Acclaimed by Four Centuries: History of the Cause

The Crystallizing of a Hope


For three centuries and more, as was demonstrated in a previous chapter of this Report, in the Martyrologium Franciscanum the names and the story of the Five Martyrs of Georgia had been recalled with reverent affection.


In every Franciscan foundation throughout the world, wherever the daily choral chanting of the liturgical hour of Prime included the solemn commemoration of the Saints and Blessed and other Servants of God belonging to the Seraphic Family, annually the sacrifice of these five friars was recalled and proposed for the edification of the sons and daughters of St. Francis.

In many places also, at the principal communal meal, the daily reading of the martyrology in the vernacular perhaps even more clearly brought to the knowledge of the friars and nuns of the Seraphic Family the story of these heroes of the Cross slain in a scarcely known area of the New World. Thus, in that lengthy period of over 300 years, if for reasons which have been outlined in the preceding pages no special effort had been made to open a formal process looking to their canonization by the Church, their memory was not allowed to die but was kept alive by their proudly grateful Franciscan Family.

”Rule of l221," ch. 16:10-11, in The Writings of Saint Francis, trans. Ignatius Brady (Assisi: Edizioni Porziuncola, 1983) 77. Henceforth, Brady.

St. Bonaventure, Major Life of St. Francis, chap. 12: I, trans. Benen Fahy in Marion A. Habig (ed.), St. Francis of Assisi: Writings and Early Biographies: English Omnibus of the Sources for the Life of St. Francis, 4lh rev. ed. (Chicago: Franciscan Herald Press, 1983), 721. Cited henceforth as Omnibus.

Ibid., chap. 3:1, pp. 646-47.

Thomas of Celano, The First Life of St. Francis, chap. JO: 29, trans. Placid Hermann in Omnibus, 247.

Ibid., chap. I 5, p. 258.

Bonaventure, Major Life, chap. 9:5, in Omnibus, 701.

St. Francis, "Letter Addressed to the Whole Order," in Brady, 121.

CREDIT: REPORTATIO SUPER MARTYRIO SERVORUM DEi PETRI DE CORPA ET SOCIORUM EJUS ANNO DOMINI 1597 IN FLORIDA OCCISORUM (Editio Tertia "Positionis", 7 Maii 2002)
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REPORTATIO SUPER MARTYRIO SERVORUM DEi PETRI DE CORPA ET SOCIORUM EJUS ANNO DOMINI 1597 IN FLORIDA OCCISORUM (Editio Tertia "Positionis", 7 Maii 2002)
The First Georgia Missions: Our Southern Catholic Heritage, Dr. Paul Thigpen and Katherine Ragan. Illustrations by Pamela Gardner, based on the retablo by Dan Nichols. This retablo is part of the parish patrimony of Our Lady of the Mountains Catholic Church in Jasper, Georgia

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