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Saint of the Day—available on the iPhone!

Saint of the Day
Catholic saints are holy people and human people who lived extraordinary lives. Each saint the Church honors responded to God's invitation to use his or her unique gifts. God calls each one of us to be a saint. Click here to receive Saint of the Day in your email.

September 10
Pedro de Corpa and Companions
(d. 1597)


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These five friars were martyred in Georgia for their insistence on monogamy in Christian marriages.

In 1565 the Spanish established a fort and a settlement at St. Augustine, Florida. Pedro de Corpa came from Spain to Florida in 1587 and in the same year went to the missions among the Guale people in Georgia.

Pedro worked in Tolomato (near present Darien) where he converted a number of Guales and assisted their chief in running this Christian village. Juanillo, the chief’s son, lapsed into polygamy and was urged to give this up. He refused and was publicly denounced and deprived of the right to succeed his father. Juanillo left, but only to gather some friends to help him seek vengeance on the friars. They killed Father Pedro several days later on September 13, 1597.

Father Blas de Rodriguez had come to Florida from Spain in 1580. He was the superior of the five martyred friars. Juanillo and his followers killed Blas on September 16 at the village of Tupiqui (near present Eulonia).

Father Miguel de Anon had come to Georgia in 1595; Brother Antonio de Badajoz in 1587. They were working together on St. Catherine’s Island when Juanillo and his followers killed them on September 17.

Father Francisco de Berascola had come to Georgia in 1595 and founded the Misión Santo Domingo de Asao on St. Simon’s Island. He was martyred by Juanillo’s forces around September 18.

In 1605 the Guale missions were reestablished. They again began to prosper until English colonists arrived and destroyed all of them by 1702.



Comment:

What would have happened if Pedro de Corpa and his companions had compromised Christ’s teaching on monogamous marriage? They would have betrayed the very gospel they came to preach. Following Jesus always leads to hard choices—the cross—eventually.

Quote:

In 1612 the superior of the custody of St. Helen (Florida and Cuba) reported to the king of Spain: "Although the Indians did not martyr the friars for the faith (that is, because of any doctrine or article of faith which they preached), it is certain that they martyred them because of the law of God which the religious taught them. This is the reason the Indians themselves gave and still attest to….It is known in this land that, since the death of these holy religious, this people (the Guale Indians) has been docile and mild-mannered."


Saint of the Day
Lives, Lessons and Feast
By Leonard Foley, O.F.M.; revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.



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Cornelius: 
		<p>There was no pope for 14 months after the martyrdom of St. Fabian because of the intensity of the persecution of the Church. During the interval, the Church was governed by a college of priests. St. Cyprian, a friend of Cornelius, writes that Cornelius was elected pope "by the judgment of God and of Christ, by the testimony of most of the clergy, by the vote of the people, with the consent of aged priests and of good men." </p>
		<p>The greatest problem of Cornelius's two-year term as pope had to do with the Sacrament of Penance and centered on the readmission of Christians who had denied their faith during the time of persecution. Two extremes were finally both condemned. Cyprian, primate of North Africa, appealed to the pope to confirm his stand that the relapsed could be reconciled only by the decision of the bishop. </p>
		<p>In Rome, however, Cornelius met with the opposite view. After his election, a priest named Novatian (one of those who had governed the Church) had himself consecrated a rival bishop of Rome—one of the first antipopes. He denied that the Church had any power to reconcile not only the apostates, but also those guilty of murder, adultery, fornication or second marriage! Cornelius had the support of most of the Church (especially of Cyprian of Africa) in condemning Novatianism, though the sect persisted for several centuries. Cornelius held a synod at Rome in 251 and ordered the "relapsed" to be restored to the Church with the usual "medicines of repentance." </p>
		<p>The friendship of Cornelius and Cyprian was strained for a time when one of Cyprian's rivals made accusations about him. But the problem was cleared up. </p>
		<p>A document from Cornelius shows the extent of organization in the Church of Rome in the mid-third century: 46 priests, seven deacons, seven subdeacons. It is estimated that the number of Christians totaled about 50,000. </p>
		<p>Cornelius died as a result of the hardships of his exile in what is now Civitavecchia (near Rome). <br /> </p>
American Catholic Blog For God judged it better to bring good out of evil than not to permit any evil to exist. —St. Augustine

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