Today is a double memorial:  Saint Peter Chanel, who evangelized the island of Futuna, at at time when its residents had never heard of Christianity.  He was tireless and indefatigable in the midst of very difficult and discouraging conditions, and, like many martyrs, was already a saint before he was put to death. It seems that the King, Niuliki, was moved to jealousy when his own son desired baptism.  Like many rulers before and since, he thought that Christianity would undermine his own authority. So he sent a warrior to do ‘whatever was necessary’.  Like another King, Henry II’s, emissaries in , his ‘warrior’ decided that meant putting the priest to a violent end, clubbing him to death with an axe on this day in 1841, after feigning need of medical attention.

Soon after the death of the saint, the King’s son did convert, along with most of the island.  To this day, many regions in the South Pacific are renowned for their Catholic devotion and zeal. By the blood of martyrs

The other saint is Louis de Montfort (1673-1716) known for his own tireless missionary zeal in France, propagating especially true devotion to Our Lady, the title also of his famous book.  Father de Montfort advocated making a consecration to the Mother of God, offering our whole lives to Christ through her, as the most perfect instrument ever to be shaped by the hand of God. He called this devotion as ‘short cut’ to heaven, for Our Lady will perfect all that we do, offering it to her Son and the Father.  Pope Saint John Paul II was a devotee, and we see the fruits therein.  His papal motto was ‘Totus tuus’, the fullness of which is ‘Totus tuus ego sum, et omnia mea tua sunt‘.  I am all yours (O, Mary), and all that is mine is yours.

 

Saints Peter and Louis, orate pro nobis

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