Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Wednesday 04 August |
Saint of the Day: St. John Vianney
Daily Prayer
And today we celebrate...Saint of the Day

Blessed Anton Zogaj

Killed after Communist takeover, for refusing to break the seal of the confessional


Le forum catholique

Priest and Martyr – (1908-1946)

His life

+ Anton was born in Kthellë, Albania.

+ After completing his seminary studies at the Pontifical French Seminary, he was ordained a priest on April 26, 1932, for the archdiocese of Tiranë-Durrës.

+ Father Anton served as the secretary to the archbishop and as vicar of Tiranë-Durrës.

+ Following the Communist takeover of Albania in 1944, thousands of Christians—both clergy and laity—were murdered for their refusal to deny their faith.

+ Anton was arrested on May 18, 1947, and imprisoned until he was shot to death on a beach near Durrës on December 31 for his refusal to break the seal of the confessional.

+ Blessed Anton Zogaj was beatified in 2016 along with 37 other clergy and lay Christians who were murdered in Albania under Communist rule.

Spiritual bonus

December 31 is the Commemoration of Pope Saint Sylvester I. This important early pope served during the reign of the Emperor Constantine I, at the time when Christianity was legalized in the Roman Empire. He oversaw the construction of the Basilica of St. John Lateran and was an important opponent of the Arian heresy. Pope Saint Sylvester died in 314.


“While the persecutors dissolve like so many black shadows which are lost forever in the darkness of eternal oblivion, martyrs are guiding lights that shine in the sky of humanity, showing the true face of man’s goodness, his profound identity created in the image of God.”—Cardinal Angelo Amato at the beatification of the Martyrs of Albania


O God, who were pleased to give light to your Church by adorning blessed Anton 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 a Martyr)

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

Access our archives of daily saint biographies here
Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Saint Mary of the Angels
Bret Thoman, OFS
All your sins will be forgiven if you go to a Franciscan church o...
Ignacio María Doñoro
Francisco Veneto
The military chaplain who pretended to be a criminal to rescue a ...
Violeta Tejera
Carlo Acutis’ first stained glass window in jeans and sneak...
Theresa Civantos Barber
The one thing we all should do before this summer ends
Philip Kosloski
Most priests can’t absolve these sins
Ary Waldir Ramos Diaz
1st Feast of Our Lady of Silence is August 1
Zelda Caldwell
World-record winning gymnast Simone Biles leans on her Catholic f...
See More