From Our Pastor's Desk
From Our Pastor's Desk
Sunday, November 26th, 2023 – The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe - Cycle B Readings: Ezequiel 34:11-12, 15-17, Psalm 23 “The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want. ”, 1 Corinthians 15:20-26, 28, Matthew 2
The Martyrs of la Florida
Fr. Luis Sánchez, a native of Havana, was killed on October 29, 1696 in Jororo Province, which is located in central Florida, south of Orlando. Also killed with him were a sacristan and a young Indian chief from Aypaja. Additionally, two Sacristans, natives of Guale, were killed in a neighboring town in Jororo. Evidence of this event comes not only from Spanish sources but also from the journal of Jonathan Dickinson, a Quaker merchant who was shipwrecked off Jupiter Inlet in September of that year.
27) Antonio Inija (January 26, 1704)
28) Cui Domingo (January 26, 1704)
29) Cuipa Feliciano (January 26, 1704)
30) Fray Juan de Parga Araujo, O.F.M. (January 26, 1704)
Antonio Inija, Cuipa Feliciano, Cui Domingo, and Fray Juan Parga Araujo were martyred in the aftermath of the English and Creek attack on the Ayubale mission in January 1704.
Antonio was an Inija (second in command) of the mission of San Luis de Talimali, the largest Apalachee mission in La Florida, with a population of approximately 8,000 Christian natives, among whom were Cuipa Feliciano and Cui Domingo. San Luis was located on the site of modern-day Tallahassee.
On January 25, 1704, the English from the Carolinas led an attack on the mission village of La Concepcion de Ayubale, approximately 30 miles east of Tallahassee in modern-day Jefferson County. A group of Spanish soldiers and Apalachee natives, including Antonio Inija, Cuipa Feliciano, and Cui Domingo, left San Luis to aid the embattled villagers of Ayubale. The San Luis men rested off El Camino Real at the mission of San Pedro y Pablo de Patale, located about halfway between the missions of San Luis and Ayubale. The Franciscan Juan Parga Araujo, from the Province of Santiago in Galicia, was the priest and teacher at the Patale mission. Known as a preacher of great zeal who was fluent in the Apalachee language, he administered the sacraments and preached a lengthy sermon to the men from San Luis, anticipating the ensuing martyrdom. Despite multiple attempts to dissuade him, Fr. Parga insisted on accompanying the force to Ayubale. On January 26, the expedition met the larger English and Creek force at Ayubale and was defeated. Fr. Parga was killed on the road near Ayubale, and his severed head was brought to the council house. His body was found in a canebrake and was buried at the nearby mission of Ivitachuco at the request of Fray Juan de Villalva, the priest there. Antonio Inija, Cuipa Feliciano, and Cui Domingo were among those captured. Their English and Creek captors tied them to stakes and lit fires at their feet. Despite this torture, these Catholic natives encouraged each other and attempted to evangelize their tormentors.
We will continue next week. Source: Martyrs - Martyrs of La Florida Missions - Tallahassee, FL
Sunday, November 5th, 2023 – Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time - Cycle A Readings: Malachi 1:14b-2:2b, 8-10, Psalm 131 “In you, Lord, I have found my peace”, 1 Thessalonians 2:7b-9, 13, Matthew 23:1-12
The Martyrs of la Florida
“Nevertheless, our labor has not been in vain. A large part of the work has been done, especially the foundation built, and time, I am sure, will bring the glory we seek. If the result doesn’t come while we are still on earth, there may be an added joy and interest in watching the mortals work out an answer to the problem from the blissful skies above.” — Bishop John Mark Gannon, in a Christmas card in 1941, shortly after he had submitted to Rome materials for the beatification of the Martyrs of the United States.
In recent years the Committee for the Cause of the Beatification of the Martyrs of La Florida has been working to fulfill Bishop Gannon’s prophecy. A significant step was taken on October 12, 2015, when Bishop Gregory L. Parkes formally opened the beatification cause at an outdoor Mass in Tallahassee.
Since that time, members of the Historical Commission have been extensively reseing numerous individuals from the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries who are reported to have died for the faith within the land that was once known as La Florida. These investigations have taken members of the Historical Commission to archives in Florida, Georgia, Missouri, and Louisiana, as well as Cuba, Mexico, Spain, and Rome. In keeping with the Church’s prudent requirements, the Historical Commission has rigorously examined each and every report of martyrdom in order to assess its accuracy and credibility. Of the many accounts of martyrdom that have been studied, several have been determined to be reliable enough to submit to the scrutiny of the Church, while others that are not as well attested have been deemed to require further study and verification.
On February 14, 2022 Bishop William A. Wack of the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee submitted to Rome a list of those individuals for whom credible evidence of martyrdom exists. The Congregation for the Causes of Saints has received this list, and we are awaiting further direction from them. The individuals on this list are: 1)Fr. Diego de Tolosa, O.P. (early June, 1549)
2) Br. Fuentes, O.P. (early June, 1549) 3) Fr. Luis de Cáncer, O.P. (June 26, 1549) Fr. Cáncer, a native of Barbastro, in the Kingdom of Aragón, joined the Dominican order and spent many years ministering in the Caribbean and Central America. Having heard reports of unsuccessful Spanish missions to Florida and having encountered native Floridians who had been dispossessed as a result of Spanish activity there, Fr. Cáncer and his fellow Dominican Fr. Gregorio de Beteta resolved to “plant the Gospel in the land of Florida.”
In the late spring of 1549 Fr. Cáncer and Fr. Beteta left Veracruz on the Santa María de la Encina bound for Havana and then Florida. With them were the Dominican priests Juan Garcia and Diego de Tolosa and a lay brother named Fuentes. Once in Havana the missionaries received further supplies, and they were also joined by a Christian Indian named Magdalena (or Madalena) who was to serve as their translator. Magdalena, a member of the Tocobaga tribe, had been captured by the Spanish in 1539 during the Soto expedition. On the Vigil of the Ascension (Wednesday, May 5, 1549).
We will continue next week.
Source: Martyrs - Martyrs of La Florida Missions - Tallahassee, FL