985. Saint Pedro Calungsod was canonized in 2012 and is also honored on this day.

Spiritual bonus

The eight days spanning from Easter Sunday to the Second Sunday of Easter (also known as Divine Mercy Sunday) are celebrated as the Octave of Easter. Each of these days is considered a celebration of Easter Day, reminding us that the victory of Christ over death cannot be limited to a single day of celebration.

Quote

The Christian is a missionary of hope. Not by their merit, but thanks to Jesus, the grain of wheat who, fallen to the earth, died and brought much fruit.”—Pope Francis

Prayer

We humbly beseech the mercy of your majesty, almighty and merciful God, that, as you have poured the knowledge of your Only Begotten Son into the hearts of the peoples by the preaching of the blessed Martyrs Diego Luis and Pedro, so, through their intercession, we may be made steadfast in the faith. 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 Several Missionary-Martyrs)

Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.

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