St. Peter Chanel
Born in France (72 July), Peter was a shepherd boy whose first encounter with his Parish Priest, Abbe Trompier, led to his education in the latterís Latin school. As a student and as a seminarian, Peter so won the esteem of teachers and students alike that a certain bishop once commented: "Fie has a heart of gold with the simple faith of a child and leads the life of an angel."
Peter is famed for the religious revival he achieved within three years of his appointment in the ill-reputed parish of Crozet. In 1831, Peter became a Marist missionary. In 1836, Pope Gregory XVI canonically approved this fledgling congregation and entrusted to its care the island of Futuna, New Hebrides. Well received by the people, Peterís work drew the ire of the chieftain whose ow'n son sought to be baptized and Peter was clubbed to death (28 April), and his body chopped to pieces. Nevertheless, the whole island became Christian within two years.
Beatified in 1889, Peter was canonized in 1954.
Reflection :"In such a difficult mission (evangelizing) we simply have to be holy men" (St Peter Chanel).