Saints and Saintly Dominicans – 18 May

detail of Saint Giuse Hoàng Luong Canh from an Italian holy cardBlessed Joseph Canh, Martyr, Tertiary, O.P.

Joseph Canh, an Annamite Tertiary, exercised the profession of medicine with an ability and devotedness which endeared him to the whole population, both Christian and pagan. Under cover of his profession he was able to carry messages from the missionaries to the faithful and from these to the missionaries and also to baptise many heathen children at the point of death. He was able also to dispel prejudices against Christianity in many families, but by this he gained a notoriety which caused his arrest. When the judge, finding how useless were all his questionings and scourgings, tried by force to make him trample on the Cross, Blessed Joseph, in spite of his great age, drew his feet so far back that he remained hanging on the arms of his guards. After being condemned to death, he put on the white habit of a Tertiary and full of zeal to the end, while waiting to start for the scene of his execution, he spoke to the pagans for a whole hour on the beauty of the Christian faith. On the way he recited the Litany of the Saints. The crowd pressed round him, anxious to have a close view of him, and full of admiration at his courage, his recollected manner and his smiling countenance, but the executioners treated the people with brutality, for which Blessed Joseph reproached them. Having arrived at the place of martyrdom, he knelt down, the Cross in his hands, and bowed his head, which fell at the first stroke of the sword. The catechists who carried away his body, came to a swollen torrent which it was impossible to cross, but scarcely had they invoked him, whose precious remains they carried, than they saw the waters abate, and the remainder of their way made easy (1861).

Prayer

O Lord, grant me to be, by my prayers, my actions and my words, the healer of sick and weakly souls.

Practice

Kiss the Cross while offering your life to God.