Saints of the Society of Jesus: Blessed Diego Carvalho

February 21, Martyr

Father Diego, a Portuguese, was a missionary, first in Cochin-China, then in Japan. With a number of his spiritual children he was plunged in the freezing water, in the midst of winter, 1624. Their faces were cut by a fierce wind and blinding snow, and they were obliged to change their positions frequently in order to prolong their suffering. “We will never abjure,” they answer to the solicitations of their executioners. “A little more patience,” says the Father to his fainting companions, and one falls, breathing the names of Jesus and Mary. “Adieu, Father,” says another. “Go, my son, in peace.” Father Carvalho was the last to die.