Daily Martyrology for April 28

In 1841, St. Peter Chanel, martyr. Born near Lyons, he was ordained in 1827. He served as a parish priest for several years, then joined the Society of Mary in order to become a missionary. After teaching in a seminary for several years, he was sent to the islands of the South Pacific when these were entrusted to his order. He sailed with eight missionaries from Le Havre to Valpaisao in Chile, and from there for Tonga. On the way they happened to land on the island of Futuma. Peter agreed to stay there as a missionary, along with a Marist brother and a European trader who was to act as a translator. Peter had some success in making converts, but earned the animosity of the king of the island and was killed with clubs and an axe.

In 1182, at Turov in Belarus, St. Cyril, bishop. He was a monk and a recluse before being chosen bishop. A number of his writings survive: twelve sermons, twenty-four prayers, an Exhortation to the Monastic Life, and a penitential. He spent the last three years of his life in retirement in his monastery.

In 1716, St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort. He was born in Brittany and educated by the Jesuits. He had limited social skills and preferred solitary prayer. After his ordination, he struggled to find his proper ministry and developed his spirituality centered on Our Lady and the Cross. He went on preaching missions in Brittany, and wrote a number of devotional works. From his ministry derive the Montfort Fathers and the Daughters of Divine Wisdom.

In Italy, in 1962, St. Gianna Beretta Molla. As a young girl she was involved in Catholic Action. When her parents died she decided to study medicine. She opened a clinic in Milan, but wondered if she should enter the religious life. She married Pietro Molla, an engineer, in 1955. They had three children and a happy life together. When a uterine growth was discovered during her fourth pregnancy, she opted for surgery to remove the growth. The procedure was more dangerous for her but less dangerous for her fetus, a choice that was in line with her life of service and self-sacrifice. The baby was born and lived, but Gianna contracted peritonitis and died a week later.

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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.