+ Filip Siphong Onphithakt was born in Nong Seng, Nakhon Phanom, Thailand, and began serving as a catechist in 1926.
+ Filip married Maria Thong in 1931 and the couple had five children.
+ Following the exile of the parish priest during a persecution of the Church in Thailand, Filip took over the leadership of the Christian community.
+ After protesting the harassment of Catholics by the police, he was ordered to report the police headquarters in Mukdahan. He was ambushed and murdered as he made his way there on December 16, 1940.
+ Blessed Filip Siphong was beatified with other martyrs from Thailand in 1989.
For prayer and reflection
“The faith in Christ that Peter expressed at Caesarea Philippi: ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God’ (Matthew. 16, 16) is the same that the Thai Martyrs confessed in the sacrifice of their lives. It is the same faith to which we are all called through the grace of Baptism and our Confirmation in the Holy Spirit.”—Pope Saint John Paul II
On this day, the Church honors the memory of Hananiah, Azariah, and Mishael. These three men are celebrated for their steadfast faith in the third chapter of the prophecy of Daniel. Their canticle of praise forms part morning prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours on Sunday of the first week of the Psalter and on each feast and solemnity of the Church Year.
Almighty and merciful God, who brought your Martyr blessed Filip. to overcome the torments of his passion, grant that we, who celebrate the day of his triumph, may remain invincible under your protection against the snares of the enemy. 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)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.