Tuesday, July 12, 2016

St. Ignatius Delgado: Dominican Bishop, Spanish missionary and martyr

The saint of the day for July 12 is St. Ignatius Delgado, a Dominican Bishop who was a Spanish missionary and martyr.

 Bishop Delgado OP was part of a group of 117 martyrs, who suffered and shed their blood out of love for Christ in the region known today as Vietnam. Of this group, 59 were from the Dominican Order.

 Bishop Delgado died together with bishop Dominic Henares OP and a catechist. Both bishops were from Spain and bishop Delgado was born in 1762. Bishop Delgado had worked for nearly fifty years in Tonkin before he died at the age of seventy-six.

In 1838, the two bishops and the catechist were captured, in a persecution recently stirred up. A copy of his trial showed that he answered truthfully and fearlessly where he himself was concerned, but that no amount of questioning or torture could make him reveal the whereabouts of his companions. Bishop Delgado endured torture rather than give any clue as to where they might be found.

The death sentence was passed on Bishop Delgado, and he was left in an open cage under the summer sun, put on public display for ridicule and abuse, and left to die. He died of hunger and exposure in 1838.

St. Ignatius Delgado was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1988.


O God, you willed the lands of Vietnam to be moistened by the blood of the blessed bishops Ignatius and Dominic, and their companions; through the pleadings of these great martyrs let it continue to blossom with the Christian religion.  Through Christ our Lord.

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