Saint of the Day ~ July 12

SAINT CLEMENTE IGNATIO DELGADO CEBRIÁN (1761-1838), bishop and martyr

During the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, particularly during the reign of Emperor Minh Mang (1820-1840) in Vietnam, many Christians received the martyr’s crown – including bishops, priests, men and women religious, and large numbers of the laity. All of these suffered various forms of torments for their Christian faith and fidelity to the Cross of Christ.

Today, the Church honors Saint Clemente Ignacio Delgado Cebrián, a Spanish missionary and one of 117 martyrs who gave their lives for their Christian faith in Vietnam.

Clemente Ignacio was born in Villafeliche, Spain, in 1761. He was raised in a pious family, became a Dominican priest and served as a missionary to Vietnam for almost 50 years.

He was not yet forty years of age when he was consecrated a bishop and appointed Vicar-Apostolic of the Vietnamese region of East Tonkin. In 1838, during the ongoing persecution of Vietnamese Catholics, Bishop Delgado was arrested, after a boy revealed his hiding place to government officials. When interrogated, the aged bishop refused to divulge any information that would have compromised the safety of his fellow Catholics.

He was subsequently locked in a cage and placed on public display for ridicule and abuse, ultimately dying from hunger, dysentery and exposure to the elements in Nam Ðinh, Vietnam on July 12, 1838.

Bishop Delgado was one of 117 people martyred in Vietnam between the years 1820 and 1862. Members of this group were beatified on four different occasions between 1900 and 1951.

On June 19, 1988, he, together with the other 116 martyrs, were canonized as saints by Pope St. John Paul II.

We commemorate his feastday on July 12.

(From catholicnewsagency.com, saints.sqpn.com, catholic.org/saints and vatican.va/news_services)

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PRAYER

(The following prayer is from the Roman Breviary from the Commons for One Martyr)

“All-powerful, Ever-living God, You gave Saint Clemente Ignacio the courage to witness to the Gospel of Christ, even to the point of giving his life for it. By his prayers, help us to endure all suffering for love of You and to seek You with all our hearts, for You alone are the Source of life.

“Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”

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