After conquering Constantinople on May 29, 1453, the Ottoman Turks turned their eyes toward Europe. Three years later a Turkish army of approximately 60,000 men marched into Hungary. Arrayed against the invaders was a force of experienced fighting men led by Janos Hunyady, a Hungarian general who had been battling the Turks for at least 20 years, and a Franciscan priest, St. John of Capistrano, who led a rag-tag army of peasants armed mostly with knives, slings and farm implements. Between Hunyady and St. John, the Christians numbered about 50,000.
Religious (+1936) [July 14]Brother Primo Martinez Castillo was the superior of a house of the Hospitallers of Saint John of God that ran a newly founded apostolic school, a "juniorate" for young aspirants to the congregation, located in Talavera de la Reina, near Toledo, Spain. At the outset of the Spanish Civil War in July of 1936, Brother Primo, sensing imminent danger to the school, sent the youngest students home. On July 23 agents of the anti-Catholic Popular Front came and searched the school for weapons. They returned to make another search on July 25. Although they found nothing, they arrested the sixty-seven-year-old Brother Primo and three fellow religious. Federico Rubio Alvarez was a seventy-four-year-old priest of the congregation. Jeronimo Ochoa Urdangarin, thirty-two, and Juan de la Cruz Delgado Pastor, twenty-two, were Hospitaller brothers. That same day, the four religious were shot to death by Popular Front militiamen. -- James Monti
Bishop, (+c. 623) [Aug 4]Born in Rome, Bohaire migrated from his native city to Chartres, France, in his youth. As Bohaire’s holiness and learning became known, he sought to escape attention by retiring into a hermitage. The bishop of Chartres, Pappole, provided him with a cell along the banks of the Cisse River. Nearby Bohaire erected a chapel, where, having been ordained a priest, he would have celebrated Mass. But his solitude did not last. The Frankish King Clotaire II Demanded to have Bohaire as his chaplain. Following the death of Pappole, Bohaire was compelled to accept consecration as bishop of Chartres. When the city was ravaged by the army of King Thierry of Burgundy, Bohaire stood by his people, ransoming with his won possessions those taken captive by the invaders. Upon being brought before Thierry in chains, Bohaire offered his life in exchange for the deliverance of his flock. Bohaire’s selfless courage moved Thierry remorsefully to throw himself down before the bishop, promising to end his attack. Others of the king’s retinue came forward to beg for Bohaire’s prayers. Thus peace was restored to Chartres. -- James Monti
Priest and Martyr (C. 1830-1859) [Feb 13]Father Paul Loc Van Le, of An Nhon, Vietnam, a former soldier and newly ordained alumnus of a seminary in Penang, Malaysia, was arrested by pagan officials of Vietnam’s imperial regime on December 13, 1858. A French attack upon the country at this time was used by the pagan authorities as a pretext to intensify the persecution against Catholics. Consequently, Father Co Van Le was sentenced to death and beheaded. Following his death, the Catholic faithful retrieved his body and reverently clothed and buried it. -- James Monti
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Our nation is at war- a reality not lost upon the men and women of Northern Virginia, home to military bases, civilian support, defense industry and the Pentagon. On the occasion of this remembrance of tragedy, I wish to thank the members of our Armed Services currently serving our country throughout the world. Your commitment to protecting this great nation in so many ways mirrors the selfless sacrifice of our Savior, who died for us. As your brothers and sisters, we cannot fail to recognize your generosity.
-- Bishop Paul Loverde
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