Saints of the Society of Jesus: Blessed Thomas Tzugi and Blessed Michael Nacaxima

7 September, Martyrs

Blessed Thomas Tzugi, who was of a noble family, had a hard contest with his relations, who, as in the times of the ancient Romans, begged of him to make some outward sign of conformity, at least for their sake, if not for his own. But nothing could shake his constancy. While burning at the stake he preached to the people on the Passion of Our Lord; then, chanting a canticle of praise, gave up his spirit to God. At that moment the spectators, both Europeans and natives, beheld his breast part asunder and a purple flame issue from it which flew upward to heaven, surrounded by a brilliant light.

The Blessed Michael Nacaxima, who was prisoner at the same time with Blessed Thomas, was first beaten with rods, then left exposed to the heat of the sun, then, his body being filled with water, it was pumped out of him by pressure on the stomach. This torture was repeated, then finally he was carried to the sulphurous mountain, where he died on Christmas Day, 1628.