Franciscan Saints


 

 

 

25th May

 

 

Blessed John of Cetina and Peter of Dueñas

 

Martyrs, First Order

 

Blessed John of Cetina's feast day is 22nd May, combined feast day 19th May

On a May morning many years ago, the city of Granada was awake early. Men, women and children even the king himself was waiting for the two Franciscan friars who would shortly be dragged to the spot where they were to die for the crime of professing their Faith. As the crowd thickened and the tumult grew as the time approached for the execution John of Cetina and Peter of Duenas were thanking God for the approaching prize of martyrdom.

Before his conversion John of Cetina served a Nobleman in Aragon and lived as a son of the world. One day his eyes were opened to the best of good things and he gave himself to the service of God who is the one prize worth gaining. Immediately he severed all ties with his former world and surrendered himself to the guidance of the Holy Spirit who led him to an isolated place for a life of prayer and penance.

Soon he was inspired to become a Franciscan and was admitted to the Franciscan convent of Monzon; soon he was chosen to devote himself to the work of preaching And sent to Barcelona for study.

News of the martyrdom of four religious in Jerusalem awakened in John the great longing in  his heart to die as a martyr for Christ and so he went to the Vatican and requested permission to go to preach the Gospel to unbelievers in Jerusalem; instead he was sent to the Moors in Spain.

Arriving at the convent at Cordova Peter dedicated himself to the usual life of religion while awaiting permission from the Father Provincial to begin his work among the Moors.

Eventually the dearly awaited permission was granted and John was told that he could choose another friar to go with him and John was moved by the Holy Spirit to take with him Peter of Duenas.

Peter was a youth less than twenty years old, who, set afire with the same desire for martyrdom had abandoned the wonders of Court to become a Franciscan, in the world Peter was known to have had neither reason nor sense and in the religious life it was discovered that Peter had no learning nor wit to acquire it; Yet notwithstanding this he was in a unique way gifted with virtue.

Going to Granada to fight the powers of darkness they entered that city proclaiming they had come to have the people open their hearts to Christ, their saviour and to close them to the teachings of Mohamed. Some there listened and began to waver in their false religion and the Caliph sent for them to know why they had come to his people.

Simply and fearlessly, they stated it their sole purpose to preach the Faith of Jesus Christ and to point out the errors of Mohammedanism. With threats and flattery but to no avail the Caliph tried to dissuade them from their purpose. The constancy and courage of these martyrs was impossible to weaken and so on that May morning in 1397 they were led out to die.

The caliph severed John’s head but paused to give Peter one last chance to relent his purpose of martyrdom, Peter refused and with a single stroke his head was severed from his body which lay bleeding on the ground as his soul mounted to heaven.

Headless their bodies were dragged about the city. Later their remains were gathered by Christians and entombed with great honour in the cathedral of Vich. Many miracles were performed by them throughout Spain and devotion to Blessed John and Peter was approved by Pope Clement XII. Their memorial is observed on May 24th by the Franciscans , on the 21st by the Conventuals and on the 22nd by the Capuchins.

 

 

Prayer of the Church

 

May the eternal crown of Thy martyrs gladden us, O Lord,

and afford us an increase of virtue and faith; and may we be

consoled by their manifold support.

Through the same Christ Our Lord Who liveth  and reigneth
with
Thee and the Holy Spirit,  One God, now and forever.  Amen

 

 

Habig, Marion A., O.F.M., 1959, ed., The Franciscan book of Saints, Franciscan Herald press, Chicago, Illinois

 

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Last edited 13/09/2017 06:33 
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