Blessed Lucien Botovasoa

Blessed Lucien BotovasoaMemorial

Profile

Eldest of nine children, Lucien was baptized at age 10 in 1918, and made his First Communion at 14 in 1922. From 1922 to 1927, he studied at the Jesuit Saint Joseph College, and became a school teacher, dedicated to both religious and secular education of children; at the end of each class, he would read about the lives of the saints to the students who wanted to stay and listen. On 10 October 1930, in the diocese of Farafangana, Madagascar, he was married to Suzanna Soazana; they were the parents of five, including the child she was carrying when he died.

Lucien joined the Crusaders of the Heart of Jesus on 18 August 1935, and served as its treasurer from 1936 to 1947. He leaned to speak Chinese, German and French, had a fine singing voice, was a musician and director of his parish choir. He was a pious man so drawn to religious life that he searched for material on saints who were married in order to learn to combine the two ways of life; his wife was afraid for a while that he was going to leave her for the monastery. He joined the Secular Franciscans in 1940 and found his spiritual home. He was enthusiastic about spreading devotion to Saint Francis of Assisi and the spiritual benefits of being a Franciscan, often fasted, and wore a khaki shirt and tan trousers instead of the traditional black ones of a teacher; the colour he chose was traditional for tertiaries.

In 1947 some of the local people wanted him to run for political office, but Lucien declined saying that he knew nothing of politics and did not want to be part of it. In the spring of 1947 a persecution of Christians broke out in his region with priests and nuns at first being imprisoned, and then Christians killed at random and in groups for their faith. On the afternoon of 14 April 1947 he learned that the antiChristian forces would be coming for him; he refused to run and instead spent the rest of the day with his wife and children. He was arrested that night, judged and condemned by the local chief, and executed; his guards and executioner were men he had taught when they were school boys. Martyr.

Born

Died

  • beheaded with a sword between 10pm and midnight on 14 April 1947 on the banks of the Mattanana River near Ambohimanarivo, Manakara, Madagascar
  • he was wearing his tertiary “uniform” – khaki shirt and trousers with a black cord for a belt
  • his body was tossed into the river

Venerated

Beatified

Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • “Blessed Lucien Botovasoa“. CatholicSaints.Info. 7 February 2018. Web. 18 December 2018. <>