Franciscan Priest and Martyr (1578-1618)
+ Juan was born in Tarragona, Spain.
+ After entering the Franciscan Order, he was ordained a priest in 1606 and sent to the order’s missions in Japan.
+ Although he quickly mastered the local language, his time and ministry in Japan were limited because he was arrested in Macao in 1615.
+ Imprisoned for three years, Juan was executed for his Christian Faith on August 16, 1618, in Kyoto.
+ Blessed Juan Santamarta was beatified with other 204 other missionaries and Japanese martyrs in 1867. These martyrs are honored in a common commemoration on September 10.
August 16 is also the day on which the Church honors Saint Roch, a French nobleman who renounced his title and wealth to live as a pilgrim. Saint Roch died 1327 and is honored as the patron saint of plague victims.
“Whoever loses his life for the sake of the Gospel will save it.”—Matthew 8:35
Grant, we pray, almighty God, that we may follow with due devotion the faith of blessed N., who, for spreading the faith, merited the crown of martyrdom. 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 Missionary-Martyr)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.