Saint Andre de Soveral & 29 Martyrs

Saint Andre de Soveral & 29 Martyrs
Born: 1572, Brazil
Died: 16th July 1645, near Natal, Brazil
Feast Day: 16th July & 3rd October (Martyr’s of Natal)
Beatified: 5th March 2000 by Pope John Paul II
Canonised: 16th October 2017 by Pope Francis

Saint Andre was born in 1572 and became a Jesuit missionary in 1593. The area of Natal, Brazil had been established after Portuguese Catholics arrived, however, Dutch Calvinists soon took over and started persecuting Catholics.  Several priests moved to the area to help sustain people in their faith including Andre.

On 16th July 1645, 69 people were at a mass at Our Lady of the Candles in Natal led by Andre.  During the mass Dutch soldiers attacked the chapel and murdered Andre and his companion Domingo Carvalho.

On 3rd October 1645, a second massacre occurred this time including Fr Ambrosio Francisco Ferro.  The thirty Natal martyrs are:
  • André de Soveral (b. 1572) — priest
  • Domingos Carvalho — layman
  • Ambrósio Francisco Ferro — priest
  • Antônio Vilela — married layman
  • A daughter of Vilela — young laywoman
  • José do Porto — layman
  • Francisco de Bastos — layman
  • Diogo Pereira — layman
  • João Lostau Navarro — layman
  • Antônio Vilela Cid — layman
  • Estêvão Machado de Miranda — married layman
  • A daughter of de Miranda — young laywoman
  • A daughter of de Miranda — young laywoman
  • Vicente de Souza Pereira — layman
  • Francisco Mendes Pereira — layman
  • João da Silveira — layman
  • Simão Correia — layman
  • Antônio Baracho — layman
  • Mateus Moreira — layman
  • João Martins — layman
  • Seven companions of Martins — (laypeople)
  • Manuel Rodrigues de Moura — married layman
  • The wife of Moura — married laywoman
  • A daughter of Francisco Dias — laywoman