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Showing posts with the label bishop/priest-martyrs

75th Anniversary of Death of Columban Martyr, Fr Francis Vernon Douglas

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Fr Francis Vernon Douglas (1910–1943) Fr Francis Vernon Douglas, known as 'Vernon' to his family, was taken away by Japanese soldiers on 27 July 1943 and never  seen again. It is presumed that he died on that date. This brief article is by my Columban confrere Fr John Keenan who has spent most of his life since 1966 in the Philippines, with a stint in Britain, and has done more than any other Columban to tell the story of Fr Douglas. He first wrote about Fr Douglas in 2001 in Here was a brave and strong man, an article that describes the suffering of the New Zealander and that has appeared in a number of publications since then.
Fr Francis Vernon Douglas Remembered by Fr John Keenan L to R: Vernon Douglas (nephew), Verne Turner (niece), Brendan Douglas (son of  Vernon) and Cliff Turner (husband of Verne)
Douglas Family at St Mary Magdalene Church, Pililla, Rizal, September 28, 2016
It is now 75 years since the martyrdom of Fr Vernon Douglas on 27 July 1943. For a long time he was alm…

'Set your minds on things that are above.' Sunday Reflections, 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

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Fr Jacques Hamel (3o November 1930 - 26 July 2016)
Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory (Colossians 3: 2-4. Second Reading.)
GospelLuke 12:13-21 (NRSV, Catholic Ed., Can.) 
Someone in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.”But he said to him, “Friend, who set me to be a judge or arbitrator over you?”And he said to them, “Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.”Then he told them a parable: “The land of a rich man produced abundantly.And he thought to himself, ‘What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?’Then he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.And I will say to my soul, …

Happy SAINT Valentine's Day!

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There are various stories and legends about St Valentine. Some say he was a bishop, some that he was a priest. But at the heart of the stories is the reality that he was martyred for officiating at weddings. His feast day is no longer on the universal calendar of the Catholic Church where the Ordinary Form of the Mass is celebrated, the form of the Mass introduced after the Second Vatican Council, in 1969, the only form of the Mass that most Catholics today have experienced. But his feast day is still on the calendar used by those who celebrate the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, using the Missal promulgated by Blessed John XXIII in 1962. 
In many parts of the world St Valentine's Day has become a largely secular affair and the word 'Saint' dropped. Here in the Philippines it is for more than a few an excuse for fornication and adultery, though not by any means for all. For some it is a day to celebrate innocent friendship.
For some years the Catholic Church in Australia has …

Rome, AD 258; Mosul, Iraq, AD 2007

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Today the Church honours St Sixtus II and Companions, martyred in Rome on 6 August AD 258. Sixtus had been pope for just under a year. We can read about the deaths of these martyrs in the Office of Readings which includes an extract from a letter of St Cyprian: Know that Sixtus and four of the deacons were beheaded in the cemetery on 6 August. Moreover, the Prefects of the City are pursuing the persecution relentlessly; if any suspected Christians are brought before them they will be executed and their property confiscated. The six deacons were Januarius, Vincentius, Magnus, Stephanus, Felicissimus and Agapitus. Four days later the great St Laurence of Rome, another deacon, was martyred.
The names of Sts Sixtus, Cyprian and Laurence appear in the Roman Canon (Eucharistic Prayer I).
I wonder did St Cyprian, as he wrote, have any inkling of the fact that he too would be beheaded in the same persecution under the Emperor Valerian, on 14 September that same year? He is honoured on 16 Septem…