Bishop and Martyr (1907-1953)
+ Ioan was born in Blaj, Alba, Romania. His family included priests of the Greek-Catholic Church.
+ As a seminarian, he studied in Rome and he was ordained a priest of the Romanian Greek-Catholic Rite in 1931 and continued his studies, eventually completing a doctorate in theology.
+ In 1940, Ioan was appointed auxiliary bishop of Oradea Mare (now Gran Varadino), Romania. Two years later, he was named apostolic administrator of Ragaras si Alba Iulia, Romania.
+ As the Communists rose to power in Romania, Bishop Ioan’s ministry was limited and he was finally arrested in 1948 by the Communist authorities and he died in prison on June 23, 1953. His body was thrown into a mass grave and his remains have never been recovered or identified.
+ Blessed Ioan Suciu was beatified with six other martyrs of the Romanian Greek-Catholic Church in 2019.
For prayer and reflection
“The spiritual legacy of the new Beati is mercy. Their tenacity in professing fidelity to Christ was matched by their readiness to suffer martyrdom without showing hatred towards their persecutors and indeed responding to them with great meekness. The words spoken by Bishop Iuliu Hossu during his imprisonment are eloquent: ‘God has sent us into this darkness of suffering in order to offer forgiveness and to pray for the conversion of all.’”—From the Homily of Pope Francis at the beatification of Blessed Ioan Suciu and the Greek-Catholic Martyrs of Romania
On June 23, we also remember Saint Agrippina of Mineo. A Roman noble, she became a consecrated virgin, dedicating her life to prayer and service. She was tortured and martyred around the year 262 during the persecutions of the emperor Valerian. According to later legends, her remains were taken to Mineo, Sicily, where a church was built in her honor. She is invoked as a special protector from thunderstorms and various diseases.
Almighty and merciful God, who brought your Martyr blessed Ioan 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, God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal: Common of Martyrs)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.