Apart from the actual perpetrators of the slaughter – who in fact never were apprehended and cannot have left any recorded statement in regard to the slayings – those most likely to have given any significant expression of opinion in the matter were those judicially examined and tried as the result of the crime.
Happily, however, their testimony, considered in the preceding section, is not the only expression, or even the clearest, of a contemporary belief that the five missionaries had given their lives in testimony to Christian doctrine and morality. There are contemporary references to the slaying which manifest a conviction that the death of the five Servants of God was a true martyrdom. In this section we shall adduce evidence that a significant group of well-trained and competent churchmen at the time of the event viewed the slaying as a true martyrdom. We shall consider as contemporary any significant statement made within the first quarter of a century following the slaying in 1597, i.e., before the end of the year 1622.
”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.