Blessed Jerome Hermosilla and Companions, OP MM (AC)
Died 1861; beatified in 1906 by Pope Pius X.
Little is known of the early lives of Bishop Jerome Hermosilla or Bishop Valentine Berrio-Ochoa. That they were chosen for the Oriental mission is evidence that they were courageous and resourceful men, probably adept in language.
Jerome was a native of La Calzada, in Old Castile (Spain), who after his profession in the Dominican Order, was sent to Manila, where he was ordained priest and, in 1828, appointed to the mission of East Tonkin. He succeeded Blessed Ignatius Delgado as vicar-apostolic and was consecrated bishop in April 1841. Like the early office of pontiff, this position was practically synonymous with martyrdom; several of those appointed as bishop of Tonkin did not even live to be consecrated.
Bishop Hermosilla made it his first task to gather the relics of his two immediate predecessors. Bishop Delgado had been thrown into the sea, but some of the relics were recovered by a fisherman. These and the remains of other martyrs were carefully preserved by Hermosilla, who also committed to paper their passios according to the accounts of eye witnesses. This took real courage--to carefully record the terrible tortures that he well knew were awaiting him.
The twenty years of Bishop Hermosilla's life in Tonkin were comprised of constant heroism, flight, and unswerving faith. He had to hold his flock together, while some of his finest assistants fell at his side. His work had to be accomplished entirely in secret. There was always the possibility that a recent convert or his pagan family might betray the hiding place of the priest, perhaps under torture. It was a weak Christian who finally betrayed Hermosilla and Valentine.
The two bishops had been hidden on board a ship en route to a place where they were needed to give the sacraments. The betrayer identified them to the ship's captain, who summoned the soldiers. A group of Christians almost succeeded in rescuing them, but they were betrayed a second time and placed in chains. Three hundred men were sent to escort them to the capital.
When the arrived, they saw that they would be required to step upon a crucifix laid in the road. Heavily manacled and weak from torture, the two bishops fought so vigorously against committing this sacrilege that the soldiers finally relented and removed the cross. Shortly thereafter the bishops, two other Spanish Dominicans, and a number of native Christians were led in triumphant procession to the place of their execution, where they were put in cages. Christian witnesses reported that the martyrs were so rapt in prayer that they seemed unaware of the screaming crowds, trumpeting elephants, and other noisy animals surrounding them. In turn, each of the martyrs was bound, tied to stakes in the ground, and beheaded. Their remains were guarded for several days to prevent other Christians from claiming their relics.
Peter Almató, OP, was born at Sassera, diocese of Vich, Spain. He became a Dominican and was sent to the Philippines then to Ximabara under Bishop Hermosilla with whom he was beheaded.
Also beheaded with the above beatae was Blessed Valentine, who was born in 1827 at Ellorio, diocese of Vitoria, Spain. After his profession as a Dominican also went to the Philippines then to Tonkin as a bishop titular and vicar-apostolic. Due to a number of miracles attributed to Bishop Valentine Berrio-Ochoa, his cause has been separated from the group. He was beatified in 1909, rather than 1906, and since 1952 canonization has been sought for him (Benedictines, Dorcy).
SOURCE : http://www.saintpatrickdc.org/ss/1101.shtml
- Jerónimo Hermosilla
- Jerónimo Hermosilla Aransáez
Blessed Jerome, Valentine, Francis, Hyacinth & Companions (Martyrs of Tonkin)
Between the arrival of the first Portuguese missionary in 1533, through the Dominicans and then the Jesuit missions of the 17th century, the politically inspired persecutions of the 19th century, and the Communist-led terrors of the twentieth, there have been many thousands upon thousands murdered for their faith in Vietnam. Some were priests, some nuns or brothers, some lay people; some were foreign missionaries, but most were native Vietnamese killed by their own government and people.
Jerome Hermosilla, a Dominican missionary to Manila, Philippines, and a priest, he went as a missionary to Vietnam in 1828 where he was the Vicar Apostolic of Eastern Tonking, Vietnam and titular bishop of Miletopolis. H was martyred with Saint Valentin Faustino Berri Ochoa.
Image vietnamienne représentant saint Valentin Berrio Ochoa,
Valentin Faustinao Berri Ochoa. Born in the Basque country, and ordained on June 14, 1851, Valentin was a missionary to the Philippines and then to Vietnam. He was appointed coadjutor vicar apostolic of Central Tonking, (the modern diocese of Bùi Chu) Vietnam and titular bishop of Centuria on December 25, 1857. He was martyred with Saint Jerome Hermosilla.
Francis Gil de Frederich was educated in Barcelona, Spain where he joined the Dominicans. He was a missionary to the Philippines first and then a missionary to Vietnam in 1732. He spent nine years in prison for his faith during which time he converted fellow prisoners and supervised evangelists on the outside.
Hyacinth Castaneda was a Dominican Priest and missionary to China. He then was sent as a missionary to Vietnam. He was beheaded for his faith in 1773 in Vietnam
Hyacinth Castañeda, Vincent Liem & Comps., OP MM (AC)
Born at Sétavo (near Valencia), Spain; died 1773; beatified in 1906; canonized in 1988 as one of the Martyrs of Vietnam. After his profession as a Dominican, Saint Hyacinth was sent to the missions--first to the Philippines, where he was ordained. An account of Blessed Hyacinth Castañeda's voyage to Asia tells of the letters he wrote to his mother of the serious mouth infection and the seasickness he suffered for 48 days en route across the Atlantic. He recounts his march across Mexico to embark upon another ship and the turmoil of crossing the Pacific. When they landed in Manila, they found the city in the hands of the English. He and the other passengers were abandoned with their luggage by the terrified ship captain and had to wander for months to locate their Dominican brothers. After preaching there will a time, Father Hyacinth took another 66-day sea voyage to reach Fukien, China, where the martyrdom of Blessed Peter Sanz was still fresh in the memories of Christians. Here he again engaged in evangelization until he was deported to Vietnam, where he was imprisoned for three years. Eventually Father Hyacinth was tortured and beheaded.
During his imprisonment, Castañeda was joined by Saint Vincent Liem, the first Indo-Chinese Dominican to be martyred. He had ministered to his countrymen for 14 years prior to his execution. Two criminals were present at his trial; one cursed him and one begged for his prayers. A spectator yelled, "Why doesn't the Lord of Heaven come to deliver them in order that we may believe?" Sounds familiar, doesn't it? (Benedictines, Dorcy, Farmer).
SOURCE : http://www.saintpatrickdc.org/ss/1107.shtml
Santi Girolamo Hermosilla, Valentino Berrio Ochoa e Pietro Almato Ribeira Martiri
† Hai Duong, Vietnam, 1 novembre 1861
Emblema: Bastone pastorale, Palma
Martirologio Romano: Nella città di Hải Dương nel Tonchino, ora Viet Nam, santi martiri Girolamo Hermosilla e Valentino Berrio Ochoa, vescovi, e Pietro Almató Ribeira, sacerdote, dell’Ordine dei Predicatori, decapitati per ordine dell’imperatore Tự Đức.
Nato a S. Domingo de la Calzada in Spagna, a quindici anni entrò nel convento domenicano di Valenza. Nel 1828 salpò da Cadice per Manila e il 15 maggio dell'anno successivo arrivò nel Vietnam. Iniziò subito il suo difficile apostolato che si protrasse per più di 32 anni, in mezzo a stenti, fatiche e persecuzioni, cambiando spesso nome e residenza per non essere scoperto. Nel 1832 iniziò una violenta persecuzione anticristiana che durò 30 anni. Nel 1841 fu consacrato vescovo del Vietnam Orientale. Il 20 ottobre 1861 fu catturato insieme con il giovane catechista e suo fedelissimo segretario Giuseppe Khang. I mandarini cercarono inutilmente di fargli calpestare il Crocifisso, posto a terra all'ingresso della città, e allora lo rinchiusero in una piccola gabbia, dove era costretto a stare seduto o ricurvo. Il 1° novembre 1861 fu decapitato con i confratelli Valentino Berrio-Ochoa e Pietro Almatò.
Valentino Berrio Ochoa
Nato ad Ellorio, nella diocesi spagnola di Vitoria, entrato nell'Ordine Domenicano, ben presto chiese di essere inviato in missione. Fu prima nelle Filippine, e poi nel 1858 in Vietnam come vescovo e vicario apostolico del Tonchino centrale. Venne arrestato il 20 ottobre 1861 e il 1° novembre fu decapitato insieme al confratello s. Girolamo Hermosilla. Il suo corpo è venerato nella sua città natale. Canonizzato il 19 giugno 1988.
Convento San Domenico, Bologna