Daily Martyrology for April 17

In 1680, in Montreal, Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha. When she was four, her parents died in a smallpox epidemic which left her disfigured and partially blind. She seems to have decided not to marry, even before she became a Christian in 1676, when she was twenty. She left home to move to a Christian village near Montreal. There she led an exemplary life for three years, before her death at the age of twenty-four. In 1980 she became the first native American to be beatified.

In Persia, in 341, St. Simeon Barbsabae, bishop, and his companions, martyrs. They were martyred under King Sapor II when they refused to worship the sun.

In 1067, in Auvergne in central France, Robert of Chaise-Dieu, abbot. He was educated by the canons of St. Julian’s church in Brioude, joined them, and was ordained a priest. He thought about joining Cluny, and then went on a pilgrimage to Rome and Monte Cassino. He returned to be a hermit. He and two companions built cells, lived a life of prayer and manual labor, and helped their poor neighbors. Many came to join them, so Robert built a monastery, Chaise-Dieu. Soon he had to found many new monasteries and cells, and the Benedictine congregation of Chaise-Dieu was the result. It merged with the Maurists in 1640.

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Our daily martyrology was written by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB. Copyright © 2008 by the Monastery of the Ascension, Jerome, ID 83338.