Loading
St. Peter Chanel

Peter Chanel was a French missionary  priest, martyred on the Island of Wallis and Futuna, whose body lay in state in the  chapel of Villa Maria in Sydney for two weeks en  route to France.  As the "proto martyr of Oceania" it is fitting that he is patron of  the first WYD held in Oceania, inspiring  others to be Jesus' "witnesses to the ends of the earth" (Acts 1:8).

Peter Chanel was born on July 12, 1803 in Cuet, France.  As a boy his piety and intelligence attracted the attention of the local priest  in Cuet, and he was put into a Church-sponsored education program after which  he began training in the seminary and was ordained in 1827. In 1831 Peter  joined the Marists, who were entrusted with the evangelization of Oceania. Peter served as a professor at the Seminary of  Belley for five years and in 1836 was made the superior of a band of Marist  missionaries headed for the South West Pacific. They set out on December 24,  1836, accompanied by Bishop Jean Baptiste Pompallier who was to become the first  bishop of New Zealand.

Peter was sent to the islands of Futuna and  Wallis. On arrival, he found that war between rival tribes and the practice of  cannibalism had reduced the islands' population to a few thousand and those  that remained were deeply engrossed in a religion that involved the worship of  terror, offered to evil deities.

Peter labored faithfully, learning the  native language, attending the sick, baptizing the dying, and winning from all  around him the reputation of one with a kind heart. Peter's message of kindness  and display of unconditional love in the work with the natives was initially  well-received by the King Niuliki, however resentment grew. King Niuliki  believed Christianity threatened his rights as high priest and stealing the natives  from the idol deities.

At daybreak on April 28, 1841, Peter was  beaten and tortured by the King's favored warrior Musumusu and a group of  chiefs, who had hatched their own plan to put an end to his influence. Peter  eventually died from a fatal axe wound to the head. His body was taken back to France and Rome  via New Zealand and Australia, where it rested at Villa Maria in Sydney for two weeks.

Peter was declared a martyr and beatified  in 1889. Pope Pius XII canonized him in 1954. Within a few years of Saint Peter  Chanel’s death, most of the island   of Futuna had converted  to Catholicism.

St Peter Chanel exemplifies a life of the  Spirit's gifts of courage and fruit of kindness required of all young people,  but especially young priests. As you have come with the power of the Holy  Spirit as witnesses to Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth, you can pray for  zeal and wisdom to play your part in the new evangelization.Saint Peter Chanel, Pacific witness to the  faith unto death - pray for us.

The original article can be found at World  Youth Day Sydney 2008:
http://www.wyd2008.org/index.php/en/pilgrims_registration/wyd08_patrons/st_peter_chanel__1

Ads by Google
(What's this?)

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Syrian Christian refugees
Papal Foundation Pilgrimage
Exorcism or prayer of liberation?
Jul
23

Liturgical Calendar

July 23, 2014

Wednesday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:1-9

Gospel
Date
07/23/14
07/20/14
07/19/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Jer 1:1, 4-10
Gospel:: Mt 13: 1-9

Saint of the Day

St. John Cassian »

Saint
Date
07/23/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 13:1-9

Homily
Date
07/23/14
07/21/14
07/20/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: