De La Salle Lipa
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Blessed Br. Arnold Jules-Nicolas Rèche

Jules-Nicolas Rèche was born into a poor family living in Landroff in the province of Lorraine. He left school at an early age to work as a stable-boy, a coachman, and finally as a teamster for a local construction company. Even as a young man he was known among his fellow workers for his piety and his self-discipline. He first met the Brothers while attending evening classes in their school and asked to be admitted into the congregation. He taught for fourteen years at the boarding school on the Rue de Venise in Reims. Despite the demands of a full teaching schedule he managed by private study to master theology, mathematics, science and agriculture, which he taught to small groups of advanced students. During the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, he worked with other Brothers to care for the medical and spiritual needs of the wounded soldiers on both sides, for which he was awarded the Bronze Cross. The intensity of his prayer life and his love for practices of penance soon led the superiors to appoint him Director of Novices at Thillois. He won the hearts of his young charges by his evident solicitude for their spiritual and professional development. There are stories of little miracles and cures, as well as his uncanny ability to discern their inmost thoughts. Brother Arnold was known for his devotion to the Lord's passion and for his docility to the Holy Spirit who, as he often remarked, "strengthens a person's heart." When the novitiate was moved to the new formation center at Courlancy near Reims in 1885, Brother Arnold was instrumental in having it dedicated to the Sacred Heart. He died at age fifty-two with a reputation for sanctity, only a few months after his appointment as Director General of Sacré Coeur.

Born at Landroff, France September 2, 1838
Entered the novitiate December 23, 1862
Died at Reims, France October 23, 1890
Beatified November 1, 1987

Saint Martyrs of Turon

Saint Cirilo Bertrán (José Sanz Tejedor)
Saint Marciano José (Filomeno López López)
Saint Julián Alfredo (Vilfrido Fernández Zapico)
Saint Victoriano Pío (Claudio Bernabé Cano)
Saint Benjamín Julián (Vicente Alonso Andrés)
Saint Augusto Andrés (Ramón Martín Fernández)
Saint Benito de Jesús (Héctor Valdivielso Sáez)
Saint Aniceto Adolfo (Manuel Seco Gutiérrez)
Saint Inocencio de la Inmaculada Canoure, CP (Manuel Canoura Arnau)

In 1934 Turón, a coal-mining town in the Asturias Province in Northwestern Spain, was the center of anti-government and anticlerical hostility in the years prior to the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. The Brothers' school was an irritant to the radicals in charge of the town because of the religious influence it exerted on the young. The Brothers were known to defy the ban on teaching religion and they openly escorted their students to Sunday Mass. On the First Friday of October, the authorities broke into the Brothers' house on the pretext that arms had been hidden there. Father Inocencio, a Passionist, who had come the night before, was preparing to say Mass for the Brothers. They and their chaplain were arrested, detained over the weekend without trial, and then in the middle of the night were marched out to the cemetery where they were summarily shot. Brother Cirilo, the Director, was 46 years old and Brother Marciano, the cook, was 39. Brother Julián was 32 and all the rest were in their twenties. Aniceto, the youngest at 22, was still in triennial vows. They were arrested, detained, and executed as a community, victims of the hatred and violence against the Church, witnessed by their death to the faith they so courageously professed and so effectively communicated to their students.

Saint Cirilo Bertrán (José Sanz Tejedor)
Bron in Lerma (Burgos), Spain, March 20, 1888
Entered the novitiate on October 23, 1906

Saint Marciano José (Filomeno López y López)
Born in El Pedregal (Guadalajara), Spain, November 15, 1900
Entered the novitiate on September 20, 1916

Saint Julián Alfredo (Vilfrido Fernández Zapico)
Born in Cifuentes de Rueda (León), Spain, December 24, 1903
Entered the novitiate on February 4, 1926

Saint Victoriano Pío (Claudio Bernabé Cano)
Born in San Millan de Lora (Borgos), Spain, July 7, 1905
Entered the novitiate on August 30, 1921

Saint Benjamín Julián (Vicente Alonso Andrés)
Born in Jamarillo de la Fuente (Burgos), Spain, October 27, 1908
Entered the novitiate on August 29, 1924

Saint Augusto Andrés (Román Martín Fernández)
Born in Santander, Spain, May 6, 1910
Entered the novitiate on February 3, 1926

Saint Benito de Jesús (Héctor Valdivieso Sáez)
Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, October 31, 1910
Entered the novitiate on August 7, 1926

Saint Anicet Adolfo (Manuel Seco Gutiérrez)
Born in Celada Marlantes (Santander), Spain, October 4, 1912
Entered the novitiate on September 6, 1928

Saint Inocencio de la Immaculada,CP (Manuel Canoure Arnau)
Born in Cecilia del Valle de Oro (Lugo), Spain, March 10, 1887
Ordained on September 20, 1920

Martyred in Spain on October 9, 1934
Beatified April 29, 1990
Canonized November 21, 1999

Saint Benildus Romançon

Pierre Romançon was born in the village of Thuret in south-central France. He was so far ahead of his classmates in elementary school that when he was only fourteen years old the Brothers engaged him as a substitute teacher. Despite the objection of his parents, who wanted to keep him at home, and the reluctance of the superiors, who thought he was too short of stature, he was finally admitted to the novitiate. From 1821 to 1841 he taught successfully in the network of elementary schools conducted by the Brothers out of the administrative center at Clermont-Ferrand. In 1841 he was appointed Director of a school that was opening in Saugues, an isolated village on a barren plateau in southern France. For the next twenty years he worked quietly and effectively as teacher and principal to educate the boys in the village and some from the neighboring farms, many of whom were in their teens and had never been to school before. Small as he was, he was known as a strict but fair disciplinarian. In time the little school became the center of the social and intellectual life of the village, with evening classes for the adults and tutoring for the less gifted students. Brother Benilde's extraordinary religious sense was evident to everyone: at Mass with the students in the parish church, teaching catechism, preparing boys for first communion, visiting and praying with the sick, and rumors of near-miraculous cures. He was especially effective in attracting religious vocations. At his death more than 200 Brothers and an impressive number of priests had been his students at Saugues. At his beatification, Pope Pius XII stressed that his sanctification was attained by enduring "the terrible daily grind" and by "doing common things in an uncommon way."

Saint Jaime Hilario

Manuel Barbal Cosan was born on 2 January 1898 in Enviny, a small town at the foot of the Pyrenees in northern Spain. Known for his serious nature, he was only 12 years old when, with the blessing of his devout and hardworking parents, he entered the minor seminary of the diocese of Urgel. He soon developed hearing problems and was advised to return home. Convinced that God was calling him, he was overjoyed in 1917 to learn that the Institute of the Brothers would accept him in the novitiate at Irun, Spain. After sixteen years in various teaching assignments, his hearing problems forced him to abandon the classroom to work in the garden at the house of formation at San José, in Tarragona.

In July of 1936 he was at Mollerosa on his way to visit his family at Enviny when the civil war broke out. Recognized as a Brother, he was arrested and jailed. In December he was transferred to Tarragona and confined in a prison ship with several other brothers. On 15 January 1937 he was given a summary trial. Though he could have been freed by claiming to be only a gardener, he insisted on his identity as a religious and thereby sealed his doom. He was brought to the cemetery known as the Mount of Olives on 18 January to face execution. His last words to his assailants were "To die for Christ, my young friends, is to live." When two volleys failed to meet their mark, the soldiers dropped their rifles and fled in panic. The commander, shouting a gross insult, fired five shots at close range and the victim fell at his feet.

Born January 2, 1898
Entered the novitiate February 24, 1917
Martyred January 18, 1937
Beatified April 29, 1990
Canonized November 21, 1999

Saint Miguel Febres Cordero

Francisco Febres Cordero was born into a family that has always been prominent in Ecuadorian politics. Crippled from birth, he had to overcome family opposition to realize his vocation to be a lay religious, the first native of Ecuador to be received into the Institute. Brother Miguel was a gifted teacher from the start and a diligent student. When he was not quite twenty years old, he published the first of his many books, a Spanish grammar that soon became a standard text. In time his research and publications in the field of literature and linguistics put him in touch with scholars all over the world and he was granted membership in the National Academies of Ecuador and Spain. Despite high academic honors, teaching remained his first priority, especially his classes in religion and for the young men he prepared for first communion. His students admired his simplicity, his directness, his concern for them, and the intensity of his devotion to the Sacred Heart and the Virgin Mary. In 1907 he passed through New York on his way to Belgium, where he had been called to translate texts into Spanish for the use of the Brothers recently exiled from France. His health, always delicate, did not easily adjust to the rigors of the European climate. Transferred to the junior novitiate at Premia del Mar in Spain, during a revolutionary outbreak in 1909 he supervised a dramatic evacuation of his young charges to the safety of Barcelona across the bay. Shortly after they were able to return, he contracted pneumonia and he died at Premia, leaving behind a remarkable reputation as scholar, teacher, and saint.

Born at Cuenca, Ecuador November 7, 1854
Entered the novitiate March 24, 1868
Died February 9, 1910
Beatified October 30, 1977
Canonized October 21, 1984

Saint Mutien-Marie Wiaux

Louis Wiaux, the third of six children, was born in a small village in French-speaking Belgium where almost everyone was a devout practicing Catholic. His father was a blacksmith, while his mother helped to run a small cafe in part of the family home, where no rough language was allowed and where the evening of Belgian beer and card playing always concluded with the recitation of the rosary. Louis proved neither physically nor emotionally suited to his father's trade; he was convinced that the Lord was calling him to a different kind of forge. No sooner had he met the Brothers in a nearby school than he determined to enter the novitiate at Namur. After two years, teaching elementary classes, Brother Mutien was assigned to the boarding school at Malonne where he would spend the next fifty-eight years. He had difficulties at first coping with the demands of both teaching and prefecting. He was rescued by the Brother in charge of the courses in music and art, at the time an important feature of the curriculum. From then on Brother Mutien was not only an effective teacher of those subjects, a vigilant prefect in the school yard, and a catechist in the nearby parish, but a tremendous influence on the students by his patience and evident piety. He was known to spend whatever time he could before the tabernacle or at the grotto of Our Lady. Among the Brothers, it was said that he had never been seen violating even the smallest points in their Rule. After his death at Malonne, his fame began to spread through Belgium, where many miracles were attributed to him. His relics may be venerated in Malonne at the shrine built in his honor after his canonization.

Born at Mellet, Belgium March 20, 1841
Entered the novitiate April 7, 1856
Died January 30, 1917
Beatified October 30, 1977 Canonized December 10, 1989

Blessed Martyrs of the Rochefort

On Sunday, October 1, 1995, His Holiness John Paul II beatified 64 martyrs: the priest John Baptist Souzy's group (the Vicar General of La Rochelle), who, along with 63 companions, died as victims of suffering for the faith during the French Revolution.

They are called «martyrs of the hulks of Rochefort» because of the place where they were held as prisoners. The name hulk was given to the old boats ordinarily used as storage ships, hospitals or prison ships.

There were two boats that served as prisons: "The Two Associates" and the "Washington" and these were based in Rochefort, where the river Charente emptied, in the department (county) of Rochelle.

There were in all 827 priest and religious prisoners, the majority of whom had refused to swear the oath of the Civil Constitution of the Clergy, which would be considered an apostasy of the faith.

Of the 827 prisoners, 542 of them died during the months of captivity in the pontoons: from April 11, 1794 to February 7, 1795. All had to endure terrible suffering and vexations for the faith and they died as a result of maltreatment. The 285 survivors were freed on February 12, 1795, and they were able to return to their places of origin. Some of them left written testimony about the heroic examples of their martyred companions.

Among the prisoners of the hulks were seven Brothers of the Christian Schools: Roger, Leon, Uldaric, Pierre-Christophe, Donat-Joseph, Avertin and Jugon. The last three survived and were liberated on February 12, 1795. The first four died in prison but in the group of the beati only Brothers Roger, Leon and Uldaric are included. Information about the fourth, Brother Pierre-Christophe, was unavailable and so he was not included in the group.

Blessed Brother Roger (Pierre-Sulpice-Christophe Faverge)
Born in Orléans, France, July 25, 1745
Entered the Novitiate in 1767

Blessed Brother Uldaric (Jean-Baptiste Guillaume)
Born in Fraisans, France, February 1, 1755
Entered the Novitiate October 16, 1785

Blessed Brother Léon (Jean Mopinot)
Born in Reims, France, September 12,1724
Entered the Novitiate January 14, 1744

Martyred in 1794

Blessed Schubilion Rousseau

As a devout young man in his native village in Burgundy, Jean Bernard Rousseau was serving as a catechist when he was introduced to the Brothers, who had just opened a school in a nearby town. He entered the Paris novitiate in 1822. After ten years in elementary schools throughout France, Brother Scubilion left France in 1833 to dedicate the remaining thirty-four years of his life to the enslaved natives on the island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean. Remembered as the "catechist of the slaves," he inaugurated evening classes for them, which were well attended, even after a long day of exhausting labor. He devised special programs and techniques, suited to their needs and abilities, in order to teach the essentials of Christian doctrine and morality, and prepare them to receive the sacraments. He won them over by his kindly manner and his respect for them. After the emancipation of the slaves in 1848, he continued to care for them and to help them adapt to their new life of freedom and responsibility. In the last years of his life, despite failing health, he assisted the local pastor in visiting the sick, winning over sinners, encouraging vocations, and even effecting what seemed to be miraculous cures. At his death he was venerated everywhere on the island as a saint.

Born in Annay la-C ôte , France March 21, 1797
Entered the novitiate December 24, 1822
Died on the Island of Reunion April 13, 1867
Beatified May 2, 1989