Capuchin Priest and Martyr (1720-1794)
+ Jacques-Louis was born in Besançon, France.
+ After completing his studies in Lyons, he entered the Capuchin Francis Order in 1740, professing his vows one later. He was known in religious life as “Jean-Baptiste-Xavier.”
+ Following his ordination, he served in various posts, including acting as local superior of various Capuchin communities.
+ During the French Revolution, with hundreds of other priests and religious, Jean-Baptiste-Xavier was exiled. However, he and hundreds of other exiles were left to die of starvation and disease on prison ships off the coast of Rochefort, France.
+ Blessed Jean-Baptiste-Xavier died on the prison ship Deux-Associés on May 19, 1794. 64 priest and religious of the 542 who died on the “hulks” were beatified by Pope Saint John Paul II in 1995. They are collectively honored as the Martyrs of the Hulks of Rochefort and are honored in a common commemoration on June 10.
For prayer and reflection
“The unity of faith and the unity of their homeland appeared to them to be more important than anything. We can therefore joyfully take up the words of Holy Scripture: the souls of these righteous are in the hand of God. “They seemed to perish. Their departure was considered a misfortune, but they are at peace.”—Pope Saint John Paul II at the beatification of the Martyrs of the Hulks of Rochefort
O God, who were pleased to give light to your Church by adorning blessed Jean-Baptiste-Xavier 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 Missal: Common of Martyrs—For One Martyr During the Easter Season)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.