August 18th is the feast of the Blessed Martyrs of Rochefort. In 1794, 827 priests and religious in Rochefort, France were arrested during the French Revolution for refusing to renounce their religious beliefs and swear the oath of the Civil Constitution of the Clergy. Imprisoned on overcrowded prison hulks docked in the harbor, the revolutionary adherents of Liberty, Fraternity and Equality planned to sell off their religious captives as slaves in French Guyana. Delayed due to the British blockade, 542 of the prisoners died from disease and starvation from April 11, 1794 to February 7, 1795. Sixty-four of the victims have been positively identified and beatified by Pope St. John Paul II in 1995.
Beati Martiri di Rochefort, ora pro nobis
In celebration, we’re posting a prayer to the Blessed Martyrs of Rochefort. Pictured is Blesseds Leonard Duverneuil, Michael-Aloysius Brulard, and Hubert of Saint Claude. Evviva Beati Martiri di Rochefort!
Prayer to the Blessed Martyrs of Rochefort
Lord God, to the martyrs Blesseds Leonard, Michael Aloysius, Hubert of Saint Claude, and their companions, you gave the grace to remain faithful and to pardon while suffering dismaying hardship. Through their intercession grant also to us, to be always willing to remain faithful to your Church and to be reconciled with one another. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever. Amen.